Thursday, September 12, 2013

Have Spanx, Will Travel

Attention Male Readers:  Please stop reading now.

Did you think I was kidding?  Why are you still there?
I'm serious. READING THIS WILL FOREVER ROB YOU OF APPRECIATING THE SENSUAL MYSTERY OF WOMANHOOD! Also, you may never be able to look me in the eye again.

Fair warning. Don't say I didn't tell you so...because I DID!

I recently found myself in need of a formal gown for an event.  If you know me at all, you know that I am not one of those women who wants to rush right out and buy a new dress at the slightest provocation.  On the contrary, I LOATHE shopping for clothes.  Also, I'm not the kind of gal that has lots of opportunities to wear such frilly and fussy garments.  Let's face it.  I pretty much wear t-shirts and yoga pants as much as possible.  Even if I had opportunities to dress up, I'd try to justify yoga pants. (I mean, really, why can't a girl just throw on a great pair of heels with some yoga pants and call it good???)  So, in order to avoid shopping, I dug deep, DEEP into the darkest corners of my closet and managed to unearth three formal/semi-formal/cocktail dresses (I'm not actually sure what differentiates those, I thought I'd cover all of my bases).

Dress #1 was a saucy little number I made for the first cruise J and I went on...12 years ago.  Sized in the single digits, it was an easy elimination in theory.  I didn't even try it on.  My self-esteem can't take that kind of hit.
I wore Dress #2 to every Spring Banquet I attended during my 7 year stint as WCA's principal.  It's kind of a mother-of-the-bride looking dress in dusty rose.  In other words, not very chic, but it covers everything.  I actually put that one on.  (Here's a little advice, ladies:  if you are trying on a dress and are somewhat less than thrilled with your body, do NOT go ask your 10 year old to zip it up for you...even if you nearly dislocated your shoulder trying to zip it up yourself. Because, if SHE can't zip it up, she will say some brutally honest things about your body.  Things that you know, but don't want to hear from ANYBODY else.  EVER.)  That dress almost fit.  By almost, what I mean is that it fit me perfectly up to the band of my bra and then it gaped by an inch...even when I exhaled and hung on to the post of the bed, urging Princeska to pull harder (if you are picturing a southern belle weeping in pain as the servant tightens her corset like a vise, you've got the right idea).  But, my bosoms refused to be contained.  How is it possible that my boobs are bigger if the rest of me is the same size? Why is my chest 4 sizes bigger than the rest of me?  How long have I been deformed?  Why hasn't Jason told me? (Never mind on that last one...)
Dress #3 was an eBay bargain that I wore once to the Mom Prom.  (So. Much. Fun.)  It's super cute, but it doesn't have any structure to it.  In other words, every time I bend, I get visible folds and opposing bulges.  It's grotesque.

I knew I needed (what we call) a "foundation garment."  These are undergarments that suck you in, lift you up, smooth you out, accentuate the positive, and minimize the negative.  The most popular (and apparently effective) brand of these wonder unders is "Spanx."  No, no...Spanx are TOTALLY DIFFERENT than girdles!  Because girdles are the foundation garments that ladies wore, like, in the 50s and...and...and...Spanx aren't! Actually, Spanx are wonderfully soft and stretchy and have no clasps, wires, or ties.  The girdles of old were pretty industrial looking...probably engineered by some man!

Unfortunately, I don't own any Spanx (or any other variety of foundation garment).  Frankly, I don't mean to brag, but...I don't, generally need them. I totally rock my yoga pants and ratty t-shirts sans Spanx!

So, I did what any Spanx-less girl who hates to shop but spends a ridiculous amount of time on social media would do...I posted a plea for Spanx on Facebook.  You wouldn't believe how many Spanx were offered to me!  My sisters!  Curvy girls rule the world!!!

I looked FABULOUS in my dress thanx to Spanx.  (See what I did there?) Except for one. Tiny. Thing.  Dress #3 is a one shoulder number. (Ooh-la-la, tres chic!)  Remember the girls?  Lucy & Ethel? (for reference: )  My disproportionately large jugs?  Yeah.  I don't own a strapless bra.  Mainly because strapless bras in my size are held up by a crane & winch...and, let's face it, why wouldn't you just go with straps?  The last strapless bra I bought hovered around my mid-section like a wide belt that contained my boobs.  Sooooo attractive.  If I wanted them that far south, I'd just tuck them into my waistband!  Neither do I own a convertible bra (if any of you fellas are still reading, convertible bras have straps that come of and can be reattached in a variety of ways...because being a girl isn't complicated enough).  My bras have straps that mean business.  In fact, they're kind of like me:  broad, strong, and carrying a heavy load.  They don't have any do-hickeys that might spring loose, unleashing a tidal-wave of boobie.  They are working bras.  If convertible bras are merry-go-round ponies, my bras are Clydesdales.  What I'm really trying to say, here, is that one formidable bra strap was going to very obviously hang out.  Okay, not HANG out...the thing would be on my shoulder, but it would NOT be covered by my dress.  Savvy?

I tried the obvious solution, which was to slide my arm out of the offending strap and tuck it down into the dress.  That strategy would have worked, except that things were then a bit uneven.  By "things," I mean my breasts.  Without that heavy-duty strap towing its share, my boobs looked like they'd had a stroke...Ethel was up where breasts are supposed to be, but Lucy?  She was limping slowly toward the floor.  (Lucy! You got some splaining to do!)

I finally just hid the offending strap by putting a black tank top on over my bra (and Spanx).  My trendy one-shoulder gown is now less trendy, but my fat is tucked in and my bosoms aren't discombobulated.  I call that "good to go!"

Girdle circa 1950


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