I am not an adventurous person. I was never one for all night parties, sex without regret, and experimentation of anything illegal, mind-altering, or past it’s expiration date. All my life, I thought it was shameful to be so tame, but I’ve finally learned to embrace it. It’s who I am. So here I am. Liz Black, born to be mild.
My fellow G.L.O.C. contributors GLENNIS MCMURRAY and KATE TELLERS and I are all engaged. One day a few weeks ago, we went wedding dress shopping at a place in Manhattan that carries previously worn designer dresses at a discount, with all the proceeds from sales going to charity. It’s a great idea, though none of us had a Say Yes To The Dress moment where we cried and hugged over how beautiful we are. In fact, even though I came prepared with all the necessities (strapless bra, Spanx, readiness to accept my flaws), the woman helping me repeatedly told me that the one dress I liked “would look better once I put Spanx on.”
Me: “But I have Spanx on.”
Her (maybe she was deaf?): “Well, all these creases and wrinkles and everything, they’ll smooth out when you put something on under the dress.”
You know how you live your life calmly until certain things reach a boiling point? One minute you’re in a happy relationship, the next, you’re screaming at your boyfriend because he forgot to buy milk, but what you’re really screaming about is his habitual irresponsibility which you see as a sign that he, like so many a New York City bus matron, will leave your kid in a locked car for three days or something, but you never said anything before because it wasn’t a big deal, but now that you’ve already made coffee and you certainly can’t drink it black and you need that milk, you guys might as well break up? Or whatever? The Spanx shame was my boiling point.
At first I was like “*cough* I do have Spanx on. *cough*” Then I was like, in a stage whisper, “No, I know, but I’m wearing something under this already!” And then finally I didn’t care anymore and my pride was already wounded and I was like, “Hey! Who wanna look at me in my fleshy-colored bike shorts! I look like a sausage! Numm num! Uncooked sausage! Is everyone in here looking at me yet? Because you all should know that I am wearing thhheeese SPANNNNX!” How does that not happen on Say Yes To The Dress? I didn’t actually lash out, but I did lose all my inhibitions and attempts to keep my Spanx a secret. Ironically, that’s one thing Spanx cannot control.
I grew up thinking I would be humiliated if even 1/8 of an inch of my slip was showing (I wore a lot of slips as a kid, just … whatever, don’t ask), and here I was in a public place not caring who knew I was bound to the point of breathlessness. It may not seem like much to, you know, a normal person, but to me, Elastane undergarments are not up for public discussion. Then I read that Gwyneth Paltrow has been known to wear TWO pairs of Spanx at the same time and somehow, I felt a lot better. Mainly because that is CRAZY.