The Gripper

May 13, 2009 · 1 comment

Spoiler warning: This post contains very girly concepts. If you’re likely to break out in a rash at such ickiness, bail out now and come back on Sunday. We’ll be posting the riveting new ramblings on our favorite Bay Area dim sum restaurant, Loon Wah. It will be much easier on the testosterony ganglions, I’m sure.

A few years back, I was facing the wardrobe challenge of being the mother of the bride in a stinkin’ hot July. I just knew I wasn’t going to make it through the day in pantyhose, yet without some assistance, my dress fell squarely in to the category of “too much information.” If I could just find something as lightweight as pantyhose with the legs cut off, I was sure that would do the trick. Off I went to Macy’s “foundational garments” section with grand hopes and a high-limit credit card.


Armed with about 8 different brands, sizes, and control options, I hit the busy dressing room. By the time I had tried on and taken off the first seven items, I had broken a major sweat and had stubbed my toe twice in the “dancing out of tight underpants” routine in the limited floorspace. However, I was willing to give the cause one more shot. Unfortunately, I had left the most robust item to the last.

I’m not prone to anxiety attacks, but by the time I had struggled and squished myself into place, I will confess to a rising level of panic. It was like sticking your head through stair railings: the view wasn’t as great as you had anticipated and now you were facing the really tricky part.

I needed out. Quickly.


It became apparent that the only way I could successfully liberate myself was to roll the whole shebang off my thighs like a rubber band off a newspaper. The beast came to life, picking up steam as it hit my ankles, whistling off into the corner of the dressing room. After a few jerky death flails, it lay in a four-inch square of unrecognizable beige spandex. I let out a little hysterical bark. The changing room chatter dulled to an alert silence.

I clearly was not going to spend good after-tax dollars on an apparatus that would have been banned by the Geneva Convention. However, I couldn’t bring myself to return the involuted mess to the attendant in its current condition.

Grabbing what looked like the waist hole with my right hand, I felt for the thigh opening with my left. I got it on the first try, so I gave ‘er a good yank and voila! With shaking arms, I wrenched it back into its correct orientation, holding it extended at full arms-length for five seconds so we were both clear who had the upper hand. Unfortunately, instead of letting go of the waist opening, the stress of the previous fifteen minutes caused me to lose my head. I let go with my left hand first. The elasticized thigh opening came ricocheting directly towards my face, with the price tag boomeranging around the edge. The stinging impact left me with a gaping wound on my nose.


Okay, “gaping” might be a stretch, but it was bleeding.

After a few seconds of stunned silence, I started to howl with laughter. In a nervously quiet dressing room.

A voice from three cubicles down called out, “What ARE you trying on? I want one!”

I looked at the offending tag. “It’s called ‘The Gripper.'” Honestly, one could hardly hear oneself pant for breath in the ensuing snorts and sniggers.

The nose wound has healed, but the emotional scars remain. So… this should explain a lot.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

katalin papp March 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Loved your story. made me laugh. I really needed to. Thank you.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: