Avoiding humiliation is the core of tragedy and comedy. John Guare
There’s no way around it! Shopping for undergarments is always a humiliating experience. From trying to judge the correct size inconspicuously on the sales floor, to stripping down in those tiny cubicles, to trying to squeeze into said item…and sometimes getting stuck. There’s nothing inspiring about your reflection under the harsh lighting. You look more like a ripe Anju pear with one arm, squatting awkwardly with one the arm flailing aimlessly over your head, your body trapped in a mini dress with a size tag double what you tried on the last time!
So whatever possessed me to try on a “slimming garment”? Was it the sleek lines it promised? The price on the tag? Or the brand name? I think it was mostly the brand name: Marilyn Monroe. And it whispered to me. Marilyn was sexy with real lady curves, and men still have dreams about bringing her home to meet Mom. I instantly flashforwarded to a slimmer, trimmer me in a little black dress, batting my lashes over a cocktail, with a row of men adoring drooling on my feet.
Which is weird.
When and where would I ever have the occasion to wear a little black dress, much less drink a cocktail!?! As for men, I have one, and quite honestly, one is enough!
But…I do have a little black dress, and should I ever have the occasion to wear it, like a high school reunion (that I wouldn’t attend anyway), I should be prepared.
I carefully read the label. Twice. I didn’t want to humiliate myself after all!
According to the label, based on my bust size and hip size, I should be a size small. Hmmm….Though my rib cage is only 30”, not 36” as listed, I knew I’d take it up…elsewhere! Right? Typically bras under 32” only come in A cups and I’m way, way past the beginning of the alphabet. As for waist size, it was a few inches over where I am so I surmised this was a reasonable estimate. Can you see where this is going?
I handed the garment over to the perky 12 year old at the change room counter and blushing, followed her to the back. The curtain scraped, “sheesh”, as I closed it. Even the walls were skeptical, and don’t get me started on the lighting. I stripped down…winter coat, winter boots, sweater, pants. And I paused, staring at my reflection, with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. There seemed to be more of me staring back than this morning. I’m certain of it.
Bracing myself, I inhaled the aromas from Cinnabon (conveniently located right outside the store), mixed with stale sweat from past patrons’ efforts to release their overheating bodies from designer brand names (that made unbelievable promises). And I took the plunge.
I slipped my feet into the head hole and slid that black stretchy hot number all the way up…to my knees, where is clung to me like a snotty 2 year old! I pulled, I wiggled, I heaved. I pleaded silently. I started sweating profusely and turning red in splotches. But it held on like a vise. It took several efforts to peel it off and I stood there, holding it up in front of me, and I thought:
“I would like to see the girl who thinks she needs this, who can actually wear it…and I need to feed her”!
Of course this isn’t me! There’s a reason this post is called “humiliation”! 🙂
‘Struggle’ is just another word for growth. – Elle Sommer