Sunday, February 18, 2007

An Even Tighter Spot

You know that famous quote about those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Well, I'm doomed.

Like the total and complete idiot I am, I ventured out the other day in the only pair of tights I owned (having thrown the bright blue ones in the trash), not knowing that a little pair of black tights could lead to the second most humiliating day in my entire life. (Don't ask me to share the most humiliating day with you!)

I set out the other day in a black suit, hot pink shirt, black heels and black tights. Determined not to fall victim, again, to the poor lighting in my room, prior to leaving the house I asked my friend, Rach, who was staying with us, to please make sure that all my blacks matched -- right down to the tights. She said that they did.

Not that I don't trust Rach (but I don't -- she would so totally throw me to the wolves), I went to every room in the house and checked my colors. Yep, everything matched. As I was leaving, I commented to Rach how weird it was to wear non-control top pantyhose after all these years. It was as if I wasn't wearing anything at all.

I took off walking to the metro, wearing my long black full-length coat, which stops just below my knees, and carrying a large black purse on one arm and a computer bag on the other. Since my coat is a little bulky, the shoulder straps on my bag and computer bag kept slipping, so even though the straps were over my shoulders, I had to hold onto the bags with my hands so they wouldn't slide off.

As I was walking down the street, double-checking the windows along the way to make sure that my blacks were, in fact, all black in the light of day, I noticed that my tights kept slipping at the waistband. Since my hands were holding my bags, and my coat is pretty thick, it was hard to get a good yank on the waistband of the tights to pull them up. But, God knows, I tried. For quite possibly the first time in my life, I took comfort in the size of my hips. Deep down, I knew that there was no way that those tights were going to clear my hips. My comfort was misplaced.

By the time I got to the second corner, about to turn onto Rue Antoine Dansaert, which as irony would have it, is the fashion center of Brussels, I could tell by the winter chill on my bare ass that my tights had cleared my hips. I took comfort in the fact that I was wearing a knee-length skirt and a long coat.

Since I was stopped at a crosswalk with an abnormally large crowd of people, and my tights had slipped low enough that there was no discreet way to pull them up without giving away their location to all those standing around me, I had to come up with Plan B. I decided that I would cross the street and walk the short block to McDonald's and then pop into the bathroom and take care of the tights issue. I figured that if I took really long waddle strides, then, at least, I could keep my tights above my knees where they would still be hidden by my coat.

So, I took off across the street, walking slightly sideways and taking as long strides as the tights allowed. To my credit, the plan worked until I reached the front of the Marriott. I didn't have to look down to see how far my tights had progressed during the short walk up the block. I just had to watch the changing expressions on the Marriott Doorman's face as I approached. It was as if he was looking at a train wreck. Horrified, yet unable to avert his gaze.

In what can only be described as cruel, yet perfect, timing, the very moment that I was right-smack in front of the Doorman, my tights fell to just above my ankles! At least the Doorman had the decency to turn his head in embarrassment for me. The same cannot be said for the taxi driver and the impeccably dressed couple walking toward the Marriott entrance. (For the record, I don't care how talented a designer Calvin Klein is, tights around your ankles will completely destroy the look.)

In hindsight, I should have put my bags down, grabbed my tights from my ankles and pulled them as high as I could -- bare ass and Doorman be damned -- and continued on as if nothing had ever happened. But, you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20. Instead, I waddle-ran the rest of the way to the side door of McDonald's. I then waddle-ran through the restaurant, staring straight ahead so as not to catch anyone's eyes, and then waddle stepped down the flight of stairs into the bathroom -- all with my tights firmly around my ankles.

A smart person would have just taken the tights off and immediately thrown them away. Rather than think myself stupid, I prefer to think that the sheer humiliation caused my brain to misfire and forced me into yet another ill-conceived plan. Since I had just run through the restaurant with my drawers around my ankles, there was no way I was going to back upstairs and ask for a stapler or a rubber band or a clip of some sort. So, I rummaged through both bags and all my pockets looking for anything that I could use to MacGyver the tights up. No such luck.

Enter Plan C. In a sheer act of genius, I decided to pull really hard on the waistband of the tights, stretching it far enough so that I could get enough of it to tie a knot into the waistband. Voila! I had solved my problem with the tights. Now, I just had that little problem of walking back through Mickey D's.

As it turned out, there were some massive freaking flaws in Plan C. You might say that the plan came a little unraveled on my walk to the metro. I don't know what kind of material tights are made of, but I do know that, whatever it is, it doesn't like to stay knotted. And, to make matters worse, when stretched really hard, oh like say when trying to tie it into a knot, the material loses whatever "holding" property, if any, it may have had.

I had barely made it out of McDonald's when the knot gave way. Rather than have a repeat of the incident that just played out in front of the Marriott, I put my hand in my coat pocket, quickly grabbed at the waistband of the tights before it slipped past the waistline of my skirt, and held it in my fist. I walked all the way to the metro with my hands clenched in a fist inside my coat holding up my tights. When I got to where I was going, I took some black alligator clips, folded my tights over my waistband and clipped them in place.

When I got home, I resorted to Plan D, which was to throw the tights away!

© 2007 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Manic said...

My pants sometimes have the tendency to lower themselves too, but I usually avoid carrying stuff when I wear pants with that tendency. I also always wear a belt, not that those really help because I'm just too slim for those dreaded things. My solution is indeed to walk all the time with my hands in my pockets to prevent the pants with tendencies of accomplishing these said tendencies.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Elana said...

That was hilarious. I wish I could have been there to witness all of this. It would have been nice reciprocity for the Williams-Sonoma-kitchen-towels-falling incident and me looking like Spiderwoman climbing up a wall. I'm sure the doorman was just thinking you were coming onto him, so don't worry about it. :)

2:58 AM  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Lordy lordy, I haven't been coming to read you lately but today is a foggy cold Monday in Belgie and you made me giggle a little.

Not in a cruel way but in an 'I so know what you're talking about but mine wasn't THAT bad'. It was merely my slip at a party and I kicked it off and slipped it into a pocket before too much psychological damage occured.

Oh Cindy, I'm sorry!

4:00 PM  

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