I bought my first pair of Spanx the other day. I'm fessing to it right here and right now. Spanx, for my father who occasionally reads my blog and is probably asking what the Sam hill Spanx is, is the new millennium equivalent of a 1950's girdle. Yes, girdle. It is supposedly modernized by spandex and other "new age materials and design" but the net-net of it is -- it is a girdle. You wear it to make your clothes fit better and your waist seem smaller and your lungs feel as if they haven't inhaled deeply since the moment you put them on.
Why, you might ask, did I purchase said pair of Spanx? Well, let's see. I'm 34 years old. I've given birth to two children in two wildly different ways in the past 4 years. In the last five years I have changed clothing sizes and scale calculations more than Oprah. I have gained and lost weight, in massive quantities, with both of my children. And I am currently at a weight that I will braggingly say is close to what I weighed the day I walked down the isle in my cinched bodess, creamy white, duchess satin wedding gown. But I'm fairly sure that gown wouldn't fit me if I drug it out of it's plastic garment bag (and no I never did get the thing heirloomed, much less dry cleaned, after July 28, 2001). Why wouldn't it fit if I weigh the same amount? Because after giving birth, and nursing for an extended period of time, my body is never going to be the same again. ever. ever. No amount of pilates or yoga is going to change that either. I know this is a punchline of many a-joke out there but it is flat out true. I have lumps, bumps and sags in places that I never dreamed of when I was 22 years of age. And I want that smoothness back again, or at least the appearance of it under my clothes!
So in passing through Nordstrom's earlier this week (hey Laurie - let Gary know I contributed to his bottom line and thus increased Dylan's college fund and/or future inheritance) my eye caught the Spanx isle. It is right by the elevator I was exiting, on my way out the door towards Pottery Barn Kids where my boys like to play with the toy firestation and vacuum they have on the floor. Anyway, the Spanx caught my eye. I know the story of Spanx. How the creator of it pretty much developed and marketed the idea for her product on a total of $5K and is now a multi-millionaire. I've seen her story in Inc. magazine and on the Donny Deutch "Big Idea" show. I've always been somewhat curious about the product. And I had a gift card from my mother-in-law from Christmas that was burning a hole in my wallet. And of course I have tummy and thighs that need a little assistance because they do not look like they did when I was 22. Did I already say that? So I indulged. I gave into the trend and bought the Spanx "Hide and Seek Hi-Rise Body Smoother" undergarment. Plain, "nude" colored, and tight as a drum. I had high hopes that is what I would look like after I slipped them on. I got home and slithered into them, along with a pair of snug jeans that I recently bought that fit me every other day, depending on what I ate the day before.
And you know what? I looked slimmer! I did. It was a miracle of miracles. I admired myself in the bathroom mirror, turning this way and that. My tummy was moderately flat. My thighs looked slimmer, at least in the jeans. And the jeans fit like a glove. I looked pretty damn good for an old broad! But. Houston - we have a problem. There was a big problem. These new found wonders of suction and gravity defiance were about as comfortable as wearing a wet suit 3 sizes too small. I've never worn a wet suit, but it is what I imagined it would feel like so close to your skin. I could barely breath much less move around. Ludicrous! And let's be honest here -they were not a cheap investment. I couldn't keep them. I couldn't!
So in my split decision moment, I pulled the things off. Wadded them up into a ball, and tossed them back into the Nordies bag. The gal who sold them to me promised me I could return them if I didn't like them. (She exhibited a confidence that I would not be bringing them back because I would adore them, that they would change my life forever - she was wrong). I will be returning them to the mall this weekend. I won't have a flat tummy. Or slimmer thighs. Or all the other miraculous promises these garments offer. I will just be me in tight jeans. Mommy of two boys. Wife to a darling man who actually said "You don't need those, you don't have love handles!" I'm a stay at home mother. I wear jeans or chinos or even sweats on a daily basis. My need for a flat tummy and slimmer thighs ends right there. Thanks, but no thanks Spanx! I'm fine just how I am.