“It's John.” I replied. “Is that you Pete?” I asked.
My school friend poked his head out from behind the door. My jaw dropped and my eyes grew to the size of saucers as he stepped out to reveal himself. “Mum always makes me dress like this at home.” Peter meekly told me. “That's why I never ask anyone to come round.”
I tore my eyes from him and panned around his room. “Is this all your stuff?” I asked. I couldn't think of anything better to say.
“I don't like any of it.” Peter claimed. “Mum just buys it for me... I think she wishes I was a girl.” he muttered.
“That's not true!” his mother said as she appeared behind me. She must have been listening from the corridor. “There's no reason why boys can't wear nice clothes too.” she said before asking me if I had any 'nice' clothes at home. I shook my head. “Oh that's a shame.” she said. “would you like some?” she asked.
“Er... not really. I don't think my Mum would approve.” I stammered. This is a pretty weird exchange by anyone's reckoning, but it got even stranger when she said I'd never know unless I asked. She turned to Peter and suggested he show me his dollies.
“I don't think he's interested in those Mum.” Peter sheepishly replied as my jaw hit the floor. When he corrected himself and said “Mummy.” my jaw hit the basement floor!
Pete's mother asked if we'd like a drink of juice fetching, but we both declined, she left us alone. Pete looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him whole. “Sorry Peter... I wouldn't have called if I’d known.” I said, before assuring him that I'd not tell a soul about this. I glanced at his clothes rials and it's resplendent display of prissy dresses. The shelf above is home to a handbag, a dummy head with pink bonnet perched on it, various cute cuddly toys and a variety of other girlie items. A large book titled My Princess Diary also sits there. Peter himself isn't actually wearing a dress, but he may as well be. On his feet is a pair of pale blue girl's shoes with two buckled straps, both decorated with a blue leather bow. He wears a pair of white lace knee socks with frills around their cuffs, and pale blue shorts with no pockets, no button or even a zip fly. His white shirt is clearly a girl's blouse as it has pale blue frilly trim around the collar as well as around the cuffs of its short puffed sleeves. Beneath it I spy the tell tale lacy trim of what I assume is a girl's vest. I try not to think about whether he's wearing knickers too. “I'd better go Pete.” I said, before once again assuring him that his secret is safe with me.
When I arrived home, my mother asked what I'd been up to and said “Just knocking about. I got bored so I came home.”
“Didn't you call for your friend Peter?” she asked, since that what I said I was doing when I left.
I lied and told her he wasn't in before going to my own room. “Thank God I don't have Pete's mother!” I thought as I entered my own 'normal' bedroom.
The next time I saw Peter was on Monday at school. He was very sheepish around me, probably because he thinks I'll have told everyone what I'd witnessed. I thought it best not to mention it as school could be the only time he can be a normal boy. I did tell him that he could call round to my place if he wants. “If you're allowed.” I said.
“I might be allowed after school one day.” he replied. “But I'll have to ask.”
A few days later, Peter did come round to my house after school. I showed off my collection of Airfix models, my remote control car and various other gadgets. Peter said he used to make Airfix models and also used to have some of the board games as me. We played Escape from Colditz, but didn't finish as Peter's mother came to collect him at 5.00pm sharp. Mum called us both downstairs and Peter's mother stood in the hallway chatting with my mother. She seems nice enough on the surface but having seen how she treats her son, all I see is a weird freak of a woman.
“What have you two been up to?” she asks. “Oh that sounds nice. What game were you playing?”
“Escape from Colditz.” I replied, before briefly describing the game's premise.
“You know how I feel about war toys Peter.” his mother said. She turned to my mother and said that she felt that toys such as tanks and guns, soldiers and swords are unsuitable for children and as such she'd stopped Peter from playing with them some years ago. My mother agreed in principle, but felt they were harmless enough since children do know the difference between real life and pretending.
“Yes of course they do.” Peter mother smiled. “I'd just rather buy my children nicer things than toy guns or model tanks.” she added. Mum asked after her other children. “Peter's the youngest of three. His big sister Judith is in year twelve and his brother Martin is doing his A levels.”
“Oh that's nice.” Mum replied. “It's just me and John here.”
“Well he seems like a very nice boy.” Peter mother said as she she glanced at me and smiled. “Come on Peter... let's get you home and out of that uniform.” she chirped.
