Linda Roy is the creative genius behind the blog, Elleroy Was Here, and one of the managing partners of Lefty Pop, a political and pop culture site. It’s like Jon Stewart and Molly Ringwald had a baby. Check out Linda’s story of agony and self-acceptance as she does the double penance of shopping for Spanx at Walmart.
In the final moments before exiting my vehicle and braving the wilds of the suburban jungle that is the local Walmart, I consider turning back and admitting defeat.
After all, this is the scene of the last humiliation, wherein I decided to swimsuit shop with my husband. His words ring in my ears, “If you could just lose ten to fifteen pounds, you could wear a suit without a skirt attached.” Never mind that men can cavort along the open beaches and poolside sporting something resembling a Sealy Posturepedic pillow top above the waistband, this is about women!
Swimsuits with attached skirts are for full-figured over-forty gals, like my mother was when I thought to myself “Oh hell no, I’m never gonna wear one of those things!” Except I am over forty and very much bustin’ a Jane Russell move, figuratively speaking.
Still I decide to get over myself in favor of the queen mother solution to every woman’s Michelin middled woes – a little torture device called Spanx. This was not my first time to this rodeo.
The ladies intimates department is littered with various machinations of the girdle, most of them in size XL. I stop to ponder how I came to this juncture; searching for a “petite” sausage casing to perform manual lipo, though the end result is more “suck in” than “suck out”.
Either way, it sucks.
And when the desired style, fabric, size and color has finally been pulled from the wreckage of torturous and personally unseemly undergarments, I resentfully walk away clenching my treasure in a tightly clenched fist, determined to face the world with head held high and a sense of denial fully intact.
That is, until I meet my cashier. A gangsta warrior of a woman, even within the confines of this establishment. She is a hulk of a woman; in the big boned sense, in the girthed sense, oh hell…in every sense.
She sports several of the sort of threatening tattoos of the ilk that might cause even a Vietnam vet to flinch and as I glance over at her register, I notice a middle that reaches for her knees – perhaps a sign of things to come if I don’t put the Twinkies back.
And just as I think she’s going to mutter some pedestrian shop talk à la “Will that be all?” amidst my thirty two items, this:
“Oh giiirrrlll!” pointing to my chosen implement of flabular destruction. “They gooooodddd!!!”
“What, this?” I ask gesturing to the beige enemy before me.
“Oh yeah…and they’re cooommmffffyyyy! I got on three of ’em right now!” She smiles and nudges me on the arm, giving me the kind of communal blink that lets me know I’m being initiated into the club and here is my welcome wagon.
I’m feeling slightly like Woody Allen in the “I don’t want to be in a club that would have me as a member” sort of way. Yet, I know I’m in. I’ve been in. And they keep pulling me back in.
And somehow, as I walk away with my bag of polyester/cotton blend, a wave of determination washes over me along with the realization that not only will I be “sucking it in” from now on…I will also be “sucking it up.”