09 June 2011

The Things We Do

So I talk about a lot of emotional stuff on here because that's what I do. I blab on and on ad nauseum about, because it's interesting to me. It's interesting how the mind works and how sometimes it works against your emotions or for them. For me, it's the other way around: how my emotions work against my brain or not.

But for the sake of my occasional attempt at humor, and at least to share what I found amusing, I was thinking about what we women do to maintain our shape. In the artificial way, while we are either on our way up or down the scale. How we suffer through suffocating undergarments that come up to our boobs, how we struggle to peel out of them to go to the bathroom at, say, a wedding reception. What it takes to fasten everything together. Support bras, support hose, girdles, Spanks, garters, wires, even high heels to some degree. Everything it takes to look thinner, taller, shorter, more curvy, more sexy, less bumpy, less frumpy than we are (and should accept but can't because it's hard) and all only to have to peel out of it all at the end of the night.

And then I got to thinking about this on a dating level. Even though I, as a mom, should be anti-pre-marital sex (I certainly don't have room to preach, Miss Prego at age eighteen sans hubby,) it's a reality that becomes cumbersome once you realize that the canoodling in the bedroom will regress to peeling off and out of the time-honored tradition of gut-sucking contraptions of our feminine masochism. And then that poses a real challenge. Do you politely giggle and get out of more canoodling-graduates-to-sex? Or do you put your date to the test and make him watch you make a banana of yourself? And there's always the good, old plausible "Let me change into something more comfortable" whisper in his ear to buy time in the bathroom so you can make a banana of yourself in private.

I mean to say we haven't moved very far from the corset, have we? And do you know how we used to get into those? By getting laced up from the back. Someone else would have to lace you up inside steel boning and metal eyelets, put their foot into your back, and pull! Hard! The only protection between skin and digging corset was a thin tank top (chemise) and then they would tie that sausage casing up. Yeah, someone was thinking of the furthest way to torture a woman and still get her to smile--because you know those women still smiled. They would smile while they suffocated. And you thought you couldn't breathe in a pair of Spanx! Honestly, who thought up this stuff?

And so I thought further.

It had to have been a man, only for the simple reason that men are problem solvers. They tend to think towards an answer in a path of least resistance or in simple terms.

Fictional Male Character 1: "How do we get to see the most boobs for the least amount of work or pain to us?"

Fictional Male Character 2: "I know! Let's squeeze the crap out of the middle and tie it really tight so that the ends come out like turkey stuffing!"

But no! This sexist approach does not work. According to my lackluster research, it was supposedly Catherine de' Medici, wife of King Henry II of France, who had apparently banned "thick waistlines" at royal court in the mid-1500's. A woman! I gasp verily!

While there is actually no concrete history on who owns part of the corset's invention, and while this simple track of laughing to myself while peeling out of my own pair of Spanks not too long ago has gotten me into a complicated dive into the history of the corset, it bears pulling the thought to the surface merely for a laugh. Just think about it next time you walk into the underwear boutique...

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