“She seems nice.” Mum said after they'd gone. I was tempted to say otherwise and tell her what I know, but I heeded my promise to Peter and half heartedly agreed with her. “She said that you did call round the other day and Peter was in.” my mother informed me. “Do you want to tell me why you lied?”
The first thing I did was try to think of a viable excuse, but with nothing forthcoming I told her the truth. “He seemed really embarrassed and I promised I wouldn't tell anyone... so I told you he wasn't in.” I explained before saying “Sorry.”
“Well that's understandable.” Mum replied. “I suppose it would have been a bit of a shock if you didn't know he was being petticoated.”
“Was what?” I asked. “Petticoated??” I quizzed.
“You know when you were naughty and I used to make you sit on the naughty step, stop you from watching TV or take away your favourite toy?” She asked. I nodded. “Well sometimes when boys are naughty they have to wear girl's clothes and that's called Petticoating.” she explained. “Although there's more to it than that.”
“It was more than just girl's clothes in Peter's room.” I replied. “He has dolls and cuddly teddy bears, a pink bed, handbags and headbands... there's even a painting of Tinker Bell on his wall!”
Mum said that she presumes Peter is not being petticoated because he's naughty, but because he's vulnerable. “Sometimes if they're gullible or easily led, petticoating is employed to make sure they don't go off the rails and to stop them getting involved in the wrong crowd.”
“That's really mean.” I replied. “Especially if he's done nothing wrong.”
“It isn't really.” Mum claimed. “In fact it comes highly recommended as a non-confrontational method of discipline because all it involves is a simple change of clothes.”
“Yeah but... they weren't normal girl's clothes, they were really horrible!” I said as I visualised the rail in his room. “The sorts of dresses that most girls would refuse to wear; all pink and frilly with bows, flowers and...” I drew my description to a close with a puke mime.
Mum smiled and nodded and said, “That's the style they wear when petticoated.”
“It's horrible.” I baulked.
“Well I wouldn't say that.” Mum replied. “I think 'too nice' is more appropriate.” she suggested.
Either way, it's not something I want to think about. I glanced at the time and figured Peter would be home by now. I recalled his mother saying 'let's get you home and out of that uniform' and figured he'd be wearing something girlie by now... but I didn't want to think about it. I returned to my room and put the Colditz game away. Peter said he used to have this game as well as some of the same model tanks and planes as me, which means he used to be a normal boy. I wondered what he did when his mother first petticoated him; was he willing or did he put up a fight? I can't imagine the former so settled for the latter of the two possibilities... but I didn't want to think about it.
A few weeks later, Peter said. “It's my birthday next week and Mum asked if you wanted to come for tea.”
I told him I'd like to but would have to check with my mother first. “What day?” I asked.
“Tuesday.” Peter replied. “The 6th... but I'll forewarn you.” he added, “I have to wear my party dress. I tried to get out of it but Mum wouldn't budge.” He hung his head and I said I hoped I wouldn't have to wear a dress too. “You're not petticoated like me.” he replied. I told him that I’d have to check with my mother first.
I wasted no time telling my mother that Peter had invited me to his birthday when I arrived home. “I know.” Mum replied. “An invitation came through the letterbox this afternoon.” she told me. “I assume his mother popped it round.” she said as she passed me the card.
“Peter warned me that he'll have to wear a dress.” I said as I took the card; pink and white striped with a print of a pink satin bow and the words Peter's Birthday Party written on the front. On the reverse it says 'You're invited to join us in celebration of Peter's 13th Birthday Party'. The whole thing is pink and girlie, even the ornate lettering makes his name look girlie. I feel sorry for him. He doesn't have many friends and I guess I really should accept the invitation, but if he'll be wearing one of his prissy dresses, maybe I should decline. “I'm not sure if he wants me to go or if his mother told him to invite me.” I said. “I got the feeling he'd rather I didn't.”
“What makes you say that?” Mum asked.
“I just think he'd rather keep his friends and his home-life separate.” I said. “He never invites anyone around and he wasn't happy when I called unannounced that time.” I added.
“But he has invited you.” Mum said. “He might be upset if you don't go... and if he doesn't have many friends it won't be very nice celebrating his birthday alone.”
“If I had to wear a dress on my birthday I think I'd rather celebrate alone.” I replied, adding that it would be a pretty weird 'party' with Peter having to wear a dress. “I'd feel out of place.”
