Underwear can be pure evil

Life is full of embarrassing experiences and if we didn’t have any such eye-rolling or wincing-worthy moments, I think we might be playing it far too safe.
I’ve had my share of such but last week’s incident may have been the funniest, or what certainly ranks in the top 10 (though the details only are funny in the past tense).
This story should come with a warning: personal information follows with the use of words like underwear and bra.
I’m all for shaking my own head at my stories of blunder and as one of my daughters confirms, “Only you, Mom. Only you.” Surely she can’t be right.
I had a gift card from a chain sports outlet to use up by the end of July, so I went in one morning to purchase a sports bra. At 60 years old, I’m all about comfort when I’m hauling firewood, and cutting the lawn and pulling weeds, and trying to find the bottom of my to-do list.
I was on a mission to find just the right fit that would keep all (or most) of my body parts safe and comfy.
I entered the change room with four such harnessing devices to try on. There wasn’t a soul in the store and I hardly noticed a sales clerk so I was on my own.
I had tried two of the choices, and was maneuvering into the third, when disaster struck.
In hindsight, I find fault in my decision to try a pull-over-the-head variety of the holding-them-in-place-contraptions. It wasn’t a wise choice. It’s a bit like thinking sure I can walk in these heels for more than five minutes.
The truth is, this particular model was lime green—and I’m a sucker for lime green. Lime green makes life better; a simple truth. It’s like crows and shiny objects, I suppose.
I started to wiggle into the ridiculous apparatus. My arms were over my head and I desperately was trying to pull the thing down into place. And then the realization came to me: I couldn’t get into said sports bra and, even worse, I couldn’t get out of it.
I was stuck. And judging by my reflection in the change room mirror, it was not a pretty sight.
I struggled and strained, cursing my weak wrists and arthritic thumbs. I tried holding my breath and then exhaling dramatically. I wasn’t sure if I should scream or fall down on the change room floor in a sobbing heap.
Get help, you suggest? I was not going to open the door and ask for assistance. I would have starved to death in there first. They would have had to get the “Jaws of Life” to remove my decaying body from the change room after someone noticed I was missing in action.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure how long that would take. Days? A week?
When I had consumed all my energy trying to free myself, I had to sit down and do a bit of calming meditation—all the while with my arms stuck straight over my head.
I closed my eyes and imagined myself younger, stronger, and thinner.
I would like to say, in my own defence, that I was trying on the correct size. It wasn’t as if I was pretending I was smaller than I am. I was being realistic.
After I caught my breath and my heart rate returned to a somewhat normal range, I tried again to get out of the heinous piece of underwear. With one final pull, I was free.
I threw the piece of hated apparel on to the floor and jumped up and down on it.
The truth is, I’ve never been a fan of clothing that requires Houdini skills to get in or out of it. But again, who can resist lime green? I was caught up in my passion for colour.
Poor judgment I now realize.
I walked calmly from the change room. I wanted to fling the repugnant undergarment as I emerged, but I did manage to maintain a reasonable level of self-control. I left the store with my sanity and my pride intact, though badly bruised.
I’ve learned a lesson. I will bring a blind person into the change room to help the next time I tread near that water again—or have a set of Go-Go-Gadget arms on hand should the need arise.
Live and learn. Live and learn.
wendistewart@live.ca

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