I thought I’d just write a quick synopsis of an event to share just how awkward I am on a regular basis, in hopes you will feel better about yourself, not alone, or just totally judge me after reading it.
We have an annual three-day regional wide meeting for my company every year. The last night is a formal dinner and awards celebration. I was three kids deep into this motherhood gig and I was in need of some extra support to fit properly in my gown. I was introduced to the shapewear brand Spanx and have never looked back.
On this particular evening I was in full Spanx which, for me, means I had on a layer from my knees to below my bra of skin tight support. It was like body armor. My sexy knee length shorts went all the way under my bra and was actually fastened to my bra with hooks.
I did look great in the dress, but I had not thought about how bathroom breaks would work. I took a bathroom break during the award ceremony and it was exhausting.
I’m totally going to overshare here. Spanx are designed with a hole in the crotch for bathroom breaks, but I was not aware of this and I had underwear under my Spanx shorts. [Ed.: this spawns fascinating discussions and debate on baby and wedding forums.]
Also, I feel like that entire hole idea is really a crapshoot — how does someone retain that much control over their urine stream in a bathroom stall while hovering over the toilet seat AND holding all the material of their gown up and out of the toilet water? I’d like to congratulate the folks who handle that situation with grace. I am not one of those people.
So I’m in the stall, frantically unhooking all the bra to short hooks with my dress all the way up over my shoulders doing the “I have to pee dance.” I am able to peel the shorts down and relieve myself without any further issues. I have a moment of calmness before I then realize I have to put it all back together. I was dancing, wiggling, cussing, crying, sweating, and melting down as I contorted my arms into impossible positions to get myself back into my dress.
I finally fell out of the stall and begged my fellow bathroom strangers to have mercy on me and help with the ridiculously placed remaining hooks and assistance in untucking the parts of the gown that had ended up inside my Spanx armor.
I took a look in the mirror at my flushed, blotchy face, my smeared mascara and tried to fluff my hair. I congratulated myself on getting back into my dress and thanked my new friends for their support. I threw open the bathroom door and watched as the light from the bathroom lit up the awards ceremony and all heads turned to stare at me as the MC finished calling my name for the umpteenth time to come up to the stage for my award.
I think I could have probably pulled it off with a little curtsy and then a graceful walk to the stage, but that is not me. In a moment of vulnerability I then proudly announced to anyone and everyone as I walked to the stage what had just happened in the bathroom.
Again, grace and dignity may not remain prominent characteristics in anyone forced to wear compression garments.
For me, they both a gift from God and the devil’s work.