a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Dec, 2006

Post op notes

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

People who have never bought nylons have no idea how difficult it is. (Please note I deliberately chose the word “nylons” because I hate the word “pantyhose”. I always imagine it spoken by a German-born duck with clogged nasal passages.)

First of all, I was at Sears. On a weekend. During some big sale event. Sure, there are stacks of nylons to choose from, but the packages are disorganized, falling off the shelves and scattered on the floor. It’s also crowded, and everyone is just as hot and impatient as me.

What I was looking for: the sheerest of the sheer, flesh-coloured (to clarify: that would be my flesh, not someone else’s), with an invisible toe and perhaps, fingers crossed, a control top. The nylons also had to be size four, or D (depending on the manufacturer) because of my seemingly freakish height:weight ratio.

I think I stood there for 30 minutes, sweating in my wool pea coat, just looking and pawing through the racks. I eventually made my way to the DIM rack, where colours like “gazelle” and “dune” really only served to annoy rather than elucidate. But at least I was in the right general area.

I eventually found a pair that were very sheer and the right size. It also had a control top but there was nothing written on the package about the toe. (This was important since I was wearing open-toe shoes.) I bought them, assuming that no news was good news. But guess what? Upon unwrapping (about an hour before departure) I realized they had a reinforced shadow toe and a big seam across the front. Ack! I couldn’t possibly wear these. So I dug through my stash and found a different pair. Thankfully, they had an invisible toe and would do the trick.

I should mention that I also bought, ahem, a functional foundation undergarment. They look very much like biker shorts and have exactly the same lack of sex appeal. Visible panty line, along with lumps and bumps in a swishy dress are very unattractive, and by jim if I had to wear a gigantic sausage casing to hold it all in I was going to do just that.

re: Jewelry.
I looked and looked. The problem with jewelry is that it’s either very cheap (and overpriced for what it is) or too expensive. And I’m really particular about the pieces I wear. I didn’t end up finding a necklace, but then again I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wear one anyway. But I did find some earrings, and this is going to make you laugh, but they were on sale for $2.00 at Suzy Shier, which I entered into entirely out of desperation.  They were “silver” circles, dangling downward. And after I bought them I realized they were just a shiny version of the circle images I’ve been using on the banner of this blog for the last, like, eight years. What can I say? I like circles.

I wore a chunky bracelet Mark and the girls picked out for me a few years ago (dark red stones), and a dark red ring I like to save for special occasions.

When I was getting dressed I quickly realized that my new hold-it-in underwear and the control top nylons were giving me double the sausage effect, and jayzus was it ever uncomfortable. I truly felt like a Johnsonville brat.

How tight was it? Well, imagine lying on the floor with someone pressing their hand down on your stomach. Now imagine that same feeling applied everywhere from the lower third of your ribcage (yes, it extends that high!) all the way down to your lower thigh. NOW imagine walking, talking, sitting, eating a five-course dinner (bruschetta, salad, pasta, main meal, dessert) and, if you’ve been drinking, imagine pulling it all off when you have to pee. Dammit, I hate to say this, but despite the discomfort the visual effect was pretty good. My dress fit well and the whole thing was seamless.

Here’s a pic:

The final outfit!
Ha. And guess what? I got a run in my nylons within 20 minutes of arrival. And it wasn’t just any run. I got a hole in my big toe which just got bigger and bigger as the evening wore on. It wasn’t a big deal on the dance floor or in the dining area… because it’s so dark. But outside our room (we were in a banquet hall) was very brightly lit so I tried to hide my foot underneath the nearest table cloth whenever I was out there. The tablecloths hung to the floor near the bar and the dessert/coffee table.

The evening itself was fun. I do love to people-watch. Mark received a 20-year-of-service plaque and fishbowl reader Caroline received a 25-year-of-service-award. Woot woot!  Caroline received a fancy watch, which, most amazingly, she wasn’t going to unwrap until she got home. (I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Because I would have ripped the wrapping off as soon as I returned to my seat.)

Thank you everyone for your fashion advice BTW! :) 

Today, we’re laying low at my in-laws. And I am just happy to be wearing regular clothes, including purple fuzzy socks and Paul Frank underwear.

4 Responses to "Post op notes"

1 | Miche

December 3rd, 2006 at 8:58 pm


Sounds like a wonderful evening! (discomfort aside). Well done Mark! (I’ve never done anything for 20 years.) And best of all, you looked fab!

2 | kerflop

December 4th, 2006 at 10:51 am


Gorgeous! Oh how I hate thee, oh pantyhosery.

3 | Mom101

December 4th, 2006 at 7:30 pm


WHile I can only see you from the waist down, you look simply smashing. Oh, to be able to wear sleeveless again…sigh. (Although future fashion tip – skip the nylons altogether. Especially with open-toed shoes. That run was your nylons trying to tell you something!)

If you ever need inexpensive awesome jewelry ideas, can I make a shameless plug for Cool Mom Picks.com?

4 | BeachMama

December 4th, 2006 at 8:38 pm


Wow, you look fabulous!

Sorry about the nylons, I would have taken them off and gone without after the hole in the toe. I hope you really truly enjoyed getting dolled up and having a night out with your hubby. And congrats to him on his award!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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