I never planned on becoming friends with you. For that matter, I never planned on falling in love with you. For so long you were like a popular kid in school, and I didn’t understand what the big deal was. You were just another item of clothing. One more thing to put on and take off. One more thing to wash and put away. Why was everyone else fawning over you?
It was just a normal Tuesday when I saw you in the store. I perused shirts and pants, but my eyes kept being drawn toward you. I looked at a belt and a handbag, but you were still there, staring at me. It was as though you were saying, “Hey, come over here. I won’t hurt you. You’ll love me. I promise. Would I lie to you?”
In a moment of weakness and curiosity—and the fact I was shopping by myself so no one could judge me—I put you into my cart and swiftly took you home. I was positive I wouldn’t even bother taking the tags off, as surely everyone else was wrong and I was right: You were nothing special.
Once I returned home, I scurried to the bathroom to change, and it was then and there that our romance began.
Our relationship was rough at first. Pulling you on took a feat of strength that I didn’t know I possessed. I tugged and grunted and shimmied and then, finally, the moment came. You were properly in place, and I looked at myself in the mirror through eyes squinted into slits for fear of what I would see.
And what did I see?
That’s the only explanation. You had to be some sort of magical being to do what you had done. No longer did my love handles peek over the band of my underwear. My postpartum pooch was flat and smooth. My butt was where it was supposed to be. Through the power of just one exhausting struggle to spread you onto my body, you had completely transformed me.
It was love at first sight.
Oh Shapewear, where have you been all these years?
You have given me new life and saved me so much time. I no longer have to sweat in the gym to fit into my favorite jeans again. I just pull you on and, in an instant, I can snap the fly.
You have given me confidence now that I no longer have bumps and bulges protruding beneath my clothes.
You have given me good posture because there’s no way to slouch when you have a vice-like grip on my midsection.
I feel elated whenever I wear you. Perhaps it’s because you are squeezing me so tight that I can’t breathe, and my elation is actually my body telling me I’m about to pass out, but I don’t care.
I don’t care.
It is always sad when we have to say goodbye for the day. I peel you off of my body, which returns to its squishy state. I look in the mirror and long for you once more. But I know that I need to let my skin and muscles relax, and I need oxygen to once again return to my brain.
And I also know that tomorrow we will be reunited once more.
Thank you for calling to me in that department store, Shapewear. I love you.
© 2015 Toni Hammer, as first published on Scary Mommy