Friday 20 June 2014

Flashback: The Thigh-High Pantyhose Adventure

Girl, Crafted is my third personal blog, and one of over a half-dozen I've contributed to. Sometimes, some of my favourite stories get lost in the history of the internet. This is one I remembered today when a friend told me she was going for a job interview. This is a true story from a couple years ago and really did happen to me. I share these things so you will all feel better about your own fallible humanity. Laugh with me.


So today, in the interest of pursuing my career goals and better providing for my mini-family, I had a job interview for another part-time job. The hope was that it would fit in nicely with my existing work schedule, allowing me to bring home a little more bacon while expanding my growing repertoire of experience in my field. It’s one of those little jobs that you find and think, “Man, that sounds like a fun job.” It’s one of those little jobs that you find yourself really wanting to get.

Blowfish boots...cozy but not quite interview-appropriate.
This morning I dressed as best I could, given that our house is half-packed into boxes and most of my wardrobe is geared towards my day job, where I counsel teenagers all day. I learned long ago, you can’t counsel youth while you’re wearing a suit; so without getting dressed like I was headed to a gala or headed to a grade 12 geography class, my best option today was a white button-down blouse with a grey corduroy skirt that ended just above the knee. I threw on a pair of opaque black tights, put on my Blowfish-style boots, and packed my heels for the afternoon, when the interview was scheduled. I felt pretty set for my big day. That is, until I got to work.

My beloved heels.

It was as I was making phone calls at my desk that I realized my tights were just too, well, tight. They were driving me crazy and actually seemed to be causing my stomach some distress. Gurgling sounds kept rumbling through me, and I found myself tugging at the waistband rather frantically. I realized that my nervous belly was kicking in as I got closer to the interview time, and I knew then that I was going to have to get myself out of these things. I debated for a while before finally leaving my office and heading upstairs to the bathroom and smiling at a client in the waiting room on my way. I got into the bathroom, shut the door, and pulled off my tights….ahhhhh. So much better. On the way back to my office I balled the things up in my fist and pretended to be fascinated with a painting as I passed the waiting client, but I still caught her look of mild surprise as I made my way by in my wooly boots and albino-white legs.

I knew I needed to find something else to wear on my bottom half, but the only thing in my whole crazy car was a pair of neon pink-and-blue striped knee socks. Not exactly interview material. I drove to my meeting thinking frantically about what I could do. When I arrived in the neighbourhood and parked, I saw that I had 25 minutes until the interview; perfect! I would simply walk down the main street until I found a drug store. Moments later I came to discover that the pharmacy I used to frequent here had been turned into an insurance office. Gahhh. I continued down the strip a while, now aware that this particular skirt was the kind that rides up, further showing off my lily-white gams and getting me lots of raised eyebrows, considering it’s November and I otherwise looked like a fairly classy professional woman.

I half-ran into a nearby consignment shop, hoping they’d have some tights or nylons. No such luck. They had several pairs of tall fashion boots, which would have been something at least, but of course they were all size 6’s, as all consignment footwear is. Because no normal-sized adult has size 6 feet, you see, so when they’re dropped off they sit there for all eternity, mocking those women with average sized feet. Anyway, I digress.

NOT my butt. credit:
My last option, with 12 minutes left to spare, was almost unthinkable…but I’m an improviser. So I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and ducked into the store next door: a sex shop. Since it was 2:18pm on a Wednesday, the store was deserted with the exception of two clerks. We all smiled at each other and said hello, and I began my frantic search for a pair of hose. The female clerk came over and asked me what I needed, and I just pointed to the most normal-looking pair on the wall—black thigh highs with a lacy bit at the top. She took them off the wall, charged me a startling thirty bucks for them, and sent me on my way. I stepped out of the store and ran back to my car. Only 8 minutes to go.

I yanked the thigh-highs out of their package as I pulled my skirt up over my waist and attempted to find a comfortable position in the passenger seat to pull these babies on. It was only then that I realized these hose came with a garter belt, and they were the kind that needed the garter to stay on. I began to laugh, a little hysterically, as I realized my mistake. I’d bought thigh-highs before, but they were the kind with the rubbery stuff at the top that kept them from slipping down. These had only a slight elastic band at the top, sewn into a garishly lacy cuff. I scrambled around with the included garter belt for a few moments until I realized it was way too big, way too complicated, and an old man was peering at me through the windshield. I decided I’d have to hope the nylons stayed put with just the little strip of elastic at the top. With shaking hands I pulled out my black velvet heels, threw them on, and managed a reasonable lipstick application. Then I was out the door and speed-walking up the long city block to the office.

There’s something about a pair of thigh-high stockings that makes a girl feel a little extra sexy. Yes, okay, when you actually get home and look in the mirror, there’s always a bit of thigh pudge that muffin-tops over the elastic at the top, but we don’t all have a Victoria’s Secret airbrush team. As I walked along, I felt cool, confident, and a little bit hot, and from the long looks I was getting from people, I was sure they noticed how sophisticated I felt…but it was as I arrived at the office building doors that I realized why people were staring: my stockings had let go of my thighs and had travelled down to my knees, where they were hanging, lacy and ridiculous, like weird flamboyant pirate boot-tops. My skirt had, of course, rode up again, leaving my thighs very exposed and fluorescent white. I stared at my reflection, mouth agape.

I did the only thing I could: I put my chin in the air, threw the big glass door wide open, and strode through the entire length of the giant, populated foyer with my head held high and my best catwalk stride. I arrived at the bathroom doors to find that the ladies’ room was out of service for painting; I hopped the cordon and ran inside, tore off the ludicrous nylons, and pulled my constrictive, horrible tights back on.

I hope the interviewers appreciated the brevity of my answers. I’m a wordy gal, if you haven’t noticed, and I’ve never had a job interview take less than the full hour; today, I kept the answers short and sweet, then ran home to strip off the terrible tights, the whole interview finished in under thirty minutes. I had to laugh for just a moment, though, when I sat down, took a deep breath, and the panel gave me my first question:

“What did you do to prepare for today’s interview?”

Oh, if you only knew.

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