Dear Auntie Helga,
Following on from "Petticoated for School" (Sep. 2010), Sue must have realised but never said to me that I was an easy target to get into dresses. Maybe it was because I was very naïve and also the fact that I really enjoyed it but again this was something I never admitted to. I never knew when Sue might decide to do something and suppose that was some of the fun.
We were in our third year at secondary school when the next big event occurred. We both played in the combined school orchestra which was supposedly those from the local girls' grammar school which Sue went to and the boys' grammar school I went to, however, when I say combined, there was only myself on violin and another boy who was in his final year and then about 25 girls from Sue's school. This did change towards the end of the spring term as the other boy left to concentrate on this final year exams and so this left me as the only boy which was both interesting from a male perspective but also quite intimidating. I did sort of stand out amongst so many girls but sitting towards the rear as a 2nd violin and with the shoulder length hair I then had (the style in the 70's), no one really noticed that I was the only boy and the number of times the teacher (who was the conductor and female) would address us as "girls" forgetting I was sitting there. She did apologise a few times for her mistake but she did say one time joking that I should wear the same as all the other girls and then it would be easy for her to address us all. This brought a huge laugh from all the girls and a very crimson face from me.
Anyway, I chose to forget her comment and the orchestra met each week at the girls' school for practice and nothing more was said by anyone. It was coming up to the final week of the spring term with only one more practice in that week. I had missed the previous week's rehearsal due to another appointment and on the day after that Sue said that at the end of the rehearsal the teacher had said that as we had worked so well, the last week's rehearsal would be a fun one and everyone should come in some sort of fancy dress and we would have a party after. Sue said it would be great fun if I wore her school uniform after the comment from the teacher and she would wear a boy's uniform. It didn't seem a bad idea and Sue in her usual way didn't have a great problem persuading me particularly as she was going to dress up as well as all the other girls.
The day of the rehearsal arrived and I had agreed to stay at Sue's after school to get dressed and we would both go to practice together. When I got to Sue's, she had just got back from school herself and she said she would just go up and change into her boy's uniform which she had borrowed from her brother. Not long after she appeared wearing black trousers, shirt and tie. Did I laugh my head off at her dressed as a boy - no because she just looked like Sue in trousers and a shirt? It's just so easy for girls to wear anything and it not be strange!
"OK" she said "let's get you ready. Take these to the bathroom and put them on and then meet me in my bedroom." She handed me a pair of brown school panties. I was somewhat taken aback but thought if we're going to do this I suppose we have to do it right so I trundled off to the bathroom, removed all my clothes and slipped into the panties. They were very tight but also felt very comfortable compared to my usual Y Fronts. Feeling a bit embarrassed I nipped from the bathroom to Sue's room. She never blinked an eye lid as I entered and in a matter of fact tone told me to hold my arms out and she slipped a white bra along them and fastened it at the back. I was speechless as I was not expecting this particularly as she then started to stuff the front with tights saying "well we have to make you look like a girl!" It felt so strange wearing a bra for the first time and looking down seeing small mounds protruding from my then hairless chest. She then passed me a pale yellow blouse with long sleeves which I put on though struggled with the opposite buttoning. Sue then pulled the brown pleated gymslip over my head and down my body and when she was happy it was all straight, she threaded the yellow wool sash through the belt loops and tied it in a knot at the front to the side which made the dress billow out. I was then given white knee length socks and a pair of her school shoes to put on. It was now Sue's turn to have a laugh as I presented myself fully attired. However, this was not the completion, Sue told me to sit on a chair and she proceeded to brush my long hair out and then began to separate various sections of it. It was not long before she had managed to put a full French plait into my hair. As I looked at myself in the mirror, it was a 14 year old school girl standing in front of me. All signs of boyhood had totally disappeared.
"Right, let's go or we'll be late" she said and passed me her brown school gabardine. "Why do I need this" I said. "Because it's cold and might rain and it will cover your uniform while we walk to school" she responded. It was then that I realised we were walking and not getting a lift and this had totally slipped my thinking. I slipped my arms into the gabardine and followed Sue down stairs. She grabbed a waterproof coat from the hall and put that on and then looked at me and said "you can't wear that loose and then proceeded to do all the buttons of the gabardine up to the neck and then threaded the buckle of the belt and pulled it really tight which in turn made the gabardine flair out. It was strange as this made me even more conscious of how I was dressed. She picked up her trombone and handed me my violin and pushed me out the door. So there I was, a 14 year old school boy dressed completely as a school girl walking to the girl's school. We passed numerous people on the 15 minute walk and no one said anything or even bothered looking. We were just two girls going somewhere and I say TWO girls as Sue did not look like a school boy but as I said previously, a girl in trousers which was not usual.
