As I've noted, Tuesdays are the day when my wonderful blogging friends use this space to let loose. There are no rules, not even that one rule about not talking about Fight Club.
Do you know Alexandra from Good Day Regular People fame? OF COURSE YOU DO.
What can I say about her that hasn't already been said? She is truly one of the most generous, selfless, kind-hearted people I have ever run across, and if you are wondering what the fuck she is doing palling around with the likes of me? Well, so am I. But I'm doing it quietly so she won't realize just how wrong this is and ditch me.
I'll link to a few posts from her blog, but you can also find her on BlogHer (where she was a goddamn Voice of the YEAR), Tiki Tiki Blog, and Listen to Your Mother, among other places. Read about how she almost stayed a Miss and how she can translate teenager and you have to check out a guest post from her youngest, Baby E, where you will die from the adorableness.
I cannot stress to you how exceptional this woman is. I'm sure she's touched your life as she has touched mine.
I'd tell you to follow her on Twitter, but you probably already you already are.
Without further ado, this:
It was the mid 1960's, and I sat on the bed watching my mother pull up and tug down and manhandle herself into her Playtex 18 Hour I Can't Believe It's A Girdle!
Before she'd ever go out for an evening, this stiff criss cross heavy canvas tent of inflexible material was summoned into action. I'd witness her go to battle with it; she'd always win, and the entire outfit would find itself stretched over her body. There was compression to the tenth degree; from the three inch wide shoulder straps down to the mid thigh O rings.
My mother loved that thing. Her reflection loved her back. She looked like a million bucks, even after having six kids.
I'd look at that piece of rubber she was encased in and promise myself, "no flippin' way am I ever going to stuff myself like a sausage casing into something like that." Well, I might not have said flippin', but, the F sentiment was there.
I would always look fantastic, slim, trim, tall, skinny, not a hot mess like my mother.
There was to be no girdle in my lifetime.
And I remained true to my girdle promise to my future self, until the menopot came a calling.
As I left my 30's and moved into my 40's, it took little more than a sideways lusty glance at a french eclair and ping! ping! my pants button would go flying.
I had become thick waisted, built like a box, and skillet butted. And it wasn't a gradual over time change, it was an all of a sudden over night bam boom with a waist that measured the same as my hips.
I see you drooling jealously now.
But the girdles I had been witness to as a child? Not going to happen. Too humiliating to admit that outside help was needed to continue on as a stone cold fox. Do the kids still say that?
Then, I saw it. While shopping for a winter coat in women's better fashion: SPANX.
It looked so glorious under the department store light, all translucent on the mannequin. And to the touch, as weightless as French tulle. There were no three inch fat straps, no X shaped tummy panels, and the whole miraculous thing was without a seam.
It couldn't hurt to just buy it? I could just buy it, you know.
As soon as I got home, I shimmied into it.
What did it feel like? Let's just say that if I had the money for plastic surgery, I'd be one of those people sitting across from Oprah on a segment called "Addicted To Plastic Surgery: It Happened To Them."
I wanted SPANX in every color, every style, every variation. Even ones not yet invented.
God I loved my SPANX. It was soft, felt like nothing, and my body? Smooth and roll-less as a Ball Park Plumper.
This was not my mama's girdle.
And, of course it wasn't, because even though I may now need a bit of outside air quotes assistance for this fineness that is me, I am not a hot mess underneath it, like my mother was.
Of course I'm not.