Remember back in the day when we could go do fancy things and wear fancy clothes? Like, for a wedding or formal dinner? Ho hum, me too. I sure do miss you, any year before 2020.
Although I have to say I have grown quite accustomed to wearing yoga pants and not wearing a bra or makeup — with my hair up in what I call a messy bun, but may look more like the home of a black-billed magpie to you — I sometimes long for somewhere decent to go besides the McDonald’s drive-thru and ShopRite.
Somewhere to go where I can actually take the time to put on makeup and look presentable enough to see the Queen. Or at least her housemaid.
Unfortunately for me, the little black dress requires some extra help these days. And it comes in the form of the household name called “Spanx.”
The Spanx I do not miss. Although it does lie in wait for me — sharing a drawer with my most private undergarments — I do not look forward to shoehorning myself into those items again anytime soon.
One of the last weddings I attended was that of a nephew. This was before I lost weight (and gained it back again, as I do). I took the time to curl my hair with the same hot roller set my mother used in the ’70s, and applied my makeup with such precision anyone could have confused me with Michelangelo during the painting of the Sistine Chapel, I’m sure of it.
Everything looked good from the head up. In my opinion, anyway. Now to do something with the below-the-neck portion of myself. I couldn’t very well go to this event bodiless now, could I? No, that most likely would have stolen the bride’s thunder.
My little black dress fit like a glove — you know, of the O.J. variety. If it didn’t fit, then why didn’t I quit? Because, like I said, I had something in my arsenal that I hoped would help.
Enter The Spanx, stage left.
Now, of course, like most women in my situation I have more than one to choose from. I have the high waisted brief, the bodysuit, the shaping cami, the thigh slimmer…just to name a few.
Now, to make the excruciating decision of which garment to wear, umm, under my garment. I tried on several and quickly discovered that just one pair of Spanx wasn’t going to cut it.
It was made abundantly clear there was only one way to tame the beast. And that was to double up.
In the end I decided on the bodysuit and the high waisted brief (yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds). The bodysuit OVER the high waisted brief to prevent the brief from rolling down my body like a roller shade.
Except it wasn’t. You know, brilliant.
Have you ever worn armor? The kind that is made of steel? Me neither. But I imagine it must be pretty darn close to what I created for myself that day. It was total torture.
Once I got everything pulled on and pulled in, I thought I looked pretty good. But what I didn’t factor in was sitting down, bathroom breaks, the damage I was potentially doing to my internal organs, and umm, living.
I’m not really sure how the ladies of the 18th and 19th centuries survived this nonsense. It’s a wonder the corset survived more than a day let alone several hundreds of years.
Also, I don’t know who came up with the cliche, “beauty is pain,” but she should have her tongue cut out.
Fun fact: Can you believe a woman invented the first corset? She probably died of internal bleeding.
Not a mere few hours prior I was channeling Michelangelo. Now I was channeling a pregnant women overdue with a literal village. Bending at the waist was a near impossibility. It was not going well.
Trying to use the facilities was a whole other story. Although unintentional, I was suddenly a physical comedian. Lucille Ball had nothing on me. Unfortunately, the show was wasted on the inside of a 2’x2′ bathroom stall.
Anyway, I survived the night. Mostly because I gave up and pulled the darn things off altogether. I could hear the collective deep sigh of relief from my ovaries to my liver.
These Spanx may not have fit nicely under my little black dress, but they sure did fit nicely in my little black bag.