“Not necessarily.” Mum replied. “You could show him some solidarity and wear one too.”
First of all, I flat refused. Secondly, I asked what solidarity meant and thirdly I reminded my mother that I'm not petticoated like Peter.
The first thing Mum said was that solidarity means unity and that I should stand by and support my friend. “You may not be petticoated like Peter is, but that's no reason why you can't put yourself out for once.” was the second thing she said, and third and finally she asked me how I'd feel if my best friend snubbed me on my birthday.
“I'm not snubbing him Mum.” I whined. “I just don't think he wants me to go and I don't really want to go either.”
Mum gave me one of those looks. “Well I'm disappointed in you John. I thought you were a better friend than that.” she said.
The following day at school, Peter asked me if I'd asked my Mum if I could attend his party. Reluctantly I said I had. “And?” he asked. “Are you coming?”
I shrugged and said, “I dunno.” I explained that I have a feeling he'd rather I didn't go, “Considering how things are for you at home... maybe you'd rather your schoolmates didn't go there.” I told him. He rephrased the question and asked if I 'wanted' to go. “I would if you didn't have to wear a dress.” I replied. “But my Mum's telling me that I should wear one too.” I added with great reluctance.
“Well in that case... if I were you I wouldn't go.” Peter said. “Dresses are horrible... no one should have to wear them, not even girls.”
I couldn't help but agree with him, and since so many girls spent most of their time wearing boyish clothes, he's probably right. “Thing is.” I began... with a trembling voice I told him that my mother had said that if I refuse to go, then she's no option but to consider petticoating me.
“How long for?” Peter asked.
“I dunno I didn't ask.” I replied. “How long have you been petticoated for?”
Peter gulped and said, “Since I was eight.”
“EIGHT!” I almost yelped. I quickly deducted eight from his current age of twelve and said. “That's four years!”
“It'll be five years next Tuesday.” he confessed. “It started on my eighth birthday.”
“Blimey.” I couldn't imagine how he must feel having spent five long years wearing nothing but girls clothes. “So the only time you can wear boy's clothes is at school?” I asked. Peter nodded. I gulped and spent a few seconds weighing up my options. “I guess I'd rather wear one for your party than risk having to wear one all the time.”
That evening, my mother asked me if I'd made my mind up about Peter's party. With great reluctance I told her I'd go and that I'd wear a dress if I have to. A broad grin swept my mother's face. She told me that it can't have been and easy choice to make and said she was proud of me for taking the not so easy option. “Well I'd rather wear one for just one day than have to wear one everyday like Peter does.” I replied.
“So you have taken the easy option?”
“Well... I'd hardly call it easy... but it seems easier.”
On Saturday morning my mother insisted that I have a bath before we go in to town. “Why?” I moaned, not wanting to miss any of the Saturday morning TV more than anything.
“Because we're going to find you a party dress and you need to be nice and clean.” she replied.
“Today!” I whined.
“Well when do you suggest?” Mum asked. “Tomorrow when the shops are shut, or Monday whilst you're at school?” she suggested. I would have said 'never' but I've sighed up to this and I can tell that my mother isn't going to let me change my mind. I went up to the bathroom and found the bath already full of fragrant bubbles. Of course I complained and said it stank of flowers. “Like I say... I want you nice and clean... not just clean.” Mum said. “Now come on, jim-jams off and in.” she said as she pushed up her sleeves and dunked a big pink sponge into the water.
“I can do it myself!” I insisted as my mother appeared to be preparing to give me a bath. My mother said she wanted to make sure that I'm nice and clean, and the minimal fuss method is if she does it. I felt like a little kid as my mother washed and rinsed my hair before scrubbing my arms, shoulders, chest, back and belly with a luffa. Then she stood me up and scrubbed my bits, my bum and my legs. I complained the the luffa was hurting me but Mum said it's only because I’m not used to having a proper wash. I couldn't wait to hide myself beneath the foam topped water, where she scrubbed my feet and toes. Mum rooted beneath the bubbles for the big pink sponge and gave it to me. “Here, you sponge yourself off.” she said before leaving me alone in the bath. At least the sponge felt a lot nicer than the luffa did. In fact it was very soothing after the vigorous scrub my mother had given me.
