i just want out of these pants: stories from the dressing room and beyond

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there i was, standing in the handicap stall at work in a full-on fight. i’m not even kidding, guys, it was a real battle. so who was on the receiving end of this lover’s quarrel?

oh that would be none other than my “no limit” tank from lululemon:

i wish i owned this color combo but mine is black with a pink sports bra

yes folks, though i have worn this garment as part of my pure barre ensemble countless times before, without fail, each and every time i go to put it on i have to consciously think, “okay, shawna, be smarter than the shirt.” (it’s the exposed rib-cage portion that throws me for a loop) and even despite my positive self-talk, nine times out of ten, i am wrestling with that black and pink piece of lycra/cotton blend for nothing short of two minutes (i’m serious), and then, in a sweet sweet moment of clarity, i manage to position it just right, slip that puppy over my head and pray the whole way that as i pull the black band down around my booty that i have indeed not just put it on inside out somehow managed to slip my head through an arm hole instead. and i go through the pain and the struggle and the frustration because once it’s on and situated just so, it’s one of the most comfortable and flattering workout tops i’ve ever worn.

so i got to thinking after my dressing room spectacle thursday afternoon, about other instances where i’ve let clothing take the upper hand. oh no, you read correctly, there have indeed been multiple occasions.let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

to elementary school and to the days of belts such as these:

mine was certainly not ralph lauren but it was probably colorful like this one

i can recall a very specific instance when i had waited just a tad bit too long to excuse myself to the little girls’ room. and therefore, short of busting into a full-out sprint, i briskly waddled my way to the nearest bathroom and into one of the vanilla-colored stalls. and as i squirmed and did what has commonly become known as “the pee pee dance,” i realized that before i could be free from those jordache jeans, i had to first conquer the belt that was working to hold them up. and in the stress of the moment, no matter how hard i concentrated, i simply could not figure out how to unleash that cotton strap from beneath its metal rings. the more time passed, the more panicked i became. and the more panicked i became, so did the need for me to relieve myself and STAT. and to save y’all (and myself) from an incriminating tale of how shawna peed her pants in third grade and was forced to leave school out of sheer and utter embarrassment, i’ll simply say instead that it was a very very close call. the ironic thing is that i currently own a similarly designed leather version of the above pictured belt from abercrombie and fitch and it is my all-time favorite belt (and has been for since high school). it’s nice to know that unlike the “no limit” tank from lulu, i’ve mastered the art of unbuckling the double ring belt. phew.

who has ever worn a one-piece bathing suit? [raises hand]. truth be told, i’m kind of digging the idea of returning back to my one-piece wearing ways for the upcoming summer season. i’m thinking one of those throw-back forties style. probably something in a polka dot pattern (obviously) like this:

but unlike the photo above, my first one-pieces were a bit more complicated in design. very similar to this:


i now realize that perhaps my age played into the fact that i was unable to figure out how in which to get the bathing garment onto my body without getting tangled in the straps because as i look at this image now, i think i would have minimal struggle in slithering into this little number. but regardless, there were many a time growing up when i would be so excited to spend the afternoon poolside that in haste, i would get into my bathing suit so fast that i would all but turn myself into a human pretzel; using the arm holes as the head hole and vice versa. i cannot tell you how many times i had to call for reinforcements (aka mom) to come untangle me from the web of lyra and spandex. luckily, somewhere between the sixth grade and freshman year of high school i discovered the “bikini” and her more modest cousin the “tankini” and my days of getting caught in a bathing suit strap entanglement were numbered.

zippers. man do i love zippers. they are BY FAR a better closure (over buttons) when it comes to the fly of your jeans, but despite their usual convenience, boy have i had my issues with them in the past. take for instance sophomore year of college and one habitually worn black and teal puma jacket. throw in an akward and slightly creepy humanities teacher and you’ve got the makings of a memorable run-in with a rogue zipper.

