When tights are not tight

I’ve never been one for “casual Fridays.”

The idea that if someone deals with you on Thursday they get the professional version but if they deal with you on Friday they get the almost-Saturday-one-foot-out-the-door you, makes no sense to me.

For some employees maybe it’s considered a perk. Maybe somehow it’s less stressful to wear jeans and a sweatshirt than a skirt and blouse to work. Even if that’s the case, as perks go, I think this one is lame.

When I worked as a journalist I always tried to look like I was well-groomed and professional. There were times reporters from other cities would swoop in looking like they just rolled out of bed and were still wearing a pyjama top. It always shocked me. I couldn’t imagine facing the world like that. We had a dress code anyway so I would never have gotten away with it.

Having said that, there were a few days when I was having a casual Friday no one was privy to.

It was winter and I was covering a big announcement at the local hospital. I was wearing a skirt and heavy winter tights and moving through the crowd interviewing key people in the lobby when my tights began a slow and agonizing descent.

Normally, that’s not unusual. By about 10 a.m. gravity routinely worked its magic on the crotch of my tights. The waistband stayed put while the crotch sagged and sagged until it resembled a hammock between two trees.

There’s no graceful way to yank the crotch of your tights back up, though there are different methods. Leg out, grab a fistful of tights and pull then follow up with the other leg, or the tug and squat.

When I was a kid we used to get those pantyhose that came in the cardboard package. When they were unfurled they were about six inches long and daunting. I rarely got them on without my finger poking through.

My cousin Jenny used to tie the ankles to her bed post, grab the waistband and run as far as she could before she was yanked back. They looked like what I imagined the legs of a tanned 86-year-old would look like in a bikini—thin yet flabby.

I would have been relieved if the only problem I was having with my tights that day was a droopy crotch.  Somewhere between the presentation and an interview with the hospital CEO the waistband gave out. With each step I could feel my tights shimmy lower. I had hoped my hips would keep them up so I stood with my hip jutting out like I was carrying a toddler.

All that was keeping them from hitting the floor was the elasticity on the legs and abdomen. All I could think about was that there was a very good chance I might trip on my tights on the way out. I put my coat on carefully to give me enough cover to get to the parking lot.

By the time I got outside the blown elastic was below by butt, forcing me to walk like I had been at the hospital seeking treatment for poison ivy on my nether regions.

By the time I got to my car my tights were at my knees. I was so mad I pushed the seat back, ripped my boots off, tore my tights off, and then flung them into the back seat.

It was cold but at least I had my dignity. Casual Fridays? Pshaw.