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Nurse Judy: “The Girdle”

I recently got an invitation to visit my old high school’s reunion.

The invitation asked that we submit a current photo of ourselves showing our school’s colors – blue and gold. I was excited. I dug out my old cheerleading outfit, determined to take a selfie in this sexy outfit.

Admittedly, “sexy” may be a little strong, since the top had a mandarin collar, and the swingy skirt came to my knees. Still, back in the day it was considered sexy. Nurse Judy, my dubious alter ego and Beebe, my cat, watched with great interest as I struggled to get into the ancient costume. I stepped into the back, but the sewn-in shorts would not budge above my chubby thighs. Not deterred, I decided to lie down on the floor.

I often used to do this to get my jeans zipped. Of course, I didn’t have bad knees at the time. I tried with all my might to cram the overflowing blubber into that suit to no avail. It felt like I was kneading bread dough that had risen and overflowed the pan. I huffed and puffed and rolled and stuffed, but finally had to admit defeat.

I decided to get up, which was when I realized I had those bad knees. I was now rolling and huffing and puffing, but no longer stuffing, as I tried to get somewhere where I could latch onto something to pull myself up with. The writhing, spastic movements I made as I tried to propel myself across the floor looked like someone having a grand mal seizure and sent Beebe flying out of the room. I saw him skid on a scatter rug and crash into the refrigerator. I had no time to empathize with him, as I had problems of my own.

I finally reached a desk, and after a few tries was able to stand and assess the damage done to myself and the hapless cheerleading suit. Then I got another idea. When I was a student nurse, we were required to wear a girdle. I was as skinny as a rail, but I was required to wear a girdle, nonetheless. That girdle was as pristine as the day I got it, for it never had to stretch a bit to slide over my skinny derriere, and since I never throw anything away, I still have it. This would be the answer to my dilemma.

I fished out the girdle and went to work. Now, here you need to have a little background information: when I was a young mother, I had to have emergency surgery. The physician sliced me from hip to hip, dipping in the middle. This left me with a scar that looked like a giant smile across my abdomen. He was very proud of this, telling me this way I would always be able to wear a bikini. Since I never had then, never have since, and never will wear a bikini, it was a useless piece of art but one I was stuck with. Now back to my story.

I pulled that girdle up over those chubby thighs and up to the bottom of that scar smile. Then it stopped. A huge bundle of blubber now hangs over the scar like a shelf. I punched and folded and wrestled with that shelf, but it would not let itself be entrapped in that girdle.

I twerked and jerked and danced around like a crazy lady while Nurse Judy laughed and shouted, “You can’t stuff a 50-pound blimp in a 5-pound sack.” I was exhausted, my knees were killing me, and my cat was staggering around like he’d had a concussion.

I gave up the girdle idea. I took a selfie headshot wearing a blue and gold ribbon in my hair and sent it in.

By return mail, I received this note: “Hahaha. That was clever of you to send a picture of an old woman. It was supposed to be a picture of you, silly. Looking forward to seeing the real you soon, Reunion Committee.”

Needless to say, I will not be attending.

More later,


By Judy Conlin