On arriving at the girls' school, we entered the main building and walked down a couple of corridors to the practice hall. Just before we went in Sue said to take my coat off and she would hang them in the cloakroom. I did as I was told and was just about to follow her into the cloakroom when she stopped me and said "I know you look like a girl but this is also the changing area and you really shouldn't come in just in case there are any other girls changing. Why don't you just go through to the hall as we are 5 minutes late and I'll be through shortly." I accepted her reasoning although I was extremely nervous about going in dressed as I was but reasoned that as it was fancy dress then everyone would be in a similar position. I opened the door and walked through to complete silent which was shortly followed by big cheers and clapping.
I stood still in silence and my jaw dropped as I looked at all the other girls of the orchestra sitting in their places in their normal school uniform looking exactly as I was dressed. Sue then came up behind me in her school uniform. "Got you again!" "but where are your trousers and shirt?" I said. "I just put them on over my uniform. It was easy just to slip them off. Anyway you are here now and all the girls knew you were coming in a girl's uniform, even Mrs Lloyd (the conductor). We thought it would be fun and I knew you'd love it. We planned it at the last rehearsal you missed and to be honest, it is so easy to get you into dresses, I knew it would not be difficult for me to persuade you and it wasn't." I was totally stunned as not only had I been easily fooled by Sue again I was fully dressed as a girl in front of 25 other girls. I just stood there very red faced when Mrs Lloyd silenced everyone and said "Well, I never expected this, you look just like one of the girl pupils and to be honest, and if I did not know I would have assumed you WERE a pupil at this school. So Sue tells us your name is now Davina and I think you may need to stay with that. I think we'll have to upgrade the orchestra to the new ALL GIRLS one. Looking at you now I really don't think you will have a problem fitting into that role." I was completely stunned both by Mrs Lloyd's comments and also by the fact that the girls were all cheering me. I didn't know whether to feel humiliated or pleased but there was a big part of me saying Wow this is so good!
So I found my way to my seat with all the girls saying how good I looked and how brave I was. There was not one adverse comment although I'm sure there probably was out of earshot and after. We began our rehearsal of various Strauss pieces, stopping and re-starting when the door opened and in walked the Head Mistress. I could have died at that point. All I could do was slide down on my seat and hide as best I could behind the other girls and my violin. At the end of the piece we were playing the Head Mistress clapped and complimented us on how good it was sounding. She then went on to say how much she was looking forward to the concert next term and how they were thinking of making it a proper Strauss evening.
At this point, she looked around at the whole orchestra and said "I see we are all from our school. It is a shame that there is little or no participation from the boys' school. I was hoping that the chance to make a combined girls' and boys' orchestra would have appealed to some of the boys but it appears not." She then asked Mrs Lloyd, "Do we have ANY boys in the orchestra?" I really wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Mrs Lloyd, to her credit said that we had just recently lost one boy due to exams and we sometimes have another but he has not been here for last 2 rehearsals but I'm sure he's here in spirit." This gained a few giggles from the girls. "Oh that is a shame!" was the comment from the Head Mistress.
She then went on to say that she had discussed the concert with Mrs Lloyd and they had decided that as Strauss was the main composer we were playing that they thought it appropriate to make it the theme for the evening and therefore she was going to suggest that the orchestra should dress appropriately and looking round at everyone said she would hope that everyone in the orchestra would be happy to wear evening dresses and if possible, traditional long full gowns as worn during Strauss' time. All the girls suddenly erupted into choruses of "yes please" - clearly a better option than wearing their school uniform. For me, I was just thinking how can I get away from here and desperately hoping the Head Mistress did not notice me. Thankfully she did not and she left shortly after, leaving the girls busily discussing what they might wear with a couple turning me saying and "What is Davina going to wear?" I just went bright red and said there was no way was I going to join in with that. Today was bad enough!
Mrs Lloyd silenced everyone and said this was something we could all discuss next term during rehearsals but it would be worth thinking about it over the holidays. At this point she said that everyone was now too excited and there was little point in continuing and that we would finish for the evening. She then said "I would like to thank Davina for being such a good sport and he or should I say she is to be congratulated both for being so brave and also avoiding being seen by the Head Mistress - no mean task knowing the Head." I just went red again.
As we packed up, lots of the girls did come up and say how good I was and some started to say I should dress for the concert - it would be so much fun. I could only say definitely not but there was clearly that look in Sue's eyes which I should have known but didn't.
Sue passed me the gabardine and I put it on and like earlier she did up the buttons and belt whilst a few girls stood round watching saying things like "How Cute" and "Ah, she's such a sweetie". "Come on Davina, time to get you home" said Sue as she linked my arm and walked me out and back to hers. All Sue could say on the way home was "How brilliant was that? Seen but not seen by the Head and the concert, it is going to be fabulous. You are going to dress for it, aren't you?" That's a definite NO was my reply!!!!!!!
Did I regret saying No? I'll write further as to whether I made the concert or not but I'm sure you have a pretty good idea already. The difference is, at the time, I was adamant the concert was a NO NO.
Lots of Love
Davina (formerly Dave)
Thank you for your letter Davina. Seems like innocent fun to me and you were a very good sport though I suspect you secretly enjoyed dressing up.