I don’t know the exact reference, but somewhere in the Bible, it’s prophesied that nylons will cause the apocalypse…something about the Whore of Babylon getting a run in her stockings or paying too much for an ill fitting pair.
After swearing off the things for years, I finally caved into peer pressure and bought a pair. Unfortunately, I was given a harsh reminder exactly why I hate these fabric torture devices so much. Let me relate to you the sad and embarrassing tale because, well, that seems to be what I do most in this blog.
My husband’s hospital rented the Space Needle for dinner and dancing, and I realized that nothing in my wardrobe was swanky enough to fit the occasion. So, I made an emergency trip to my favorite boutique, Target (pronounced with a cute little French accent). I eventually found a cocktail dress that didn’t make me look like a 1970s lampshade, and I was prancing around the dressing room, making the final decisions about it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my favorite fashion consultants with me (Lindsay and Chari, I need you!), so I was left to poll the random women in the dressing room. This might baffle men, but I assure you, women do this all the time (or at least, I do).
One particularly opinionated woman liked the dress, but she boldly suggested that I invest in a pair of control top hosiery. “Oh really,” I thought to myself. “Look who’s talking.” Once I smacked myself upside the head for being such a jerk, I humbly shuffled over to the nylon section and was astounded by the selection. Left to choose between no support, medium support, firm support, footless, the myriad of colors, shapes, sizes, patterns, daywear, nightwear, and brands, my eyes glazed over.
With my self esteem in the gutter, I went for the super control everywhere version, with assurances that it was going to squeeze me everywhere to make me look like the toothpick on the cover. I paused a moment to wonder about where it was going to squeeze all that fat. I mean, it’s got to be relocated somewhere. Perhaps it all was going to my neck. Hmm…that could look strange.
Last Friday afternoon, I began the laborious dressing process and slowly started rolling on the nylons. One leg down, one more to go. Halfway up the thigh, I heard a “rip” and looked down to see a tear quickly creeping down to my knee. Horrified, I watched it zip down past the knee, to the calf. I tore off the vile black accessories and flung them across the room. Now what? I dug through my drawer of neglected hosiery, aged from years of disuse. Finding a pair of black nylons from my waitressing days, about 10 years ago, I decided to give them a try. Apparently, after 10 years, nylons lose a bit of their elasticity. They were easy to put on because they stretched over everything, but they wouldn’t stay up at all. I tucked them into my underwear and hoped for the best.
Parking in downtown Seattle is a nightmare. We parked a few blocks from the Space Needle, so we had to walk a bit, not an easy task in stilettos. Halfway to our destination, I noticed that my strides were getting markedly shorter. I couldn’t seem to walk as fast as I had been before. Nothing seemed to be wrong with my shoes, but my legs themselves seemed to be the problem. Looking down, I noticed that my crotch was at my kneecaps. “Oh crap!” I told Dan, and I motioned for him to stop walking. “Um, I need to find a bathroom, pronto.” I pointed to my dilemma, and barely suppressing a chuckle, he recommended that we hide behind a parked car and fix it. “No way, look at all the people around us!” It was true. People in semi-formal attire were flocking in all directions, heading toward the space needle. I tried a temporay fix by grasping the waist band and holding it up while I walked. The effect was something similar to a penguin waddle, plus it looked like I was suppressing the urge to urinate.
I gave up my feeble attempt at holding the saggy nylons, and I told Dan to start scouting for a good place to hide. We ducked into a parking lot and Dan stood watch while I crouched between cars and removed the offending hosiery. Resisting the urge to tear them into shreds, I shoved them in my purse and walked purposefully and confidently, bare legged and support free, to the event.
Sure, my legs aren’t perfect. But they are mine, and they get me where I want to go. Toothpick woman on the nylon package can keep her nylons. My legs deserve better treatment. They were custom made for me: “How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands” (Song of Solomon 7:1).