I dried myself and got dressed. I noticed that my skin smelled like the bath did and turned my nose up at it. Mum asked if I was ready and I asked if I could watch the rest of the Saturday morning TV show I always watched. “No.” was her reply.
As she drove us to town I felt more than a hint of defiance growing in my belly. “So what we gonna do?” I grunted. “Go round loads of girl's shops?”
“Is that what you'd like to do?” Mum asked in a cheerful tone
“No!” I retorted.
“Oh.” Mum replied, pretending she was disappointed. “Well in that case, you'll be glad to hear that we're going to a petticoating shop.” she informed me, adding that only in such a shop would we find some dresses as nice as the ones Peter has.
I didn't have anything to say on the matter, apart from 'blue' when Mum asked me if I preferred pink or blue. She drove into the centre of town and right out the other side. “Where we going?” I quizzed as we left the town centre behind us. “That'll take hours!” I whined when she told me that we're going to Brighton.
“Hence me not wanting you spending all morning watching TV.” Mum replied.
We drove through part of the New Forest, past Southampton and Fareham before taking the slower yet more scenic coastal route. I kept forgetting why just we were going to Brighton and mostly enjoyed the journey. It only really dawned on me after we'd parked the car and found the shop. “This'll be it.” Mum said, pointing out a very pink shop across the road.
“Angelic Pretty?” I read from the sign. “I've got a bad feeling about this.” I thought as we crossed the road and headed towards it. I recoiled at the dresses in the window. The only other time I've seen such horrendous designs was in Peter's room all those months ago. I can hardly believe that here I am, going to buy something similar so I can attend his birthday party.
Inside, the shop stretched much further back than expected and it's laid out in partitioned sections, making it feel more like lots of little shops rather than one big shop. One section would be all purple and lilac things, another is all white, some have all rabbit, teddy bear or kitten designs and another is dedicated to Hello Kitty stuff. Towards the back is a pink and blue section, which Mum pays more attention to since I'd apparently like a blue dress, but I'm not being very helpful when she tries to find one I like. There's also a completely blue section in which I spot something that doesn't look too bad. It's one of those old fashioned sailor style dresses in navy blue with no satin, no frilly stuff and no bows hanging all over it, just some white stripes around its big square sailor style collar.
“Well it's nice.” Mum said. “And I'm sure it'd look lovely, but it's not really a party dress is it?”
“I don't know.” I replied. “I just like it better than all the other stuff in here.” I said as I cast my eyes around the items on display. In addition to the prissy dresses were some short suits similar to that Peter wore on the day I visited him. Although absolutely fucking horrible, they too didn't look quite as bad as many of the dresses, so I suggested one of those (but not in a girlie colour). Again, Mum said they were nice but for a party I need a party dress.
I was surprised at just how big the shop was on the inside, and was doubly surprised when I realised that there's also an upper floor. If the ground floor was scary viewing for a boy, then the upstairs put the fear of God in me. Not only does it have a huge selection of the girliest footwear you've ever seen, it also has underwear and sleepwear too. We had a quick browse upstairs before Mum said that we need to find me a dress before we start choosing underwear and footwear. “I don't want underwear!” I blurted.
“Please don't raise your voice to me John.” Mum said. I quietly apologised before quietly telling her that I neither want nor need any of that underwear. “If you don't have nice underwear too, you'll only be half dressed.” she told me. I suggested that my own boy's undies would do, but Mum said it most certainly would not 'do'. “You need 'nice' underwear.” she informed me. “Now are you going to help me choose a dress or shall I just choose one for you?”
I shrugged and said they all looked horrible. Mum asked if that means I want her to chose one for me. “Well I can't choose one... I hate them all.” I replied. “So long as it's not pink or something.” I said. Mum suggested finding me a nice blue one and I agreed, before reminding her about the sailor style one that looked OK.
“Nice as it is, it's not really a party dress.” she replied. “But if you'd really like it, I don't mind buying it as well as a party dress.”
“No it's OK.” I replied. The last thing I want is two dresses! We must have spent a whole hour slowly browsing the entire ground floor again. Mum held numerous options against me, which was embarrassing enough, but I almost had a heart attack when she suggested I needed to try one on. “Please don't make me try them on Mum... not here!”
