While I was home for the holidays in Rochester, New York, I went out one evening with a few girls from high school. In our dresses and high heels, we decided to try a new, fancy little restaurant. To protect the identities of my friends, I will call them Mary, Callie and Sam.
That night was an escape for all of us. Mary had been tending to her sick children the entire week. Callie had spent the day with a broken toilet and a less-than-pleasant plumber. Sam had just finished her twelve-hour shift at the hospital. And honestly, I was dying to get out and have some fun. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending quality holiday time with my parents. But sometimes, a girl just has to have some non-family fun!
The perky blonde hostess, in her size zero black dress, escorted us to a dimly-lit table near the window. As we sat, Perky handed us our menus and rattled off the day’s specials.
As she walked away, Mary muttered, “I hate her.”
In stereo, Callie, Sam and I agreed, “We all hate her.”
Mary sighed. “I used to be that size.”
Sam piped in, “Mary, you’ve lost over forty pounds. You look fantastic!”
We all agreed. Mary smiled.
And that was the end of the negative talk. We drank, ate and laughed as the trees beyond the window sparkled with white Christmas lights.
When the waitress asked if we wanted dessert, we held out our hands for the dessert menus. Sam and Callie decided to split a warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, smothered in hot fudge and whipped cream. Mary and I devilishly opted to share a crêpe filled with Nutella® and topped with chocolate sauce, Grand Marnier® and raspberries. Hold the whipped cream.
As we waited for our desserts, I decided to visit the ladies’ room. Mary joined me, because we always go in pairs. To our surprise, it was a one-person bathroom. Although it was a new restaurant, it was retrofitted into an old building.
Anyway…I offered to wait for Mary. She said not to bother, so I returned to the table. After a few minutes, my cell phone buzzed. It was Mary’s number. The text message read, “911!”
I laughed, and texted, “LOL.”
It was answered with, “NO! I really need help! NOW!!!”
My mind raced with all of the possible female emergency scenarios, including a wet foot. Maybe she tried to flush the toilet with her shoe, and she slipped. Not knowing what type of help she needed, I grabbed my purse. If you have not seen my purse, it’s more like an overnight bag. It is stocked with all sorts of essentials. I bought the gigantic thing to carry copies of my books with me everywhere I go. But I digress…
A line had formed. I walked to the front of the line and knocked gently on the door.
“Mary? It’s me.”
The door cracked open. Mary yelled, “Get in here!”
I squeezed through the small opening and shut the door behind me. She appeared slightly disheveled. Her hair was okay, but she was perspiring. And her dress didn’t fall properly.
Mary hiked up her dress and turned away from me. She pleaded, “Help me!”
I saw what looked like black sleek sea creature strangulating her thighs and rear end. One cheek was partially encased. The other cheek was slightly suspended by the black material bunched under it. I desperately tried not to laugh.
She sighed. “Spanx®. I can’t move it.”
“Do you want it up or down?”
This miracle product was bunched mid-tush. Honestly, the view wasn’t pretty. And I could not budge it.
“I think I’m going to have to roll it down and try to yank it up with one big tug.”
“I don’t give a damn how you do it, just do it!”
I swear that thing was made out of indestructible, flexible steel. It was even hard to roll. I pulled down. Her underwear came along for the ride.
Frustrated, she pulled her underwear up.
“Okay, Mary. I’m going to pull up on the count of three. So, suck in.”
On three, I pulled. The top stretched and elongated, but it hardly budged. “You have got to be kidding me! How did you get this on at home?”
Mary admitted, “John did it for me.”
I studied the problem, hands on my hips. “I think you might need a bigger size.”
“No! This is the perfect size!”
“But you can’t get into it without help! This is nuts.”
“Just help me already!”
I zipped my mouth and unzipped my purse. I reached in and located a pair of blue nitrile gloves.
Mary watched as I put them on. “What are you planning on doing with those?” she asked, a bit wary.
“This thing is similar to compression stockings. They tell you to use gloves to get a better grip. I’m hoping it will work. Turn around.”
“It’s worth a shot.”
I shimmied the Spanx® up to just below her derriere and gathered all of the material into my gloved hands. I positioned myself with a wider stance than normal and hoisted with all of my might. I pulled so hard that Mary hopped and lost her balance. She grabbed for the sink vanity.
I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh. At first, Mary was upset. Then, she started to laugh too. And we couldn’t stop. Here we were two grown women in a ladies’ room trying to pull up a freaking pair of Spanx® and failing miserably. We laughed heartily to the point of tears.
The Spanx® rested mid-buttocks at this point, creating a Continental Divide of sorts. Still laughing, I told her to hold on to the vanity and to brace herself. I was determined to get those Spanx® up, if it was the last thing I ever did.
I yanked as hard as I could. Mary’s feet left the floor again, but this time, the Spanx® cleared its hurdle.
“Oh my God! Thank you!”
“You’re welcome! Can you breathe?”
As she smoothed out the front, she replied, “A little.”
“No one is going to believe this.”
“You can’t tell anyone.”
“I am a writer. This is too good not to tell.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t use your name. But this is hysterical!”
“Glad I could provide you with writing material.”
Mary and I checked our makeup. All of those laughing tears caused our eye makeup to smudge. After we touched ourselves up, I opened the door. We were greeted with questioning and annoyed looks by the women standing in line.
We smiled as we walked past them and returned to our table.
“We thought you both fell in,” Callie commented.
Mary answered, “Nope. Just a little wardrobe malfunction.”
Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Purewal