[28 February 2014]
Carnival… Mardi Gras, or whatever you chose to call it, is one of my favorite holidays simply because people get to dress up and live it up! This is one of the downsides with Sweden: if you happen to be a red blooded European who cannot do without this celebration, fair warning: they do not celebrate it here. All their joy in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday is derived from eating this completely overrated baked good called Semla. I was super bummed out when I found out the hard way in 2013.
This year I was determined on celebrating Carnival! I was even planning to convince everyone in our floor to have a house party. Luckily, though, I ended up not having to go through all that effort since X and I got to know this Italian student from Venice who, along with a Brazilian and a Spanish girl, managed to put together this elaborate party in Lund. It starts with a so called sittning, followed by a themed party at a “nation”.
Needless to say, I’m super excited about it and spend hours getting ready so that my make-up and costume are just so! It probably should come as no surprise that I have a favorite costume I usually wear for fancy dress things like Halloweens and Carnivals: I’m a pirate (Yeargh!). Aside from my obsession with the Anne Bonny legend, I love the pirate look, plus it’s a fairly easy, inexpensive getup to achieve since I’ve been collecting and perfecting the look over several years. I already have a pair of fantastic, super comfy over-knee boots that look just like a pirate’s. I also have a shirt with ballooning sleeves like the ones that men wear in period dramas that I bought in a boutique in Barcelona years ago. What I do is that I match those with black skinny jeans and a corset (handmade by my best friend, bless her!). My hair already has that loose wavy texture, so I make sure to wash it and let it air dry with some hold mousse and just leave it loose and tie red bandanna on my head. Then I accessorize with some loop earrings, and a cheap set of eye patch, pirate hat and sword that I bought at a fancy dress shop. This year I decided not to paint some of my teeth black though, since I was trying to go for a sexier look.
All pirated up and ready to go, at around 5-ish I am on my way out to catch the bus to Lund, where I’ll meet X and then go on to the party. As always, I pop into the common room to put on my coat— get this: it’s an awesome billowing brown trench coat that I found at a second hand store two years ago, it was several sizes too big but my best friend Nicole* managed to tailor it to fit me— start the music on my phone, make sure I have my keys, money, everything else before I step out.
As I dump my outdoor gear on the closest couch, in order to start putting them on one by one, I run into Ove who’s at the kitchen island. And he’s most definitely checking my out. I know this because it’s not the first time I’ve worn my corset around a guy— in my experience corsets are guy magnets. Since I decided to be a sexy pirate, I tied the corset tighter than usual to get that exaggerated hour glass silhouette, and as a result every time I heave a breath my boobs get pushed up. Also I’ve left my shirt unbuttoned— since I wore the corset over it, there was no risk of it slipping— so I was giving the world a generous peek at my cleavage.
“Whoa!” Ove says surprise evident in his voice. I watch his Adam’s apple bob as he swallows audibly, while his eyes scan my entire body, not even attempting to be discreet.
“Nice costume!” he continues after a while, when I shrug on the trench coat over my shoulders. He knows about the party, since I’ve not been able to contain my excitement about it to anyone in the floor. “Wow, that corset looks real.”
“As opposed to looking fake?” I banter sarcastically, while I check the contents on my hand bag.
“You know what I mean,” he says in the so-over-it voice he uses when I poke fun at his lacking English skills.
I smile cheekily, and tell him that it’s handmade by Nicole from an actual early Victorian pattern only it uses steel boning instead of whale. And that I’m wearing it backwards since pirates didn’t have maids to help them tie it.
“It looks good on you,” he nods, and does back to paying attention to whatever he is chopping. And then adds, deadpan: “You’re going to be the hottest one there.”
I think I laugh awkwardly at his comment, since I am also in a hurry to catch the bus. But somehow the way he stared at me and his words make me aware that Ove is a guy. I mean, I know he is a guy— but before this it was only theoretical, like a friend— not a sexual being with intentions upon my person. It’s not like I disliked it, it was a compliment, and any girl likes to be complemented! What he said makes me feel sexy and probably because it came from an unexpected source, it is more impactful than when X praises my looks. I’m not sure any of my other guy friends has ever so blatantly said something like that to me before…