2008.04.30 A potato sack would be easier

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Back in October when Maddie and I were visiting Rozee in Berea, we took a trip to nearby Lexington because Macy’s was having a big sale—with even further savings if you opened up a credit card account.

I almost always decline offers for 10% off my purchases just for opening up a credit card account. But Rozee and Maddie had steered me to the mother-of-the-bride dresses and they were sure this was the one.

This is a dress that covers my toes and has lots of frilly beads and crap on a V-neck top. This is a dress made of my least favorite material in all the fashion world: polyester. This is a dress that shows the dent between my hips and buttocks. But this is a dress Rozee really likes and I don’t really care a whole lot what I’m wearing as long as she’s happy.

I had been holding out for a dirt-cheap dress—something in the $30 range—knowing I would probably never wear it again—unless I went on a cruise which would probably never happen while I’m married to David Green. And since I intend to be married to him until he buries me in the ground (please don’t let him cremate me), chances are, I wouldn’t be wearing this dress again.

So, I bought this dress, with a percentage off with some kind of coupon and another percentage off with the sale going on and yet another percentage off when I opened the credit card account.  It wasn’t what I wanted to pay, but it was well under the cost of other dresses we had looked at. I figured sometime in the generous six-month return period, I would find another dress, a dress equally appealing to Rozee.

Six months have come and gone and now this dress is really mine. My dent still shows prominently because I’d rather eat and watch “The Wire” than exercise; I figured I could body shape the dent away.     I was unsuccessful in my first undergarment shopping trip—none of the items I tried on altered my body to even out the dent.

It’s the effect of gravity, what causes my dent. If I could permanently lift my buttocks I would be quite shapely below the waist. I thought body shaper dealies were designed to move all the fat around, but they didn’t do diddley squat for me.

So when Rozee was home a couple of weekends ago we went to Macy’s in search of a miracle. The saleswoman suggested several kinds of bodyshapers, including the Miraclesuit which according to the packaging, “will make a woman look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds.”

I shimmied and I struggled, and I tugged and I sucked, and I huffed and I puffed, but I could not get that thing to go past my upper thigh. Flesh oozed out over the waistband in quantities I didn’t even know I had. I was stuck at half mast, hysterical laughing at my predicament, thankful that the bathroom had been our first stop.

Rozee was laughing just as hard as I was—until other customers entered the otherwise empty changing rooms. And then she went into silent laughter mode which just made me laugh harder every time I looked at her.

The sight of myself in the mirror was even funnier—a half-naked cross-legged woman struggling to pull up an impossibly tight straight-jacket device—and then Rozee came from behind and yanked it up, breaking the logjam.

“The package says it’ll make you 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds, but I think it took you a lot longer,” she said.

That just made me laugh all the more and it was a while longer before I could regain my composure and try on the variety of other shapers in both medium and large. At some point I realized that trying these things on requires something I lack—great upper body strength. I couldn’t have shimmied into any of them without Rozee yanking them up from the back.

And, it was quite frustrating, since size medium was almost impossible to get on, while the large, once on, didn’t seem to do much of anything—the dent remained.

I finally asked the saleswoman to measure me to see if maybe the garments ran small. She produced her tape measure, did her thing, and declared, “You’re a perfect large!”

I told her I was wearing a large and it didn’t seem to be doing a thing for my dent.

“Well, some women just have that,” she said. “It’s like the mark that bra straps sometimes leave on women’s shoulders. It’s probably just from your underwear digging into your skin.”

“Lady,” I wanted to say, “you should see my underwear. They’re giant white things and they wouldn’t leave a mark on anything.”

But instead I gave up on the miracle and bought Spanx Power Panties at another store because I hear Oprah, and Georgia Kovanis of the Detroit Free Press  swear by them. With faith in Oprah and Georgia, I bought a large and called it a day.

P.S. Spanx are a lot easier to shimmy into, but they don’t do anything for the dent either. 

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