Cummerbund: (n) a wide sash worn at the waist
Tears of anguish flow to my eyes frequently when I consider all the various ways that the makers of cloth and the producers of clothing have found to take their products and pinch me at the waist, constantly reminding me of how goddamn fat I am.
When the junior prom came around back in high school, I was intimidated by many the aspects rising up to demolish my already fragile ego.
First—it was terrifying to invite a girl to a dance, knowing that the possibility of “no” was likely and then having to calm my ego by believing that maybe she just didn’t like dancing.
Then there’s the planning, the procuring of funds for things like corsages. And finally, the rental of the tuxedo—which immediately became problematic (because I long ago ceased to be comfortable in a thirty-eight regular suit jacket).
The coat was a problem.
The pants, an even tighter twist.
The shirt pinched me at the top of my belly and refused to let go.
And then, the introduction of a cummerbund to go around my waist, to more or less act as a spotlight, informing people that my belly was due to arrive soon.
It left me completely befuddled and nervous beyond all reason.
I finally discovered how to place it around my waist and smoothed down. Then I went to the car, got in, and upon sitting, it sling-shot its way off of my tummy, striking the front windshield.
Realizing this was going to be a problem, I had my friend pull it really tight around my stomach—and then, instead of hooking it with the available brackets, I had him tie it in a knot.
It had no place to go.
Of course, all night long, it kept trying to slide up (several times coming very near my throat).
It was a mess.
At no time did it ever look good—not even when the photographer tried to re-situate it for picture-time.
So my prom picture looks like I was dressed up in a tuxedo too small for me, held prisoner, and tied up with a cummerbund.