“We need to make sure it fits properly.” Mum said, “It's a long drive back if it doesn't.” she reminded me. Her eyes gazed beyond me and she said “Oh now that one looks nice!” as something caught her eye. I turned to see as Mum marched towards it and predictably I claimed it was 'horrible'.
“It's beautiful!” she gushed. “And it's blue... you wanted a blue one didn't you?” she said as she held it against me. Previous suggestions I'd dismissed because I didn't like the sash or the short puffy sleeves or the shiny satin fabric, and since this dress has none of those, my mother has deemed it 'perfect' for me!
Mum beckoned one of the assistants over and I found myself being briskly led to a changing booth. I barely had chance to protest before my T shirt was whipped off my back, and finding my pants around my ankles within seconds meant it was far too late to make a run for it. With only my underpants and socks on, the assistant helf the dress open for me and my mother told me to raise my arms. I did as I was told and quickly found it floating around me. “It's too short.” I moaned as my trembling fingertips unwillingly found its hem.
“Nonsense.” my mother said as she stood back and admired me. “Turn around and see what you think.”
I knew there was a big mirror behind me and the last thing I wanted to do was to turn and face it. I felt the assistant's hands on my shoulders and they gently turned me around. My reflection is half legs, half dress, with my gormless face perched on top. I reiterated that it's far too short, but my mother responded by asking the assistant if the same style is available in pink. “If you don't stop whining John I'll buy you a pink one instead.” she threatened. It worked and I stopped whining. Then the assistant said she'd show my mother how it fastened and began routing up my back, lifting my dress right up as she fastened some straps around my chest. “Oh I see.” Mum said in her intrigued voice. “That's clever.” she added as the assistant explained that the fastening is designed to prevent self-removal. Mum turned me around and smiled as she looked me up and down. She reiterated how beautiful it was as she pointed out the embroidery on the outer layer. “Aren't all these little bow motifs sweet?” she said.
I don't think my mother expected me to offer an answer and she didn't seem to mind when I remained silent. She let go of my dress and said “Right, shall we go and find some nice shoes and underwear to go with it?”
I knew this bit was coming so had resigned myself to the fact we'd be heading back upstairs. What I hadn't expected was not being allowed to put my own clothes on first! Feeling half naked, I trotted through the shop and up the stairs wearing only the dress, my underpants and my socks. The shop wasn't busy but it wasn't empty either and all eyes were on me as I passed them by. The staff smiled, as did the adult customers... but the youngsters who accompanied them looked at me with pitiful eyes. Some, like Peter are already petticoated. Others, like me are wearing normal boy's clothes... but also like me, maybe for not much longer.
With help from the assistant, Mum chose me the worst pair of knickers I've ever seen. They're white with a huge love heart on the front that's outlined with frilly pale blue lace. The legs and waistband are trimmed with white elastic lace and on the centre of the waistband, just above the 'v' of the love heart is a pale blue satin bow. Mum tells me they're gorgeous and takes great delight in showing me the rows of ruffled pale blue lace that cover the bum. “Please don't get me those Mum.” I begged.
Mum tells me that if I don't like my blue dress, then she can always get me the pink one instead. “Which means pink and white knickers just like these ones.” she added.
I conceded and agreed to sticking with blue. Mum chooses me a little white vest also with pale blue lacy trim which, compared to the knickers, is relatively understated. But things soon got worse as she spent several uncomfortable minutes choosing me a suspender belt. Initially I didn't know what they were for and I wish I hadn't asked. “To hold your stockings up.” she told me. She found one with satin bows over each of the clips in the same shade of pale blue and heeded the assistants advice and bought me a pack of three pairs of white stockings that consisted of a plain 30 denier pair, a two 15 denier pairs; one with little love hearts on and one with little bows on, just like those on my dress. In the footwear section she took my socks from me and chose me a suitably prissy pair of shoes, made me try them on. I reluctantly agreed to having the pale blue ballet shoes which also have a bow detail on the toe as I feared I'd only end up with heels if I didn't. I also wanted this ordeal to be over with sooner rather than later and footwear is the last thing on the list. Or so I thought! No. It turns out that I also need something for my hair and a handbag. Of course I tried to get out of having to have a handbag too, but Mum told me I needed one. “What for?” I asked. Mum told me it's so I've got something to keep my 'things' in. “What things?” I whined. When she listed a spare pair of stockings and a clean pair of knickers, a handkerchief and 'maybe' a lipstick and vanity mirror, I reminded her that this is all only for a few hours. “I won't need any of that stuff for one party.” I claimed.
