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Thursday, September 25, 2008

MAMA'S RUBBER GIRDLE

I was around twelve when I sat on the bed one day as mom dressed to go to town. I watched as she took a floppy pink rubber thing from her dresser, pulled it apart and proceeded to climb into it. I asked her what it was and she told me it was her new rubber girdle.
It squeaked and snapped as she desperately grunted and tugged to get it over her hips. Mama wasn't fat, in fact I thought she was shaped just perfect, but she had other ideas. She squealed a few times when it snapped her like a big rubber band but finally she was satisfied it was in place and patted it all around to smooth it. Gosh it looked strange to see her in that.
She was sweating like a work horse by the time it was finally in place and some of her hair had fallen out of the combs but she looked quite satisfied. I couldn't imagine how she would be able to walk or bend, but she did.
Rubber girdles were supposed to be more natural looking than the others and were also supposed to make you sweat off pounds while you wore them. Mom did that while putting the contraption on.
I remember dad sitting at the kitchen table with his coffee and a silly grin as the sounds of mother struggling with her new figure trimmer and the squeaking and snapping of the girdle came through the door. He never laughed out loud and neither did I. Mom could be fiesty.
I still remember the huge sigh of relief when at last she peeled the thing off and the look of pure hatred in her eyes as she tossed it on the bed. I decided then that I would never wear one of those things.
Then one day I heard her shriek and mutter something. The tone of her voice warned me to stay clear. We found out shortly that moms rubber girdle had split while she was pulling it on. I don't remember that she ever got another.
I thought rubber girdles were a 50's fad but in doing a little research I discovered that they have been around much longer and are still being made. Todays models sure don't look anything like mama's did though.

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