Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Wardrobe Malfunction

My junior year in college, I was cast as in the role of the maid in my theater department's production of a French farce called Paradise Hotel.

Generally speaking, the role of the maid in a French farce is a plum role - funny and sexy and mischievous. I was thrilled.

To be honest, I cannot remember much of the plot, but I do recall, vividly, that one scene called for me to run onto stage dressed in ruffled bloomers and a corset and jump into bed with the actor was playing my paramour.

The student in charge of costumes obtained the corset and bloomers from...I honestly don't know where. Probably some kind of costume house. The bloomers fit fine, but the corset, well, being a corset, it was TIGHT. And even though I was still thin back then, the corset had trouble containing, er...some of my girly bits.

On opening night, trussed into my corset, I ran from the wings onto stage and hopped into the fake bed on which my on-stage love interest was waiting. And with that bounce into bed, the corset gave up and...well, let's just say it was probably the first R-rated stage moment that small United Methodist liberal arts college had ever had. The actor who was playing my lover, a man who, in real life, had absolutely no interest in my girly bits because of their very nature as girly bits, valiantly threw his arms around me in a fake passionate embrace and tugged up on the back of the corset, effectively putting my girly bits back where they belonged, and the show went on.

Husband, to this day, regrets missing that performance. ;-p (It actually took place about 2 weeks before we began dating.)

Which brings me to the night of my brother's wedding, last weekend.

As I mentioned before, to my astonishment, I was going to be able to wear the dress from my Girlfriend H~'s wedding from two summers ago in my brother's Christmas wedding.

If you've been following this blog for any period of time, you know that I've been struggling with my weight and some funky thyroid/pituitary issues for the last several years. I did my level best to stay on Weight Watchers for the past two and a half months, and although it was depressingly slow, I lost about 5.5 lbs.

And YET. And YET when I went to put the dress on (and TWO kinds of SPANX), on the Friday night before the wedding, IT WOULD NOT ZIP. No how, no way, that dress would not zip.

I wailed at the absurdity of it all while my aunt and my grandmother examined the inside of the dress for any place where an inch or two might be let out.

There was nothing to be let out. And so they (Grandma and Aunt) put me in the dress (it zipped halfway, and the hook and eye at the top could be closed, but, there was a four inch gap in the center of my back) and they tacked the dress's shawl to the dress in the three key places. Thus, it would allow it to appear that I just was holding my shawl around me and no one would see that the dress was only partly zipped up. It was not a perfect solution, but it was the only one we could come up with 16-hours before the wedding.

I arrived at the church in a snowstorm, without my Aunt and Grandma (who were decorating the hall for the reception), and I snagged my sister, S~, and I told her what was going on with my dress and that I would need her help getting the shawl appropriately arranged.

My sister's eyes narrowed in a very determined way.

"Stay here," she commanded. (As if I was going to run off anywhere as I was standing half-dressed and barefoot in a church bathroom.) "Don't tell L~!" I called after her, not wanting her to upset our soon-to-be sister-in-law, the BRIDE. ("Don't upset the bride" is a good mantra to keep on anybody's wedding day, I think.)

S~ shortly returned with our other sister, and both of them the assessed the situation. (They are small, my sisters. Tiny, in fact. But, they are two itty-bitty packages of pure determination.)

One of them held the dress shut and the other one coaxed the zipper, and through SHEER FORCE OF THEIR COMBINED WILL, that zipper went UP. I couldn't really breathe, and I had a WHOLE LOT of cleavage overflowing the bust of the dress, but the dress was zipped.

That was about 3:00 PM in the afternoon.

And that dress stayed zipped. It stayed zipped through pictures and the ceremony and more pictures and the snowy ride in the Hummer stretch limousine (Classy. NOT*). It stayed zipped through dinner and dancing and cake cutting.

And then, about 10:00 PM, when I desperately needed AIR, I took a deep breath and the dress said, "Oh hell NO" and the whole zipper gave out and, well...I was reminded of playing that maid in that French farce all over again. Except this time I DID have on two kinds of SPANX, so, it wasn't so much a R-rated expose as it was simply that my dress was falling off, revealing the oh-so-unattractive nude SPANX beneath.

It was a glowing moment in my own personal history.

Thank goodness I had that shawl.


* we had the ridiculous Hummer because it was the only limo that would fit the whole bridal party


Blogger maxhelcal said...

I had a similar experience when I was the Bridesmaid at my girlfriend's wedding. It was a gorgeous deep purple taffeta dress and I was 8 1/2 months pregnant! I was growing by the hour and after leterally squeezing myself into that gave way at the end of the night and well....I gave birth only 3 days later! I wish I had a matching shawl.

Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Yikes! I'm so sorry; but at leat it got you that far, and a second wedding to boot.

Sunday, December 14, 2008 2:52:00 PM  
OpenID mrsbroccoliguy said...

See how you think you know someone and then she goes and shares a story about playing a sexy maid with a wardrobe malfunction?!! Great story. And really glad you had the shawl this time! :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008 9:26:00 PM  
OpenID myminivanrocks said...

SOMEONE has to have video of both of those incidents. I mean people always take video at weddings and plays, right? If you find, it will you share? :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Trannyhead said...


I haven't had a wardrobe malfunction on stage, though I do remember a night I was in a play when half the set collapsed onto my head and I had to beat it back like i was under attack. It was pretty hawt.

As for the dress? I love it. LOVE it. You got 1.5 weddings out of it, right? Hawt!

Sunday, December 14, 2008 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Graced said...

Nice! I've had similar experiences... only mine was a bathing suit at a swim meet.

Monday, December 15, 2008 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

OH my gosh, I'm so sorry, but I'm laughing! Mostly because I'm glad I'm not the only one! You looked really good in the dress in your photos. I never would have guessed it didn't fit perfectly.

I'll bet your hubby IS sorry he missed your performance!

So, anyway, glad I'm not the only one. Shortly after I had knee surgery a few years ago, I had to go to the surgeon for a follow up. My surgery and recovery was pretty brutal. I was wearing a dress - with a fluffy, flowy skirt - because I had an immobilizer from my hip to my ankle. When we got home, Ed stopped the car outside of the garage so I would have plenty of room to climb out. Remember, the surgery was brutal and it was hard to do anything, esp. climb int and out of a big SUV. So I somehow got out, but I was bent over the seat, a$$ to the street, trying to get over the nausea so I could stand up (the skirt fell below my knees, so no worries), and a huge gust of wind came up. So there I was, in front of my house, in the evening (when everyone was getting home from work), bent over in my car, a$$ up IN A THONG, with my skirt literally over my head. I couldn't get it back down b/c there were crutches and I couldn't move very quickly. Ed, who was laughing hysterically, had to get out of the car, walk around, and help me. No matter what size I am (even size 2 or 4), there is NOTHING okay about my a$$. It is HORRIFYING. I wanted to die. A few of the neighbors who were OUTSIDE at the time were kind enough to pretend it didn't even happen, but I'm still not over it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 3:17:00 AM  
Anonymous char said...

You're such a great story teller! I'm laughing my butt off, sorry I'm laughing at your misfortunes..
If you were like me, and had no girly bits to speak of, you wouldn't have these kinds of problems..then again people would mistake you for a boy. (happened to me at 16!)
I also quite enjoyed Laura's comment/story!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 4:41:00 PM  

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