Tag Archives: getting dressed

Have Kids, Will…Buy Spanx

Everyone has heard of them.  Many women have worn them.  I finally got around to buying them.  Not the knock-off brand at Target, mind you, the real deal.  At first, I tried the generic brand.  They may even be made by the geniuses at Spanx specifically for cheapskates like me, but when I tugged on the real ones…oh, mama!  There was NO comparison.

For those of us who are over 40, have had multiple children, and/or like to eat more than we like to exercise, the lower half of our bodies tend to put these things on display.  After trying to “slip on” a really pretty dress for my brother’s wedding, I realized I needed some (ahem) support for all that wayward bulge.  When I went for help, I went for the big guns.  Thank you, Nordstrom!

The sales lady who helped me was extremely kind.  She humored me when I cracked jokes about sausage casings and Barbie-size undergarments.  I was obviously new at this and awkwardly so.  I’m pretty sure my thighs looked at each other and laughed, Who does she think she’s squeezing into those?  But on they went…flesh stuffed and crammed, belly flab smooshed, wrinkled, pinched, and finally, suffocated.  But the heavens opened when I finally managed to pull those bad boys on.  This ain’t your grandma’s girdle, but now I know why she wore one.  Everything was so smooth!  There was even an opening in the crotch so I wouldn’t have to go through that wrestling match every time I had to pee.  Hooray!!!

I’ve read some really hardcore criticisms of Spanx, written by well-meaning feminist champions who see these undergarments as articles of torture designed to keep us forever in the mind that we aren’t good enough as we are, whether in the eyes of a repressive patriarchy or by other women who subscribe to self-loathing by doing anything and everything to “fix” our feminine “problems”.  While I respect the intentions of these women and applaud them for their desire to help other women fight such destructive criticism, I REALLY like the way these tight panty-shorts make me look and feel in a slightly fitted dress!  Also, since they don’t come in packs of three for $7.99, I’m pretty sure I will get my money’s worth by wearing them with everything!635666814161464761-screen-shot-2015-05-08-at-11-29-47-am



Have Kids, Will…Get Dressed and Wear Makeup (Usually)



Motherhood changes us.  For better or for worse, we become physically different versions of ourselves when we become mothers.  We quickly come to realize that babies do not care if we are showered, dressed, or made up with cosmetics.  In fact, they probably like us better when we’re snuggled in with them, smelling earthy and feeling soft.  That’s all fine and good for a little while, but then we need to make our way out of our domestic cocoons and into the world of functioning adults.  We have to work, shop, keep appointments, and–oh yeah–socialize.  In most cases, the women I know make this transition pretty well and put themselves together a bit to go out in public.  Nothing fancy–just a little mascara and clothing that doesn’t include flannel pants with a drawstring waist.  It’s not necessarily easy, but we can make it happen. I absolutely do not pass judgement on women who go out in sweats and bare faces because I know how difficult it can be to put together an outfit with a screaming child (or children) clinging to you, overflowing the toilet, vomiting on the dog, or whatever.  Normally, though, I’m not one for sweats.

So it came as a surprise to me when, recently, I saw an acquaintance at our local coffee shop.  She was chatting with a female companion when I stopped to say hello.  She introduced me to her friend, telling this gal that I have four kids–boys, at that.  Fine.  That’s normal information to offer.  I do have four boys.  This coffee companion, without blinking an eye or cracking a smile, looked me up and down, and said, “Well, you’re put together for having four children.”    At this point, a series of thoughts ran through my mind, including:

  1. Why did that have to be such a back-handed comment?
  2. I’m not that put together…I think there’s a coffee stain on the front of my shirt.
  3. She probably doesn’t have kids, and thinks of dogs as babies.
  4. Did I brush my teeth this morning?
  5. What a bitch.

Pushing aside my discomfort, I tried to lighten the mood by responding, “Yeah, I’m usually schlepping around town in my pj’s, but decided to put some real clothes on this morning.”

Again with the stony face, this woman replies, “Well, that’s what I would expect!”

Now, let me ask you…why is that?  Why do people automatically assume that because women have children (or, at least, more than two children) we’re supposed to be perpetually disheveled slobs?  I will freely admit to wallowing in my slovenly condition when I had newborn nursing infants, and going out in public looking like I hadn’t slept in months–because I hadn’t.  But, really, when does it stop?  My youngest is now seven years old.  What would make that woman think that I am unable to pull myself together enough to meet some friends for coffee?  It was a school day, for God’s sake!

I suggest we all start doling out compliments that don’t include the word “for”.  As in, “You look really nice today…for a wrinkled, old lady.”  Or,  “You look really good…for someone with four (five, six , twenty) kids.”  Instead, let’s all find something nice to say about someone and offer a sincere compliment, or even a simple “Congratulations, that’s great.” Of course, there’s also the option of “accidentally” spilling your iced mocha latte into the jerky woman’s lap and offering, “Oops.  You look really good, too, for someone who just wet her pants in the coffee shop.”