she keeps moet et chandon in her pretty cabinet

August 14, 2012


I bought my first pair of spanx for blogher this year. I've always been partially offended by the existence of spanx and determined not to purchase any out of respect for my self-love and all that junk. Then I found that terrible dress for spracklecorn and Jesus, let's lock that ass down tight so nobody loses an eye or hand, okay? Okay. I'm willing to compromise in the interest of public safety.

I sent out multiple emails to those in the know asking which of these newfangled lady-contraptions I should purchase, because I don't really understand how they work. It goes from the who to the what now? It clips to your bra? It's made of radioactive spiderwebs? Whatever you say guys, can't I just get a corset? You know, with boning?

(Boning! I said boning! You're welcome, I'll be here all week/year.)

Hiking up my bra and checking my feminine code of honor at the door I went to see the damn things for myself. I walked up to the wall display, batted halfheartedly at the rack, and strode purposefully in the other direction. Frowny face. Repeat. That was when the security guard in the back room turned to his coworker and said, "Hey Joe, you gotta come see this. This lady is pretending to be a cat or something. Does she think that's yarn? I'm putting this on YouTube."

I finally managed to grab two tannish deflated torsos and proceed to the dressing room, where the sales clerk promptly informed me you aren't allowed to try on "the shapewear," you have to purchase them (for full price), try them on at home, and then return the ones you don't want.

Now I'm sure there are regulations prohibiting the use of dryer-shrunk discarded skin in public areas, but dat's sum bullllllllshit so I threw them on the floor and walked out. I was not that excited about this endeavor from the start and ain't nobody gunna tell me what to do.

Disappointingly for everyone I did eventually, on an entirely different day, force myself to buy a pair and bring them home. I've named her Regina.

Confession of someone who now owns pseudo-spanx: I don't really see what all the fuss is about. It's not going to change the general size/shape of your body, it just gives your organs a special hug free from underwear lines. In specific situations (ie the sprackledress) I see the value, but it's not a magic wand. You're not going to put it on and come out looking like Kate Upton if you went in looking like Roger Ebert and my butt is still gloriously adonkin.

The night before we left for the airport I hurried down my list of to-do's and got to "cut peehole in spanx." Hey, I'm a practical kind of lady. I will not be scraping off the top layer of my skin and letting my organs float out into the ozone every time I need to give my mom-bladder some inevitable relief, no siree.

Unfortunately the off-brand versions don't come equipped with an unhygienic yet convenient crotch-flap, but fortunately for the universe I own scissors! I'm a super sleuth for hire! I grabbed my shears, snipped a neat little slit in the appropriate area, and tucked my doctored girdle into my suitcase underneath 5 boxes of emergency pocky.

I didn't think about that split-second decision again until Friday night when I had only 15 minutes to get dressed before I was supposed to meet someone down at the cab line. Jon and Sarah were in no such hurry, so they were lounging around atop our piles of swag eating fiber crackers watching me zip frantically around the room grabbing at shiny things. I took my pile of gear into the bathroom, shut the door, and stripped.

Common sense and physics should tell you that if you cut a little slit in the stomach of your spanx a fleshy hernia would spring out like biscuits forcefully escaping from a pressurized cannon, right? Right. Well guess what, smarties, that can happen other places too.

By the time I finished carefully siphoning each cheek into my spanx I knew that I had made a terrible mistake. What had started out as a practical minded pee-slot had morphed with the magic power of lycra to become a gaping, glorious frame, force-feeding my hamburger with a side of buns out into the night air.

If my dress had not been so short– if I had been at home with a sewing machine– if I had more than 10 minutes– this crisis could have been easily bypassed. But we weren't at home with scissors and a supply of velcro, were in a hotel room full of reusable bags and coupons and I had 25 unanswered text messages on my phone that all said "WHERE ARE YOU HURRY UP??! (ten angry emoji!!>(@*#)"

I proceeded to hyperventilate while contemplating this alarmingly unattractive situation in the mirror with my head cocked to the side like a sad, small little dog.

Option #1: Take the spanx off and put them back on over my underwear.
Option #2: Put my underwear on over the top of the spanx.
Option #3: Something something something ...safety pins?
Option #4: Cry.

I bypassed all of the above and settled on pretend this isn't happening and finish getting dressed because clearly this problem is going to just... go away. Maybe it will all be fine! Ha. Ha. Ha. ...Ha?

I emerged from the bathroom wearing all the clothing I anticipated but with an additional cooling breeze. New York is hot in the summer, right? This will be great! I just can't walk, sit down, bend over, or lift my arms. I'm sure that will be fine at the dance party we're attending later while drinking.

I cleared my throat and quavered, "Uh... guys? I think I need some help."

While I tried valiantly to explain to Sarah and Jon how exactly my life had come to this point it dawned on me that it really is critical to have the right kind of roommates, specifically: the kind who will join forces and in seconds snap into action ripping the sleeve off a free t shirt and carefully safety pinning the scrap of fabric over your most delicate meat platter to a create a privacy flap.

Thanks for covering my ham sandwich with your swag, shall-remain-nameless burrito company. The only way that could have worked out better was if the shirt had been from the Hot Pocket booth.

I jumped into a taxi 8 minutes later with complete confidence that any unlucky onlookers might turn to their friends and say, "Why is that girl wearing a diaper?" but not, "OH MY GOD MY EYYYYYES!!!" and that was good enough for me to survive the night until I could get home and throw my first and only pair of spanx into the trash.

Pass the hoodies and sweatpants, I'm out.
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