Sunday, 16 December 2007


The approach of Christmas has put my plans to lose 10kg on hold. As I’m sure it has for many women. The intention was there until that first celebratory glass of champagne, and somewhere along the line, lost in a haze of drinking the decision to get a “fresh start’ on the weight loss plans in the New Year was made.
Which is why I ended up in Smith and Caughey’s lingerie department contorted, trapped and unable to free myself from a garment sometimes known as an “easy squeezy” also known as “magic knickers” and in my mother’s day as a “corset.”
The reasoning behind my solo and very clandestine visit was the reliable information that this garment would hold everything in, thus giving the illusion that you have lost weight, which is very useful at Christmas time when you are forced to get out your party frocks.
The woman beside me in the lingerie department accurately surmised that what we were trying to achieve was basically taking a sausage and squeezing it into a shape which had a waist. Where that sausage meat would end up was never discussed but laws of physics told me that it would either be the thighs or the breasts. I was about to find out. As I entered my changing room I heard my new friend rather ominously grunting and groaning next door.
Armed with a selection in black I proceeded to haul one over my head. It got as far as my shoulders where it settled one side under my arm, the other around my head so that only one eye was visible and every increasingly panic stricken breath I took was obtained through the thick gusset of lycra and some elastic substance so strong they should make car tyres out of it. Both arms were sticking straight up in the air and were locked in place by the band of black which seemed determined to squash my face into my armpit before it was done with me. And there I was. Stuck, like some interpretive dancer during the bit when she runs around the stage with her arms in the air cowering from the Komodo dragon .Only this was me, on my own at Smith and Caugheys. As I sat down awkwardly, arms akimbo on the gilt and velvet chair I realised with horror that I could die in here and no one would know where I was. So ashamed was I about my “easy squeezy” adventure that I had told no one, nor had I brought with me water, scrogan and my cell phone as one does on explorations into the unknown. I had another wriggle to see if the garment would budge and then I noticed that the red button by the door. As I pressed it I couldn’t help noticing my friend next door had gone strangely silent also. I waited and wrote the headline:
“Two fat women smothered at top department store.”
A very nice young girl who was yet to endure her first stretch mark peered around the door at me and did a very commendable job of stifling both a giggle and a shriek of horror. What eventually emerged from her mouth were the words “oh dear” with a tone I sensed she had used before in these very changing rooms.
It was at that moment I caught my reflection in the mirror. I now prefer to think of the red face, the sweaty brow, the sausage meat poking out in all directions as a nightmare, nearly as bad as the one in which Jennifer Ward-Lealand shot my horse and chopped down my fern tree.
The garment was eventually retrieved by much pulling over my head and I was instructed to try putting it on from the bottom up.
I now have two “easies” as I affectionately called them. And they’ve changed my life because the constriction on my body is also working on my mind with the psychological effect of making me a bit of a nana. While I have my “easies’ on there is no risk of taking my clothes off and jumping naked in a pool as I usually do about this time of the year, nor have I flirted outrageously with a younger man. And while my friends get drunk and disorderly around me I remain mentally rigid, squeezed and in control of all my faculties. I like the “easy” me, and if I ever do lose that elusive 10kg, I might just keep on wearing them.

Image by Anthony Ellison


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful writing style you have Wendyl. Easy flowing, descriptive everymans (persons ?) narrative.

Your book was my christmas present to me (I still have that childish aspect to my nature despite being old and decrepit).

Like Glen Frey, I love women who are true women. The girls can go and grow up.

You, are a true woman. A beautiful woman and a writer of considerable ability.

Well done.

robinson kruzo said...

love your work ' love the book - when are you going to do a speaking tour of NZ ?

robinson kruzo said...

and where was the bono letter