Our contract is a simply formatted, single spaced seven or so pages, and this one phrase in it sometimes gives me more conundrums than any others: nice, clean, and of an appropriate size.
This phrase is in the uniform section, and the fact is, being a slave, as wonderful as it is, is messy.
Cooking or food prep multiple times a day, untold coffee fetching, cleaning up after the cats—litter, water, fur, other messes—handling dirty dishes, trash, laundry—doing wipe downs, taking care of plants, working with cleaning chemicals, giving pedicures with a splashy foot bath, cleaning toilets…
You get the idea.
A lot of it is pretty easy and mundane stuff. Stuff almost everyone does. I might do it a little more frequently as our chore split is basically 100/0, or, as such service is luckily my full time occupation, I keep up with certain schedules and details a little more than typical, but none of it is truly out of the ordinary, and they’re simple things I’m happy to do.
Another factor, though, is that since I wear a uniform, I don’t own a lot of clothes, so rotating the same few days’ worth of the clothes means the same items take the toll of the day’s work again and again, versus the clothes of people who have a longer rotation, or different clothes for different occasions.
The clothes I wear when I’m cleaning, exercising, anything else, are the same ones I wear to parties; a dip in the pool usually just means I remove a few items; I don’t have a summer and winter wardrobe, just layers; I don’t wear pajamas; I wear the same clothes when I’m just kneeling on the floor and when I’m scrubbing at it, and so on. It’s blissfully simple, but the all in one of it adds up, and I often change clothes multiple times a day.
I’ve gone up and down on the number of sets of clothes I own at once, but never so far up or down it’s seemed to make a huge difference in the amount of time before I have to order more, too many irreversibly stained or whatnot, despite my best efforts with the laundry, or, more preemptively, wearing a pre-approved apron when I’m doing something I know will be messy.
It also means that when I change sizes, everything in that category has to be replaced, no leeway in brands or items or fabrics. I’d healthily gone down a few sizes since I started wearing a past uniform in Fall 2018 (and since I changed to only one color of it in Fall 2019), meaning everything failed to fit me at once when I crossed that threshold. The same happened with the uniform I wore previously, which eventually provided a good time to switch.
So, nice, clean, and of an appropriate size provides a small daily challenge.
But I like that.
I recently rediscovered some of my slave journals from 2016, an interesting find as I start reading Slave Patrick’s Slave-ography, which began as a journal. The fun part of this is that I was unowned in 2016, and really just getting going in the BDSM scene. They were journals I kept mostly for myself, with the vague idea of showing them to a future partner—writing prompt answers, checklists, experimental erotica, art journaling, resource reading lists, event logs, research notes. They’re currently on Mistress’ desk for her to peruse. A lot of it is out of date now, and won’t be illuminating most likely so much as fun, or a marker of progress.
In one of these journals, I found the phrase a challenge to challenge, as something I wanted to be, in an entry on what I wanted to be in the eyes of an Owner.
It was a bit of a side note in that entry, but it caught my eye more than a lot of the rest of it at this point; I reflected on it and found it still true, just a useful phrasing I hadn’t come back to in a long time.
The idea of it is basically the goal of providing poised service—calm, patient, the unperturbed servant trope. Experimenting with mantras before I found that entry, I had come up with one about serving with patience, poise, and serenity,trying to address struggles in that arena.
The thing with keeping my uniform presentable was a very simple but literal metaphor for that. After running around cooking dinner, in a hot kitchen with bubbling sauces and such, I try to wait behind my chair in the assigned position for Mistress to tell me I can sit patiently and not looking worn out from the cooking—including wearing a clean set of clothes. It feels better for me, looks better for her.
It’s trying to give it a bit of magic. This food? It just appeared! With less sense of the behind the scenes chaos of timing all the sides and close calls with spills. It’s kind of like not leaving the wrapping paper roll next to the Christmas tree, or that moment in shows where a third party comes in and simply enjoys a flawless looking meal, event, so on, after an episode showing all the chaos of getting it that way, and two parties from behind the scenes of it look at each other knowingly.
A bit of undisturbed poise, a bit of magic—since that’s what I’m going for, the uniform is both literally a small part of it and also an easy metaphor for the bigger picture—despite all that messy work, my uniform is magically still clean every time you see me. Despite all the chaos, I’m put together every time you see me. Ta da. Am I perfect at it? Of course not. But I can and do try. That’s what counts.