Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spanx for Nothin', Comments For Free

I'd like to introduce you to Spanx. They are, essentially, sausage casings for ladies, meant to extend the denial of women over 35 by making it possible for them to continue to wear the pants they wore at age 30. A good pair will keep people from wondering when you're going to announce your pregnancy, when really you just have a good post-meal bloat going on. 
(By the way, I'm a big fan of the photo above- the lady modeling the Spanx being one who is clearly in no need of Spanx. If she were, her mid-section would be trying to escape and spilling over from the elastic band at the top. Not that mine does that. I just heard about it from a friend...)

I wore a pair today. Under a dress. It was less for the slimming effect than it was for the traumatizing thought that during silent reading in my class, when kids sprawl out all over the floor and dive into books of their choosing, some kid might have an unforseen line of sight up my dress. It's a real fear. I've skirted around the perimeter of the room to avoid the accidental gaze of a floor-reader. I've also reached down and grabbed the bottom of my skirt, creating a kind of giant diaper. Both of these strategies work well. But, I've found perimeter walking + diaper fashioning + Spanx equals a security second to none.

It would be okay if I could just wear the Spanx in silence. But, I feel the need to let each passing lady know that I'm both suffering and benefiting from having my middle completely constricted. I snap the waistband in a kind of a Spanx-salute. "Got on the Spanx," I announce. "Suckin' it all in over here." My lady-conversation partner usually looks perplexed. Maybe even uncomfortable. Either way, a little more commentary escapes before I force myself to abandon the subject. "Yep. This bloat is nothin' like what it would be without these here Spanx." The words "this bloat" are sometimes accompanied by me grabbing my middle and giving it a one-two shake. I may even snap the leg part as a type of ending punctuation. An exclamation mark, if you will.

I don't even wear Spanx that often, really. We're talking maybe once every two weeks or so, when an outfit seems to really call for a slimmer and more toned me than hops out of the shower that morning. But when I do wear them, it's not uncommon for me to reference them aloud, when an unspoken thought would probably be the better choice. "Man, farting is absolutely off limits today. These Spanx will hold that odor in and 6 hours from now, when I finally change into my jammies, I'll be hit with a fart from hours-past." Or, "I'm pretty sure I could piss in my pants right now and have no idea I was doing it, no thanks to Spanx." These comments are shared only with my team members. And perhaps a co-worker or two. Family members and friends, certainly. To date, even I have had the wherewithal to keep my Spanx thoughts to myself when in the presence of students, parents of students, most authority figures and transit workers, and the majority of people in the service industry. But, it's on my mind, no doubt. 

I'll toss on a pair of Spanx if I'm hopping on the scooter in a skirt or dress. I also have a diaper-tucking system for riding my scooter in anything other than pants, but it's the accident I'm worried about. I have visions of my scooter on its side, wheels spinning like an freshly-abandoned bike, and me- several feet away, flat on my back with my skirt blown up. Can you see my undies? No, siree. I've got my Spanx on. With this freedom, I don't spend all my time on my scooter thinking of the dozens of people who will be "I see London, I see France"-in' me all up and down Delmar Blvd or Clayton Rd. I just enjoy the ride. Me and my Spanx. 

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