I am shopping in a department store. WITHOUT kids. I’m on a quest for a sun hat.
I try on hats. There is a mirror on the end of the display aisle. I select a hat and walk over to the mirror.
I try on a red one that makes me feel fabulous. Like vintage-movie-star-lounging-next-to-a-kidney-shaped-pool fabulous.
In the mirror, I get a glimpse of the display behind me.
I turn to look at it:
It is Spanx®. You know, shapewear. I’ve never tried it.
So it is settled. If those fine ladies are doing it, it must be the stuff that fuzzy kittens are made of. (You know, tiny bits of awesome.)
I gingerly fondle the tank tops that promise to transform me into something way better than I currently am.
I picture the new me and it truly is fabulous. Like vintage-movie-star-lounging-next-to-a-kidney-shaped-pool-holding-a-martini fabulous.
Hourglass here I come.
I head to the dressing room and shove myself into it. I have heard warnings that these things can be difficult to stuff yourself into. It is true. They have to be uncommonly tight in order to do their magical squeezy job. That is the whole point.
After a short struggle I manage to pull it down over my breasts (had to shoehorn them one by one – that is the secret trick) and I finish putting it on.
It is time! The big reveal!
I look in the mirror:
It successfully turned my torso into a sausage with a too-tight casing. And my meat filling is squeezing out of the bottom.
In other words, no. Not for me.
Sigh, I can’t even wear Spanx®. I have reached a new level of uncool.
I start to take it off:
Which is even more difficult than getting it on.
Way more difficult.
I’m working against gravity now and I have no leverage.
I pull a muscle in my neck trying to yank it upwards. Ouch. I struggle some more. Can I push it down the other way? No, there is no way it will fit over my hips. How do I do this? I can’t get it off!
After a few more minutes, reality sets in…
I can’t. get. it. off.
What do I do? Do I call for help from one of the salesgirls? No, that is too humiliating. The girls working in this department are young. High school aged. They wouldn’t understand. I can’t possibly ask them for help. I’d rather die in here.
Oh my god, I’m going to die in here!
It is so tight and stuck around my chest that it is hard to breathe. I could pass out! I’d fall and smack my temple and die of an epidural hematoma!
I should call 911! I need help!
No, no this is ridiculous. There is no need to panic. I’m fine. Calm down. Breathe.
What should I do?
Should I call Crappy Papa? No, he is with the kids. He can’t waltz himself and the kids into the dressing room to “help” me without it causing a stir. The staff will ask questions. I’ll be found out. Too embarrassing.
Should I call a friend? No, the closest one lives at least 15 minutes away if she is even home. I can’t sit here hyperventilating for 15 minutes. Plus, I’d never hear the end of it. Ever.
This is so humiliating. But I can’t get it off. It isn’t coming off.
I need to escape. I need to get out of here.
I’ve got it! I can put my dress on over the top of it and walk out of the store! When I get home I’ll have Crappy Papa cut it off of me with a scissors. Wait, this would be stealing. This is a horrible idea. What if I got caught? No, too risky and wrong.
I’ll have to pay for it if I leave with it. I could remove the tag and take it to the front to pay. I’ll explain that I wanted to wear it right away. People do that with shoes. It might seem normal even. I could probably pull this off and still seem like a normal person. Then we could cut it off at home.
Let me find the tag… found it… wait. NO. I’m not spending this much on something that I do not want.
I have to get OUT of this! I just have to get into the right position.
It’s like I’m birthing myself through a Spanx® vagina.
ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! I’m crowning!
And I’m out!
I collapse onto the dressing room bench and catch my breath.
Finally, I collect my things, buy a sun hat and leave.
As I walk out of the store I have that post-labor bliss thing going on.
And I feel fabulous.