while everyone else was off gallivanting in europe (aka studying abroad), my sweet A and i opted to hold down the fort in malibu for the year. this meant taking humanities II with, well let’s call him professor Z. prof Z was quite the character. equal parts overly passionate and overly creepy. and tough. goodness his class was tough. we had to read nothing short of 15 novels that semester. and upon the completion of each novel, we would be required to take a simple 15-point true/false quiz to test our comprehension of said novel. now i don’t know about you, but despite having a pretty photo-graphic memory, there are simply details in a 200-page book that go uncommitted into the old memory banks. ESPECIALLY when the questions are posed within the confines of an either/or situation. because despite looking like a viable true statement, all it takes is one little word to make that sentence false. and there in lies the conundrum. i’d say about 2/3 of the questions were easily deduced as either correct or incorrect but for those remaining five questions, it was anyone’s guess. there were times when i was convinced he had pulled inquiries from different books entirely. or maybe that was the night i had opted to do my reading in front of the latest episode of the bachelor, and while multi-tasking is a gift, nothing works against committing facts to memory more than chris harrison’s adorable mug and a dozen rose-hungry girls. all this to say is that when your quiz is only out of 15 points, that leaves you with about an eighth of an inch margin of error. missing one and you’re looking at an A-, two and you’ve dipped into B territory, and so on and so on. and over-achiever gal that i am, when the score totalling of quiz after quiz warranted a less than agreeable grade going into midterms, i knew something had to be done. i would not let professor Z and his silly true/false quizzes be the death of my gpa. so i thought i’d face the problem head on and set up an appointment with PZ during office hours.

it was a chilly morning, as they tended to be in malibu (sometimes the ocean air is quite cool, i know, i know it’s the cross we bear being so close to the coast) and therefore, before running out the door, i threw my black and teal puma jacket on over my short-sleeved tee (don’t worry, i had pants on, too) to keep me warm. i met A (who, like i, was concerned about her grade) in front of professor Z’s office and we waited for him to arrive. as we waited, i began playing with my jacket’s zipper. zipping it up, zipping it down. zipping it up, zipping it down (i have to assume that this was about as annoying as those people who incessantly click their ball-point pens and i apologize sincerely to A and anyone else who may have born witness to this relentless behavior). well, i suppose i didn’t realize the power of my own zip (that, or one of the grooves got caught in the fabric, duh) and after zipping it all the way up to my neck (creating almost a mock turtle), as i went to unleash my clavicle from beneath its lycra vice, my efforts proved futile. i tried again. and again. and then once more. but it was far too apparent: the zipper was stuck. and in turn, i, too was stuck within its black and teal puma-adorned “chains.”

now if you have ever truly been stuck in a garment you know that immediately upon realizing said state, you begin to sweat. profusely. which only causes your body to swell; therein worsening the situation. so needless to say when prof Z finally arrived to meet with A and me, i was a clammy mess. still hell-bent on rectifying my situation (without succumbing to outside aid), as we sat and discussed possible extra-credit projects and other means to enhance our otherwise mediocre grades, i continued (stubborn, party of me) to fuss with the zipper. with each attempt, willing the fabric to break free from the zipper groove’s tiny jaws.

still. no. luck.

and about halfway through our discussion of what it was going to take for us to earn A’s in his class (keep your mind out of the gutter), professor Z couldn’t take it any longer. despite his best efforts, he could no longer sit idly by and watch me struggle with that blasted jacket. he finally inquired if he could help amend the problem. but in an attempt not to have the sexual harassment police on him quicker than the length of a kardashian marriage, he was also quick to add that he would only offer aid in the form of verbal suggestions and a pair of scissors. because with the head hole too small to fit over my over-sized noggin (obviously to accommodate all of those brains), the only other plausible idea on how to re-leash me from that puma-adorned parka was to cut me out of it.

so there we were. all three of us. prof Z, A and myself, all completely consumed by my zipper’s plight. and right before i took the scissors’ blades to my beloved jacket, A tried her hand at freeing me one last time. and by some miracle, she was able to jiggle the fabric out from under the zipper’s tightly-clung grooves and just like that (and in the words of braveheart), FREEDOM.

and in addition to this zipper-centered tale, i have a few other stories of how i’ve been [   ] close to calling in for back-up when trying on dresses in the dressing rooms of some of san diego county’s finest retail establishments, but i’ll save those for another day. chances are, you probably have some of the same kinds of mishaps, too. okay, maybe not all of you. sorry, gent readers. so you know exactly what i’m talking about when i say that one of my worst fears is getting stuck in a dress that may or may not be moonlighting as a sausage casing. that’s right, in addition to breaching whales and dying alone, i have an irrational fear of getting lodged in an evening gown. there, i said it.

and on that note, i think i’ve exhausted the whole “getting stuck in your clothes” topic enough for one day. for those of you who are lucky enough to have today off, enjoy it for the both of us, k? if you need me, i’ll be looking for easy to get in and out of workout tops and belts with only a solitary buckle.

love y’all.


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