And she Spanx, too.

Posted on November 18, 2011


        before and after Spanx

(The following is the fourth in my new series, “Old Posts to Dredge out on Slow Weekends Because When I Posted Them Originally People Cared More About the Economy and World Peace Than My Blog.” Although nothing has changed, it’s the start of a slow weekend.)

I bought a lovely dress to wear to my son’s wedding last September.  I had to wear Spanx with this dress.  Most people know about Spanx.  I know about it because my former best friend Jean became a model, dumped me, and now Spanx is her best friend.  I also know about it because the 5’9” Hollywood celebs who weigh 95 lbs but who have “no eating disorder of any kind whatsoever under any circumstances uh uh no way,” all say they wear Spanx under their size 000 (and then altered down) dresses. 

I went to Nordstrom.  I brought my MOG dress with me to the store.  Not knowing which particular body area would be currently in crisis mode, I gathered up all of the available styles of Spanx they had. The nice younger-than-my-children sales girl led me to a dressing room and then locked the door for me, assuring absolute privacy for me and protecting the general public from mistakenly entering my dressing room and seeing what a 62-year-old woman looks like, sans bra, doing a St Vitus Dance in front of a three-way mirror, trying to pull on a rubberized garment .

 I start with a warning: The following might be too graphic for small children or too emotionally damaging for younger women who fear the aging process.  The three-way mirror may be my friend (and I emphasize the word “may”) once I have completed putting on my clothing.  It is not something I enjoy when I am struggling to encase my torso in a tight, space age tube of fabric.  The first Spanx model I tried on had no built-in bra.  The Girls got so smashed down that it took me several minutes to locate them.  When I finally did, they appeared to be attached to something other than my chest.

Subsequent styles had various other characteristics that didn’t work for my body type, meaning a head placed above a torso, arms and legs, with a lot of extra events occurring that weren’t there 30 years ago.  I finally had to admit that no style, no matter how uplifting, how packed with tight space age polymer, how much coverage it afforded, could turn back the clock to those glorious tiny bikini days.  I chose the best of the horrible. I paid the $85, and, while the sales girl was ringing up the purchase, thought that for $85, I should be able to pay someone to stand in for me in the wedding photos.

“I’m really discouraged,” I told my husband as we exited into the mall.  “What happened to my body?” “I don’t know,” he said, but if you find yours, look for mine as well.”

 On the day of my son’s wedding, I put on the Spanx and noticed for the first time that the garment seemed to be missing a critical opening.  Without this critical opening, I would have to take my dress off and remove the Spanx entirely in order to use the rest room.  In other words, I would have to be naked.  As this seemed an item entirely too significant to have passed Quality Control, I searched again.  Sure enough, there was an opening, but it was so small and constructed in such a strange way that it would have required an accompanying DVD to explain its use. 

I was fine during the ceremony.  But, the minute we arrived at the reception, I had to pee.  I quickly calculated how long the Mother of the Groom would be required to be at the reception, and the answer was considerably longer than I would be able to contain myself.  There was no getting around it: I headed for the rest room.

I was determined to be able to pee without wetting my dress or the Spanx. Had I failed, I would have had to spend the entire reception in the bathroom stall and have food delivered to me under the stall door.  A subsequent check of the dress showed my complete brilliance in executing the maneuver successfully.  I stood up, so pleased with myself,  that I wished someone were in the stall with me to appreciate what I had accomplished.  It was then that I noticed that I had completely missed the toilet.  My first act as Mother of the Groom had been to walk my son down the aisle.  My second was to clean up the bathroom floor in the building where the reception was held.