Sunday, September 21, 2008

Death by Pantyhose

One of the things I love most about weekends is not having to wear pantyhose. Really, I don't know who thought the concept of an elasticized corset with legs would be comfortable. Maybe it works for sausage, but around a middle age waist, it's just plain torture.

After years of tolerating tight waistbands and the inevitable "overflow bulge" that happens when your abdominal fat is squashed upwards (where else is it going to go?), I'd finally had it. I had been avoiding taking drastic measures up until now, but my sanity was at stake.

So last week while I was getting ready for work, I took out a pair of scissors and gave the waistband a snip. One, two, three, four times. I slipped the pantyhose on. Ahhhh....It felt like I had found pantyhose nirvana.

I doubt I'm the only middle age woman with hacked up hosiery in her lingerie drawer. But why is this even necessary? You'd think with all the zillions of dollars spent on R&D in this country, someone would come up with a non-life threatening waistband on a pair of pantyhose. It's not like we asked for middle age spread. It comes with the DNA--hormones plus gravity equals love handles. Twenty-four inch waists are something we only blissfully remember and even
try our damnest to return to, but for most of us, it's a losing battle. Width will win out.

The women in my family are particularly prone to mid-section drift coupled with what is endearingly known as the "pooch." This is not a cute little designer dog you tuck in a handbag that I'm talking about; this is a cushy belly where fat tends to get comfortable and, over time, gives you the appearance of a first trimester pregnancy. My grandmother passed on great legs and also stuck us with the pooch. I'll admit, it makes a handy shelf for resting snacks or propping up a magazine when your eyesight goes, but it makes pantyhose about as comfortable as a blood pressure cuff around your middle.

It could be the fashion industry is simply clueless. The pantyhose dilemma is one women tend to endure in silence. It's kind of like feminine hygeine products--we all use them but we don't sit around talking about what brand of tampons has the best absorption.

You don't see men putting up with waistband strangulation. No! They just switch from their tighty whities of youth to boxer shorts and they're good to go. All I'm asking for is a little equal treatment in the underwear department--a Michael Jordan of lycra and spandex--who can promise me good-looking legs without cutting off my circulation.

Is there any hope for us women brandishing sharp objects in the name of comfort? Not any time soon, is what I'm guessing. Here's to the weekend and letting it all hang out.


ptkeyes said...

Good post - all of them actually! Not that I am surprised, but I see you've not lost your voice - keep it up! That said, men are forced to endure belts. (Sans-a-belt pants are the final sign of giving up and aren't acknowledged in making this point.) Admittedly belts are not as harsh as those crazy pantyhose wasitbands, but having a cinched length of leather strapped on is no picnic either. Belts are why we immediately get into the pants that offer the minimum of waist adherence - sweats, bathing suits, even just parading the boxers - the second we are done with clothing requirements for work or social functions. But that's an easily accomplished relief for most men, so I will hold out hope that there will be underwear equality in our lifetime! I used to wear pantyhose to stay warm when playing football in my youth, so I know the piano-wire effect that tiny band can have. It's just another way the man keeps you down! Fight the power! Slash the band!

Elaine Harrigan said...

Thanks for the insight! Who knew men would have a similar "band" problem? And I like the slogan: "Slash the band!" I can see the campaign now--we'll get Marie Osmond, Rosie O'Donnell, Michael Jordan--heck, we'll get Sarah Palin! To hell with the economy--too tight waistbands are the real issue affecting middle America (or is that the middles of America?) Love it.