Monday, July 11, 2011

The tale of the button

Today, I would like to share with you my button story. It's a little lame but if you've ever had a wardrobe malfunction while on the train, this story will be dear to your heart.

I had this pair of dress pants that I loved. One summer day in 2008, after a long food and alcohol weekend known as Canada Day, I decided that to hell with the two pounds or so I packed on in the course of three days, I was going to wear those pants to work.

I squeezed the top of those pants together, looped in the button, greased up the zipper (Vaseline) and I was done. I knew I had to move slowly so as not to disturb the tight pant force I had just invoked, but I was confident that a mere ONE dress size of too-tightness was fine. Nothing to be concerned about.

I can't remember when exactly all hell broke loose but after getting up to let a woman sit in the window seat beside me, I felt a sneeze coming on and I sneezed at the same moment I moved to sit back down. These two motions combined caused a disturbance in the force and I felt my button give way. Like a slow motion cafeteria scene in a John Hughes film, I watched that button sail across the aisle and then disappear under a row of seats.

Did I mention I was wearing a top that wasn't long enough to cover the valley? This is critical to the story. I also wasn't carrying a purse or bag this day. Instead, I was carrying a small, wallet-size clutch.

Immediately, I began to panic. I could feel the zipper slowly sliding down. I sat there trying to recall what shade of underwear I put on that morning. Was it white? Yellow? God, please don't let it be the one with the huge pussycat on the front! (I no longer own those).

My face grew hot as I realized I may have chosen white - with yellow smiling happy faces. Why the f*ck didn't I just choose black? I swore to myself. Beads of sweat began to form across my brow as I saw the Toronto skyline come into view. I slid my body forward to contain my belly from spreading the fabric. I'm not a toothpick. I have girth!

The man sitting across from me gave me a funny look. I told him that I didn't think my breakfast agreed with me. He shrunk back, looking like he was ready for me to projectile-vomit.

How the hell was I going to get off this train?

I waited until everyone had disembarked. I scurried off the train with my body crouched over, pulling down my shirt the best I could to hide the huge V, and lunged for the stairs. I needed a strategy. I needed a newspaper ... something. The f*cking zipper wouldn't stay up because I had lubed the bloody thing!

I was in no mood to hang around Union Station. I only had to walk as far as Bay and Queens' Quay. I figured if I could at least get to my office building, I could figure something out.

I was able to snag a Metro newspaper and I used it to shield the front of myself as I made my way down Bay Street, hunched over with a fist gripping the front of my pants. Twice I had strangers walking alongside me asking if I was okay. I'm sure I looked a hot mess. Sweat was streaming down my face because of panic and the heat.

There's a dry cleaner in the concourse of the office tower I worked at. I begged the dry cleaner to help me. She told me she couldn't sew a button with me standing in my pants. She also didn't have anywhere for me to hide if she took my pants off as she had no change room.

Feeling sorry for me, she found me a button and some thread and I scurried off to the public washroom. In a stall, I sewed on a button that wasn't the right size but it was enough to get me home, or so I thought.

I phoned into work and professed that a family emergency had occurred and called in a personal day. There was no way my pants would hold for the day. I considered shopping for a new pair once the Eaton Centre opened but was not prepared to do so considering the condition I was in. I couldn't imagine being in a store, or even in a cab, looking like I was about to unload the biggest dump ever because I'm gripping my pants and hunched over.

The train ride back was as equally precarious because due to engine problems, we were all forced to get off at Guildwood and wait for another train. I stood there on the platform gripping my pants to my stomach because the button I sewed on, of course, didn't hold.

A woman asked me if I needed something for the pain. I couldn't believe how many people had actually spoken to me about my "supposed" condition. I wound up telling her the real reason why I was standing like I was. She fished around in her purse and produced a safety pin. A big one. The thing worked like a charm.

I never did get her name.


Anonymous said...

You must work in the same building I do. I too have used tht drycleaners to save my butt during a wardrobe malfunction!
Thanks for the laugh........

Anonymous said...

I had the inseam on my pants let go from the crotch all the way to my knee after stepping on them as I got up. That was an interesting day. I feel your pain.

Sylv said...

You know those things that are hilarious unless they happen to you? This is one of those things :)

Jen said...

I leave spare clothes at work in case something like this happens. I also found a couple of small, portable sewing kits (from a hotel or more recently, Micheals) that I try to keep on me at all times.

I have noticed that some of my shirts gap a lot more by the time I get to work than when I leave the house, so I put in a few stitches to save people from the peep show that is coming.