“Well it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.” she replied. Choosing my handbag was easy as there was only one that features the same shade of blue as my dress. I recalled seeing a similar one in Peter's bedroom as I tried it on (i.e. slung it over my shoulder and let it hang on my hip). Choosing something for my hair took a lot longer. Mum put numerous head bands, hair bands, hair slides and hair clips on me before settling on a pair of slides with a pale blue satin bow on each. Mum thanked the assistant for their help, before handing over all our purchases. “I think John will have the embroidery option too.” she said, before taking me and my dress back to the changing room on the ground floor.
The only good thing that's happened since I stepped inside this ghastly shop named Angelic Pretty is the fact that my mother let me change back into my own clothes. I carried the big pink branded bags back to the car and a group of kids yelled “Hey look he's been to Angelic Pretty... woo hoo hooo!” They laughed and pointed and teased me. Mum told me to take no notice and told me that they're just the sort of boys who need to be petticoated.
“I don't think anyone 'needs' it.” I said. “Especially people like me and Peter who've done nothing wrong.” I mumbled as I got in the car. Mum didn't reply to my point, but she did ask if I was hungry and suggested KFC, McDonalds, a pizza maybe, “Or fish and chips by the sea?” she suggested.
I was hungry but didn't really have an appetite. My tummy is in knots as I try to come to terms with all the things I've just been bought, and the thought of actually wearing them on Tuesday is something beyond. I wonder if Peter's been to Angelic Pretty and assume that he has. Probably on numerous occasions, I think as I recall his rail full of dresses. I stare out of the window towards the sea and try to think of other things as we take the slow coastal route back to Fareham. Here, we stop for fish and chips and eat alfresco on a bench overlooking Portsmouth harbour. “Are you looking forward to Peter's party on Tuesday?” Mum asked.
“Not really.” I replied.
“Well just remember that it's not about you, it's about Peter... it's his birthday so I want you to be nice not whine and moan about having to wear a dress the whole time.” she advised. “Tuesday will be the first time you've had to wear a dress, but if your behaviour and attitude is anything other than positive, it certainly won't be the last... do you understand.” she asked. I gulped and said I did. Mum took the big pink carrier bag from me the moment we entered our home. I wasn't sure what she'd done with it but was relieved to find the dress not hanging in my wardrobe or the knickers in my underwear drawer.
I didn't see the clothes again until Tuesday afternoon when I arrived home from school and found the dress hanging from my wardrobe door. Its presence stopped me in my tracks and I did nothing but gorp at it for moment. “I've run you bath John.” Mum chirped as she appeared behind me. Just as she'd done on Saturday, my mother scrubbed me from head to toe with a luffa before letting me sponge myself. I towelled myself dry, wrapped it around me and sauntered slowly to my room. Not only did the dress hang menacingly from my wardrobe door, but my new underwear lay in wait on my bed with my mother hovering over it. “Did you talc?” she asked.
“Sorry what?” I muttered, too preoccupied with the lacy undies on my bed to properly listen. Mum took me back to the bathroom, took my towel from me and made me apply a dusting of fragrant talcum powder with a big fluffy 'puff', as she called it. Back in my room, she sat me down and rolled the stockings up my legs. As the stretched over my legs, their pattern became apparent; just like the outer layer on my dress, they're peppered with tiny white bows. She stands me up and pulls them all the way to the tops of my legs, before asking me to pass her my suspender belt.
