Monthly Archives: August 2013

When Tulle Skirts Attack

It is a very rare occurrence for me to ever concede defeat. No matter what happens in my life, my finances, my day-to-day turmoils, I always have a Plan B. There is always a way out of every problem, right?

From The Pink Laundry Boutique

From The Pink Laundry Boutique

In fact, not only do I typically have a Plan B… I almost always have a Plan C, too.

But something happened recently that made me feel utterly, completely helpless. It seemed simple enough – I wanted to buy a tulle skirt to wear while I was visiting New York City. Just a plain, sheer tulle that I could wear over black capris, maybe hot glue some rhinestones onto it to give it a Betsey Johnson vibe. I did a little research online to locate a store in my town that sells those kind of skirts, and once I identified a place I decided to go and buy one. It was a Tuesday. I had a haircut appointment at 4:00pm, so I ran into the store around 3:15pm.

Let’s fast forward through the semi-painful part of me not being able to find anything in an adult size in this enormous warehouse-style store, let alone locate anything with the ‘large waist” that my pear-shaped ass demanded. Although the sympathetic salesperson directed me to a small rack with 4 or 5 choices of sheer ballet skirts that might fit my big butt, my eyes kept reverting to the store’s stripper pole populated with tween fluffy tulle skirts that were for sale.

“Can adults wear these?” I asked.

“Ummmm, yes,” was the hesitant reply.

It was then that I made the outrageous decision – I was going to try on one of those fluffy tulle skirts. Never mind that they were made for elfin waifs dancing in elementary school plays about nutcrackers and talking rats – I was going to try on that little pink tulle skirt if it killed me.

Unfortunately, it almost did.

Somehow, using ingenuity gleaned from years of higher education and late night self-esteem talks with my mother, I managed to get that tangle of tulle over my head, wriggled around my bloated tummy, and settled onto the hip bones of my alleged waist. When I looked into the mirror, I had to admit, it was breath-taking –

I looked so bad, it was comical. The tulle stood out from my body frame in such a severe angle, it looked like my hips had become horizontal. And while tulle looks absolutely adorable on 3-year old little girls and 18-year olds with 0% body fat, it most certainly did not look good on middle-aged me. In fact, I looked so comical, even I had to laugh. Nervous, disgusted laughter that starts in the back of the throat and results in an eye-rolling snort. The stiff, unforgiving material added 30-40 pounds onto my already stocky frame. So glamorous. Time to take it off and skulk out of the store as quickly as possible, making eye contact with no one.

Using both hands, I tugged and pulled and yanked – nothing happened. I grunted and twisted and sucked it in – but no success. No matter how I tried, that damn skirt would not budge. Several times, I felt the material ripping and knew that this was getting hopeless. For fifteen minutes I leaned and grabbed and struggled, but that tulle skirt would not move. I had nightmare visions of cracking open the dressing room door and whispering to the salesperson that I needed a pair of scissors, without really going into details why. Not only that – I had a hair appointment in less than 20-minutes, and if I didn’t show up for it, I would spend the next month walking around with an overgrown shag.

Desperation was setting in.

I could hear myself practicing the words, “I’ll pay for it… I’ll pay double… please bring me a pair of scissors and a receipt…” when somehow, deep inside my self-talk, a Plan C somehow managed to formulate inside my hyper-ventilating brain. I realized that I had not yet tried the bend-over-and-wriggle-over-head move. Taking a deep breath, I leaned forward until I could hear my knees crack and used my clawed, shaking fingers to muscle that fricking skirt over my love handles and shoulders. There was give, there was movement – freedom!

I don’t even want to tell you about the sheen of sweat all over my body. What a workout! I scrambled into my clothes and rushed out of the dressing room, never looking back.

“Yeah, thanks, no…. not really my size,” I remember mumbling as I walked through the huge store – think Western wear and dance wear on steroids – and ran to the parking lot.

So embarrassing. I made it to my hair appointment, but somehow what should have been a funny anecdote really didn’t seem that funny when I told the story. My original plan B for getting out of that tulle skirt amounted to nothing more then destruction and escape. I’m not used to that. Typically, when I have a Plan B, there are better decisions to make and a happier outcome. Getting to Plan C felt like defeat. What a middle-aged quandary. Oy vey.

Oh, and I did end up going to NYC with an $18 dancer’s sheer skirt that I found at a discount store to wear over my black capris. But in the 100 degree heat, I never wore it. Go figure.

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