Spanx Adventures by Sharon O’Donnell
After my 25th high school reunion, I promised myself that I would never again wear any type garment designed to hold in or push in fat in order to make me look thinner. The dynamics of it just doesn’t work out. But that was before I had heard of Spanx. When Spanx came out, it was all the rage in Hollywood, and all the stars were raving about it. I’d even heard people I know praise Spanx. So one day when I was 49, I decided to buy some Spanx to wear under a dress I was going to wear to a wedding.
I was more than a bit self-conscious about going to buy the Spanx in a store, but I knew to get the right size and color that I need to do so rather than ordering on line. I found a department store that had a good selection of Spanx along with a video of an Oprah show where guests are talking about it and how wonderful it is. However, I didn’t want anyone to notice me buying the things, and so I didn’t want to spend a lot of time reading packages and hovering around the Spanx display. Besides, I didn’t have my glasses with me, and some of the print was small. I looked through the packages of Spanx quickly and selected one that was for tall women and was the nude color I wanted.
When I got home, I stuffed it in a drawer and forgot about it until two weeks later when I was getting dressed for the wedding. I went upstairs, dreading how tough it would be to get the Spanx on. As I got the Spanx out of the package, I heard my 20 year old son downstairs complaining about having to wear a tie. If he only knew how lucky he is, I thought.
The dress I was wearing was black and white, and most of the white was on the bottom. And even though I was 49, had gained weight and had occasional hot flashes like one does in menopause, I still had periods. Not regular ones like I used to. Not ones I could put on a calendar. They would just show up whenever they wanted to. Surprise! And when they arrived, they meant business, shall we say. I’d recently discovered that several of my good friends had all stopped their periods, and I was a bit jealous that I still had to go through it all. I was leery of wearing a white dress to a big event without fully protecting myself, which meant wearing a tampon and a pad. You ladies know the white clothing drill. I’d had enough embarrassing things happen to me in my life to know that if I didn’t wear this double protection, then with my luck, something bad would surely happen.
So time was ticking by and it was almost time to leave for the wedding, and I was struggling – and I do mean struggling to pull up my Spanx when all of a sudden I realized they were crotchless!! The hose material had an oval hole cut out right in the crotch. That’s bad enough by itself because I wouldn’t be comfortable in it, but at that particular time my main concern was — where the hell do you stick a mini-pad if your under garment is crotchless?? There was nothing about it on the package – at least not that I saw. Maybe it had been written in fine print somewhere, but I think something that important should be printed in huge letters. I looked at my watch and started to hyperventilate. Then I heard my son complain again about how hard it was to tie a tie. He really, honestly had no clue! I felt like running down the stairs and wringing his neck, shouting, “My underwear doesn’t have a crotch, and you are complaining about a tie?”
I ended up wearing the Spanx with another undergarment on top of it, which I think sort of defeats the purpose of the Spanx in the first place. In regard to any of these types of garments, let me officially say that I give up.
Martina McBride’s hit song, “This is For the Girls,” is wonderfully inspiring with advice for women at different ages of their lives: the struggles of peer pressure at 13, of chasing your dreams and saving pennies at 25, and of worrying about wrinkles at age 42. But then the song ends. As if that’s it, life’s done. Martina, I beg you, don’t stop at 42 — add at least one other verse to this song. Maybe about how terrific it is to be sixty and sexy and done with your periods. And done with those blasted crotchless undergarments.