A little cross posting never hurt anyone, right? I just wrote the story that explains the name of my diet and exercise blog. I thought it might be worth sharing here. [Translation: it is almost midnight, and I just spent most of the night working on this piece, and I don't have it in me to write anything else, even a parenting tip.... well, maybe a parenting tip: If you want to make sure to post to your parenting blog on a daily basis, don't spend all your time writing a post for your diet blog.]
You know when you’re buying a butt girdle…. oh, wait, you don’t, do you? Who the hell buys a butt girdle? Um, I did once (cue flashback music a-la Wayne and Garth)…
Once upon a time, I was in a play in Castro Valley. No, not The Castro. Castro Valley. I was cast as the lead — a sexy 1960′s witch. Hot, right? I beat out the only other person who auditioned for this coveted role. Given the extensive budget of the community theater that was staging this elaborate production, I was to provide my own wardrobe. It is noteworthy that much of the existing budget was spent on rescuing a live cat from the animal shelter as the script called for a feline to have a leading role as well. That poor cat was rescued and given the name, “Sweety.” I think I’d rather be euthanized.
Anyway, back to my wardrobe. I found, in the back of my closet, a long, slinky black dress that I hadn’t donned in ages. I tried it on in front of the director who readily agreed that it looked fabulous, and would be the perfect dress for the show. I was relieved that he liked it because I had thought my ass looked way too big in it, despite my vigorous and regular heart-rate-monitored workouts. “See?” I told myself, “Your giant ass is all in your head. Foolish girl! Stop being so self-critical!”
The next night I wore the dress again, and this time the director’s wife was in attendance. She pulled me aside after act I, and said, “Sweety (she wasn’t talking to or about the cat), that dress is not… flattering on you. You look thin on top, but it makes your hips look even bigger than they are.” I inhaled so deeply, my flaired nostrils must have rivaled my buttocks in size and fullness.
“Thank you,” I said with a smile and no external tears, “Thank you for being honest with me. I really appreciate it [and I kinda wanna punch you in the head]. Thank you!”
I immediately went to the director, and told him I couldn’t wear the dress, that I would find something bigger, and better (emphasis on the bigger). “Absolutely not!” he raged, “That dress is perfect, and you are going to wear it, and my wife is not the director, I am!”
With less than a month until the opening curtain (wait, would curtains provide enough material to fashion a new dress big enough to cover my ass?), there was no time for liposuction, and my already extensive exercise regime was not going to cut it (so to speak). I went to the director’s wife, this time the tears were nearly on the outside. “What can I do?” I said. She sighed and did her best to look me in the eye, not the butt. Silence. “I know!” I said, “I can go buy some sort of shaping garment (girdle was not yet part of my vocabulary).” What I expected her to say was, “No, sweety (again, not the cat), it’s not that bad. The week you spent exercising since my initial disgust has done wonders! Your butt looks so much smaller, and say, is it me, or did your boobs get bigger, too? You know, I have a friend who’s an agent for models….”
OK, maybe I didn’t expect her to say all that, but I wasn’t prepared for her to say, “Yeah, that’s a good idea! You could find something to wear that would trim your hips.” Oh the suffering! Again, I took a deep breath, and on a sunny, beautiful day, I set out to the land of butt girdles: Walmart.
Upon arrival, it was a challenge to even find what I was looking for. Unlike electronics, or toddler girls’ clothes, the “shape wear” section (as I learned to call it) was not very well marked, and screw me if I was actually going to ask someone where to find the stinking girdles.
I finally found a sub-section of the underwear department that had lots of stuff with pictures of Queen Latifah on the over-sized labels. This must be it. I sorted through a collection of what appeared to be bike shorts for people with crazy butts that might, at any moment, try to escape and needed restraining much like inhabitants of an asylum need straight jackets.
I had made peace with the fact that I was buying a restraint for my ass, that I would don it under my skin tight (stupid, ugly, unflattering) dress and walk on stage in front of a paying audience. Right, so I may have body dysmorphia, but I knew that I had to be on the smaller end of the spectrum of those purchasing butt girdles. If I was going to subject myself to the humiliation of buying a girdle for my ass, please, at least let it be small, heck, extra small could do in a pinch! Med, Large, Extra Large, XXL. Where the hell were the small butt girdles?
I certainly wasn’t going to sink to asking a Walmart employee for help. Could they really be sold out? At Walmart? Really? Finally, I stopped staring at one of the many glossy portraits of Queen Latifah, and flipped a tag over to find a sizing chart which, I noticed, was also sorely lacking a size small. Seriously? They don’t even make small butt girdles?
Let me pause for a moment to say, that if I am ever in the business of making plus-sized clothing — butt girdles specifically — I would label those suckers, “small, extra-small, extra-extra-small, and ultra petite.” I mean really! Give a girl a break! She’s already sunken to buying restraining underwear, at least let it be the one thing in her closet that says, “small.”
Dejected, and nearly in tears already, I headed to the dressing room with an armful of size medium butt girdles, numerous pictures of Queen Latifah in various poses from “sporty” to “sultry” staring up at me.
“I’d like to try these on, please,” I said to the Jabba-esque woman behind the laminate desk, trying not to show her what exactly “these” were.
“You can’t try those on.”
“You can’t try those on. Those are underwear, and you can’t try underwear on in the store.”
“Wait, so I can go home and try them on?”
“Well, I guess, but then you’d have to keep them. Underwear are not returnable.”
“I am sorry, I can’t try them on, and they are not returnable? How am I supposed to know if they fit?”
It took all the restraint in my body (I imagine I would have had more had I been wearing a butt girdle already), to let a quiet thank you slip from my lips as I set my armload of Queen Latifah restraints in front of the woman’s heaving bosom, and walked away. I was already crying by the time I squeezed my ass into the car.
I cried all the way to Macy’s where I was able to try on and purchase a butt girdle — still size medium, god dammit!
At the next rehearsal I modeled the dress with my new undergarment firmly in place. Great efforts were made to assure me that it looked much better — a totally new and smaller rear had surely taken the place of my existing ass-trosity. “Sweety, (I was beginning to get an inkling who named that poor cat) you look great,” cooed the director’s wife as her husband scowled at her from the front row.
The play opened, and closed. Each night, I spent most of act I (the act of the dress) trying to strategically carry that poor, small cat around in front of my hips while walking sideways so as not to reveal the depth of my booty. I even got reviewed as having “narrow shoulder’s,” which I translated to mean, “Wow! Look how narrow her shoulders are in relation to her ass! She looks like a Russian stacking doll with the first three heads removed!” I have not worn the dress to since.
I do still have the butt girdle, hidden somewhere in the dark recesses of my closet, but I have sworn an oath to myself that the waistband, with its stupid size medium tag, will never again make its way over my knees. When I want to eat boatloads of chocolate, or sleeping in instead of working out seems like a superior option, I think of my butt girdle, and how donning it again would be far more painful than any diet or exercise program I could ever conjure up. I’d sooner carry that poor rescue kitty around in front of my hips for all eternity than ever again wear a butt girdle, even if it came in size small.