Thursday, March 6, 2014
dennis: JOAN AND THE PROTOCOLS–LEARNING TO SERVE, Part 1
This is the second part of my recollections of Joan [Nancy’s Grandmother] and Her teaching me the Protocols. Affording personal service to the Women is one of the real privileges of a Female-led relationship. Joan infused the entire process of serving with rule and ritual, some of which are very private matters.
Learning to Serve
i arose early to prepare coffee and await Joan who promised a full day’s training—in what I wasn't exactly sure, but I had been assured that it would “make me a better man.” Absent Her training, all that i did that morning was wrong, but that would all soon be corrected. Joan would see to that! When She appeared, immaculate in casual attire, I knelt before Her and kissed Her extended hand as prescribed by the Protocols.
Joan got right to work; the Grandmotherly Woman of the night before gave way to a strict, in-my-face Disciplinarian who inspired fear. i'd wanted a Woman-in-charge situation, but now, for a fleeting moment , I was afraid, unsure. That feeling quickly passed, however, as i was swept up in Joan's Goddess-like aura, letting Her start to mold me into the submissive man i wanted so much to become. i needed to do what She wanted, when She wanted it, and how She wanted it done. She would give the orders; i would follow them. Fail to do so and there would be “consequences,” painful ones, i was to learn. My accelerated trip into the submissive lifestyle would begin with my learning to serve.
In Nancy's family, personal service has rules and rituals, mostly due to Joan's insistence. A student of social history, Joan patterned our rules for personal service after the servants of the Golden Age of opulence, the Edwardian period. In the Edwardian home one would find maids, butlers, and ladies in waiting all at the beck and call of their privileged employers. In our home, the men assume all these roles with all the proper protocol they entail as they serve the Women.
Before one could even start, there was the need for proper attire. That morning i appeared in a brand-new pair of casual slacks and a new golf shirt. Only shorts were acceptable, i was informed. She ordered me out of the slacks and cut the legs off them, using a pair of pinking sheers; now I had what can best be described as a pair of Daisy Dukes, but they complied with the Protocol. She also cut the sleeves off the golf shirt. “Shave those underarms before tomorrow,” Joan ordered. “You men are disgusting! Now let's get into something pretty,” she said, taking me into the kitchen where i learned another of the Protocols.
Any time a man is doing housework or serving the Women, the Protocols dictate that he wear an apron—NO EXCEPTIONS! Joan made it clear that an apron would be chosen for me; it would be a long time before I was privileged to select my own. On the hook in the kitchen was the one i was to wear; if two are hanging, one is worn while the other is backup—a soiled apron is not permitted. Prim and proper is the rule. A decidedly Feminine black satin apron with white trim—embroidered with my name—was Joan's gift to me; I still have and revere it. It was a bit intimidating but i did as i was told, squaring its fit and tying it in back. “An apron is practical,” Joan said, “but it’s also very symbolic.” Yes, it is, there's no doubt as to who’s giving orders when the men are wearing aprons. “You won't see a Woman in an apron around here,” Joan said, “and you won't see a man without one!”
Next footwear. Proper attire according to the Protocols demands I wear a pair of ballet-style slippers in an appropriate color. These slippers are really quite practical. They are commonly available in the Women's hosiery/accessories department of any department store. They have a satin upper, a suede sole, a bit of decoration (bows or rhinestones) and are very comfortable; the Women love them, and so do progressive gentlemen. They fit snugly and provide excellent traction on the highly polished wood and ceramic floors that i soon would be racing across as i served the Women.
Stoop-and-bow, as Joan called it, is an important show of respect that had to become second nature. The stoop-and-bow was a variation on the traditional curtsey that i had learned first. Joan had me put my left leg forward, my right leg back, bow my head, and then dip while holding both sides of my apron up and out. After about a second i rose and released my apron. Having to perform this time-honored ritual of respect was a major motivation for wearing an apron. My first tries were devoid of the graciousness She expected, so i did it over and over and over again. She added a bit of motivation with a small leather slapper that She used on my bare legs—OUCH! Joan said Her slapper helped learning; and i wasn't going to disagree! i spent two hours walking away from Joan to the end of the living room and back, where I curtseyed to Her. The stoop-and-bow differed from the curtsey only in that i balanced a tray with my left hand so i could only use my right hand to raise my apron. The stoop-and-bow and serving from the tray were essential to personal service and had to be mastered; with Joan's tutelage and some help from Her slapper, they were. So ingrained has this ritual become that it’s second nature, and I often find myself doing it at work when I serve my boss, Carol, Her morning coffee—sans the ballet slippers and apron, of course!
Rising Up—My Tribute to Joan
Joan insisted that men serving Her do so while standing on the balls of the foot and extending upward, mimicking the position of a foot in a high-heeled shoe, but without the support a high heel would offer. It was difficult and painful learning experience, all the more so since She used Her slapper to enforce Her demand that i learn this movement. i had to wonder why, if She wanted me in this position, She just didn't have me wear high heels; i would have done so had She demanded it, of course. i asked Her this only to provoke Her anger—and receive four sharp slaps with Her leatherinstrument of terror across the back of my bare legs. Lesson learned! It was a difficult movement, and surely that's why She liked it: requiring the males of the family not only to do this, but to master the movement, confirmed Her power over us.
One need not rise up constantly in moving about the house, but when serving the Women commenced, it was definitely time to rise up. i practiced this over and over that first day under her tutelage, and finally—perhaps ten days later—mastered what i regard as a very difficult and painful movement. Most of the Women never insisted on my rising up, but Joan did—always! And because She did, and because i still worship this departed Goddess, i perform this maneuver to this day just as though Joan is watching, slapper in hand for motivation. Sometimes when i think of Joan, i'll serve Nancy and Sue and rise up about five feet from them and keep doing so until leaving their presence; although it's not required, they understand, i think, that my doing so is a tribute to Joan.
Joan had me walk around in my uniform to practice what i'd learned and to get used to the slippers and the soft rustle of the satin apron. It was all so mesmerizing! If i ever had a “man-card,” i surrendered it to Joan in that instant. The road i was going down led to a submissive lifestyle, and it was a one-way street.
And for me, there would be no turning back!