> Rosine, I don't mean to sound insensitive.
> I would just like to help , if I can. Would you
> consider posting a picture of yourself in the
> contraption that needs dealing with? I am having
> a hard time visualizing the problem. I have this picture ,
> in my mind, of "Queen Elizabeth posture" without the
> exterior dress and neck ruff, but; wearing a barrel.
> Surely the thing has more of a body shape than that?????
It's my fault for calling it a "pickle barrel" - that comes from it
being just about the same plastic-consistancy as the big blue pickle barrels
that some of our fighters manage to find at restaurants and bring home to
make their "first armor" out of - and the idea of me brining away in this
thing was, well, a bad pun.
I can't take a picture of me in it, but I can help with visualisation.
Remember the movies of Mae West in her corset, and some of the other
"Westerns" with the women in the "bar scene entertainer" corsets? That's
what mine is like. When I take it off at night, I just hinge the darn thing
back into "body shape" and store it on a ledge by my bed (so I can reach it
without bending down - a BIG no-no) and what looms over me at night is a
fat -cinch-waisted big-boob'd torso with more of a belly swell than I like -
a perfect plastic "scare ya" version of Mae West's highly-decorated "Why
don'tcha come up and see me sometime" corset. Except, of course, that
there's these 2-inch velcro straps positioned on each side, reaching from
just-beyond back side-seam to almost-mid-belly, one at the top (covering the
"point" of the moulded breast and giving a _very_ interesting outline under
a shirt), one at the waist, and the last at the hips. The only spot of
trouble with the strapping is the top one - the velcro 'tab' is re-inforced
for strength and the sewn-edge of it makes a sharp line folded up-and-down
over the outer side of the "nipple area", while the actual edge does the
same at the inner side of the NA, and the wide velcro doesn't conform to the
actual curve of the area, so there's another sharp "up and down crease"
where one would expect a nipple to be... and of course, all of this is on
the rigid plastic *outside* of me! We make jokes that I should paint the
thing gold and go as a Wagnarian Valkyrie Opera singer.... but that'd
involve dyeing my hair blond, so... no.
The back has what looks like the beginning of a back-brace incorporated
into it - a wide straight ledge that extends slightly above my
shoulderblades but doesn't ride as high as my actual shoulders - even when I
sit too long (or plop down the wrong way) in a chair and the whole thing
rides up until the moulded breasts are about three inches from my chin...
When I've had a meeting here at the house and start to get tired (but don't
want to leave because there's *people* here) I find myself propping my hands
on the rigid top of it like a fence-rail and I can lay my head on my hands
and take a nap. Naturally, I don't do it on purpose, but as I get more
tired, it seems to ride up more and the swell of the moulding ends up far
above my actual body, so it makes this handy something to hold onto - sort
of like tucking one's thumbs into the straps of a pair of overalls... I get
tired, it's right below my chin, next thing I know, someone's saying "Your
Excellency, would you like a real pillow?" and there's a round of gentle
That's why I was thinking "loose and billowy" would be good - because the
darn thing shifts and it's got weird bulges and bumps thanks to the
strapping. And then we get to add to this the fact that it is solid plastic,
with holes drilled through in places "for ventilation" (not enough!) and
foam sprayed on inside to pad it slightly... the foam is not a breathable
material. Everything is made to be able to withstand the alcohol-washing
that I have to give it every night.
I really like the idea of the peplos/chiton, as that's a single layer
over the whole ensemble. I believe that I'll make a few long & loose
Byzantine dalmaticas to wear too, although the neckline might be tough to
deal with (The T-shirts are V-necked in the largest opening I could find. I
was hoping that it'd be large enough to not show under a shirt, but I was
wrong. I have considered cutting them to enlarge the neckline, but then I
have no way of making sure that the fabric doesn't ravel at the cut edges...
but sacrificing one as an experiment still appeals. My hubby won't be
happy - he's eyeing the extra-long "his size" brand new shirts with a
proprietary eye. Seems to think they'll be wearable after I'm done with then
and he has first dibs!) (Which, given the workload my handicap has placed on
him - I can't even bathe or tie my shoes without his aid - I have to go
along with. If there is ever a test of love, dealing with someone in my
situation, day after day since January has certainly given me more than a
glimpse of how deep his love flows. Taciturn men don't say it, but - - I'm
more blessed than I ever knew. Even my 19-year-old son will get up in the
middle of the night to fetch me a glass of water, or struggle to put "don't
swell" hospital stockings on my legs, owl-eyed and yawning, and he just
says, "don't worry Mom, you're worth it".
So you can see why my grumpy days have to be confined to the Internet....