Saturday, January 28, 2012

Et Tu Waistline

The last time I actually measured my waist was in 1987 using units of toilet paper squares at a baby shower.  I haven’t needed to know how large or small I am since.  I can see pretty well, and I know what goes up to it smoothly and what pushes everything north of my waistline up under my chin.
This year, my co-workers voted we should all go as 50s girls and host an open house.  The costume shop had 3 basic adult female costumes:  a slutty meter maid, a slutty nurse and a slutty witch.  I did see one poodle skirt, but Scarlett O’Hara’s Mammy couldn’t have gotten me into it.
And it was a slutty poodle skirt too.
I decided to make my costume, which would finally require taking actual measurements.  I hoped I was wrong and that my waistline hadn’t really left me for the elastic salesman.  As it turned out, the size of a circle I needed to cut could be compared to a deflated hot-air balloon, a landscaped roundabout, or a Barnum and Bailey’s 3-Ring Circus ring.
I honed in on circus ring.
“I don’t think you’re that big,” my daughter, Krista, said, as I was looking for a yard stick to tape to another yard stick.
“You don’t develop good girth estimating abilities until you’re in your 30s, my dear,” I said, scraping the back of my brain for the Pi formula.
Months after my ego recovered from wearing the “Statue of Liberty-sized” poodle skirt, the same work-crew who voted “IN” the 50s wear took me shopping while we were on a business trip for the sole purpose of getting Heidi some cool jeans to wear on casual day.
“Do I HAVE to?” I whined, scoping the store for the “Circus Attraction” section. “I need my elastic.  They’re not going to fit me!”
“Yes they will!” they sang merrily. “What is your size--we’ll help you look?”
STOP THE CAR.
 “We might need to measure you,” the store clerk inserted, “because we have a whole different sizing system now.”
I rest is of the story is kind of a blur.  I remember pants flying over the dressing room door. I remember chaffing skin and trying to put my head between my knees from lack of oxygen and greeting my own boobs under my chin.  I also recall quivering biceps from doing too many “Blue Jean” curls. 
When I came to, I was sporting some smokin’ hot jeans—the first new pair since my late 20s.  The “World Denim and Spandex” reserves did have to be tapped, but it was for a good cause--my husband, Fred, couldn’t take his eyes off me.
But then, he’s into circus folk.