Today, I bought a pregnancy girdle.
ONLY because my doctor told me I needed one to wear during concerts so that Anniston doesn't bounce around too much. And Ryan made me comply so that our baby isn't permanently brain damaged (but trust me, I was willing to take the risk). So I spent $28.32 on a horrendously painful piece of Lycra that starts at my knees, ends somewhere around my throat, and worst of all only comes in skin tone color. I bought an XXL. Flesh colored. Girdle.
I cried in the dressing room. Alligator tears.
What has happened to my life?
A few things you should know about buying a girdle.
1. Go to JCPenneys. I thought through stores I could go to with my head held high as I perused the plus size lingerie section and Penneys was the only store that came to mind, and here's why.
First, that store is full of old people. Most of them can't see what I'm doing anyways. And furthermore, they are just there to get their hair done, I doubt they've shopped lingerie this decade. If you can make it past the optical clinic, hair salon, and senior citizen bus at the front of the store, you might be the only one there under 70, and that will be good for your pride.
Second, most of the employees are still old school. If you have to ask where a pregnancy girdle is, you better be asking someone over the age of 65 otherwise, call it quits, you are officially lame (and probably out of luck, no one from our generation seems to know what a girdle is). But if you ask an old lady, she doesn't know any better. She thinks we are all still pimpin out girdles. In fact, when the lovely grandmother lady helping me today realized I was struggling with my purchase she said, "Poor thing, you're worried about it being too tight on the baby." And I said, "NO! I'm worried about me! I'm buying a girdle!" I could tell, she didn't understand my shame.
Third, shop at Penneys for your girdle selections because, lets be honest...do you really want this to go down at Target or Wal-Mart? There are men there. There are teenagers. There are workers and managers everywhere. And security cameras. And there are people who have never entered into the world of girdles, control tops, and extra firm support panties. Do you really want to be the one that bumps into them and scares them with this reality? The poor kid at the register wondering what in the world we use these things for? Or the teenage girl shopping for shoes and a cute bikini who sees you and is now terrified to ever grow up and be a mom? Or really anyone else you can think of? No one wants to share this moment with us. No one. So we should be stealthy about it. In. Out. Off. On. Before anyone else has to see.
When you shop at Penneys you have the luxury of being invisible. And just in case you are still in doubt please hear me say, girdle shopping is a private matter. Trust me, you want to be invisible.
2. In the end it doesn't matter if you buy skin toned, black, or leopard print. There's just no way to make these things endearing. They are a necessary evil. So don't be fooled by marketing, there is nothing you can do to make this situation better. Nothing.
3. Finally, shopping for a girdle must be done at the right time. It's like grocery shopping on an empty stomach...you don't do it. Likewise, you don't shop for something that is going to belittle your womanhood when you are feeling ugly. So gear up. Or help the one you love gear up. Go get your nails done or fix your hair. Put on a cute outfit and remind yourself of all the ways you are awesome. Then, leave a box of girl scout cookies or a candy bar in the car for when you get back.
Because inevitably, no matter how you do it or where you buy it, you will still be traumatized.