When all these items were purchased, my head was spinning and I didn't really pay heed when Mum told the assistant that 'John will go for the embroidery option'. Now I understand as in sizeable ornate embroidery, in the middle of the large love heart on the front of my knickers is the word John. I gulped but said nothing as I picked up the suspender belt with trembling fingers and passed it to my mother. “Thank you.” she chirped before fastening it around my waist and clipping the four straps to the tops of my stockings, thus holding them in place. I suggested that maybe a pair of tights would have been easier than all this stockings and suspender faff. “You should have said if you wanted tights instead.” Mum replied as she fastened the final suspender clip. “I'm not a mind reader you know.” she added with a smile. With a heavy heart, I picked up the knickers and stepped in to them. They looked worse on me than they did on the bed, and with my name elegantly embroidered on the front, there's no denying that they're mine. The gap between the lace trimmed leg holes and the tops of my stockings is minimal and the satin bows on the suspender clips only add to just how prissy and sissy my underwear looks. These, along with the bow on the waistband of my knickers form the three corners of a triangle and seem to frame the big frilly love heart, which itself frames my very own name. I bet even girls don't have their name on their knickers. I pull in the little vest and Mum steps back to admire me. “You look so nice in your new undies it's a shame to cover them up.” she said as she took hold of my dress. To be honest, donning the dress and hiding my underwear came as a great relief. My mother told me how nice I look before turning me around and routing inside my dress for the straps so she could fasten it properly. Since it hangs from my shoulders, I can't see the point of this additional internal fastening around my chest, and being an inquisitive type, I asked about it. “It's to stop you from taking your dress off.” Mum told me.
“But I'll have to take it off at bedtime!” I retort.
“You will.” Mum replied. “But without my help that won't happen.” she added.
After slipping my feet into my shoes, my mother slipped the two hair slides into my hair and announced that I was almost ready. She removed an item from her pocket and looked me in the eye as she removed its lid and twisted it to reveal a glistening pale pink lipstick. “No... please Mum.. not lipstick too!” I begged.
My mother smiled and told me that on top of my nice new undies and my pretty blue dress, a little bit of lipstick isn't going to make any difference. “And whilst you're petticoated, you'll call me Mummy, not Mum.” she added.
“Whaaat?” I gasped.
“You heard me.” Mum said, “Now what do you call me?” she asked. She asked me several times and issued several threats before I eventually uttered the word Mummy. “Good boy.” she said. “Now let's see how this shade looks.” she smiled before showing me how to apply the lipstick. “That looks lovely.” she gushed. “Where's your handbag?”
“I don't know!” I muttered. Mum gave me one of those looks, before suggesting a nicer way in which I could reply to her. After several hints, I swallowed my pride and mumbled “I don't know Mummy.”
“Maybe it's in your wardrobe?”
Maybe it is. I sheepishly opened its doors and saw the pale blue round leather handbag hanging there. I reluctantly removed it, but noticed something else in there what shouldn't be. “You seemed so taken by it I just had to buy it for you.” my mother said as I gorped at the navy blue sailor dress.
“What for?” I whined. “I only need one dress and that's for Peter's party.”
“Like I said, you were so taken buy it, I just had to buy it for you.” she reiterated before encouraging me to thank her properly.
“Thank you Mummy.” I muttered.
“I do hope you're not going to mumble and mutter your words at Peter's house.” she said. “It doesn't sound very nice when you talk like that.” she added as her eyes dropped to the handbag dangling from my hand. “Now you'll need your lipstick and the vanity.” Mum said, adding that the 'vanity' is the small mirror I'd just used. “A spare pair of stockings and a clean pair of knickers..” she added as her hand delved into her pocket, “...and here's a handkerchief for you.” she said, passing me a white cotton hanky trimmed with pale blue lace. After fumbling with the handbag's fastening, I finally got it open. I began putting the lipstick, mirror and hanky inside but Mum said I should think about what I'm likely to need.
“I don't know what you mean.” I whined. Mum told me that I wasn't likely to need my clean knickers so they should go in first, followed by my spare stockings. “Then you wont have to root for your lipstick and vanity because those will be on top.” she said, before informing me that I'd find my spare stockings and clean knickers in my drawer.
I pulled open my drawer and saw several pairs of lacy 'love heart' knickers embroidered with my name laying there. Next to these are the two remaining boxes from my variety pack of stockings. I asked which one I should take since one pair is thick and plain, and the other is thin and decorated with love hearts. “Whichever you like.” my mother advised. I grabbed the thicker plain pair, before reluctantly reaching for the knickers; almost identical to those I'm wearing only the blue lace trim and satin bow are a darker shade of blue. Beneath these is another pair, the very same style but with yellow trim. And beneath those I spy a tiny hint of pink, but I don't dare delve any further. With my handbag locked and loaded, I hang it across my shoulder and it rests on my hip in the folds of my dress. Mum steps back and looks me up and down. “Oh you do look lovely John.” my mother gushed. “Peter's going to be so pleased that you decided to wear a dress for his party!”