The fact of the matter was I needed a word like girdle. It was unapologetic and assertive. I had no time to waste on sugar-coated euphemisms like “shapewear,” “slimproved” or “body briefer.”
I had three hours to lose 20 pounds before a special occasion dinner. These pantyhose were my only hope.
I guessed on the size, made the purchase and raced home.
When I removed the pantyhose from the package, they cascaded to the floor. And down the hall. They were at least 8 feet long. The girdle part alone was 4 feet. A quick inspection of the package confirmed I’d bought the correct size, and there was no sign of the word “irregular” anywhere. If I wasn’t already running behind schedule and panicked that my dress wouldn’t fit, I’d surely have had a belly laugh. The stockings were designed for the tallest woman in the world and only Twiggy on a diuretic had a prayer of getting into them. Even a good yank at the waistline had me cold-sweating with fear that I’d never get one leg—let alone two (with thighs) and a stomach—into those things.
I sat down on the edge of my bed and took a deep breath. This had to be done right the first time. Once these bad boys were on, I was pretty sure scissors were the only way out.
The back of the package, which I examined closely, featured an illustration of a silhouette wearing them. The waistline of the pantyhose was not meant to stop at the human waist, but instead it was meant to cling to the underside of the breasts. I wondered about this. Could that mean that all the unwanted rolls of flesh below my waistline would be squeezed upward to gush over the top, creating an unintentional breast enhancement? Intentional or unintentional, I was on board! I began to feel tingly with anticipation.
I won’t bore you with the details. There was a good deal of swearing, hopping, perspiring, teetering and yanking. It was a blessed miracle that the girdle stretched enough to engulf my entire mid-section.
I thought I’d like the new svelte me, but pain obscured joy. I began to feel tingly again, now due to lack of circulation. Even my breathing was hindered. Short breaths would have to do.
There was no time for second-guessing. I was on a tight clock. Moreover, I’d have to surrender to the sagging crotch—2 inches below its natural position. Short strides for rest of the day.
I grabbed my dress off the bed and wiggled in. At the restaurant, I slid out of the car.
Short steps, short breaths, flat stomach, full breasts.
As I walked up the path to the door, a faint smell of newly cut grass wafted by. I pinched my nose to ward off what I feared was imminent. Too late. Robust sneezes came fast and furious. The waistband was no match for the third sneeze—it curled in submission like a Swiss roll. The laws of gravity and physics assisted the momentum until my ample tummy sprang from its constraints and rippled over the top. It was free.
I took my first deep breath in an hour. Undaunted, I shuffled my way to the door.
Short steps, deep breaths, fat stomach, flat breasts.