I remember a younger, thinner day decades ago on the floor of a Bloomingdale’s dressing room where a friend in a full sweat struggled to enclose me into a pair of Calvin Klein jeans.
I flopped like a fish as the button buttoned, and then the zipper zipped, and we struggled to get me upright on legs that could no longer bend.
Today it’s different, now that there’s Spanx. I have a love-hate relationship with the rubbery “shapewear” that stretches from thighs to the bra line. It purports to offer an hourglass figure, when we all know the evil attire is really looking for an opportunity to betray you.
Putting on Spanx is like trying to pole-vault into baby tights. Getting all quadrants covered resembles a taffy pull. And if you are damp and just out of the shower? Don’t even try.
Recently I played tennis with Spanx under my outfit so I’d look thinner for a match against a really petite opponent. It was invisible under my sleeveless black top and matching bottoms … black leggings with an overskirt attached.
All was OK as we sent mannerly, light-weight shots over the net. Who’s cool now? This can work, I thought, becoming more athletic with my returns. My husband was really smashing them. So could I!
Serve. Return. Volley. Again. I ran. I sprang. I intercepted. Rushed the net. Yes! And that was all in the warm-ups.
When play began for real it was my turn to serve. I wound up. Confident. Thin! And reached up into the sky and knocked that ball within an inch of its life.
And then I felt my Spanx snap from the safety of my waist and rush downward, across my stomach to the panty line like it was falling into quicksand. It was marching south like the Union army, dragging my outfit with it.
In a panic, I still wondered about etiquette as a hard return came at me. Hit the ball? Or pull up my pants?
Spanx has a mind of its own as I learned. I crouched to try to stem the ebb I hoped no one noticed. But no luck. Finally, I just had to belly up, grab on, and pull, to the horrified fascination of our opponents, who were rapt as I bent my knees, reached down, and hiked the errant underwear high and hard, exposing my whole mid-section.
Thank god for a husband who, in happy oblivion, missed the moment, turning to the other team moments later to offer … “Your serve?”