Twas The Night Before Christmas Party

Thighstrangler Time for the Annual Christmas Party Eve Clothes Shopping Rant! 

I was going to wear the same skanky purple Going Out Top I've worn for all occasions this past year but it's so grandmotherly and sensible I thought I'd hunt down something groovier. Admittedly hitting the shops the night before the party was a crap strategy; all the ho ho ho and jingle jangling in the shopping centre made me cranky after ten minutes and I soon gave up.

This year's gripe: why the bloody hell why are they putting elastic on the bottom of Going Out Tops?

I thought I'd hit the jackpot with a slinky gold number. I pulled it over my head and felt a rush of hope as it draped over my sturdy shoulders, hugged the boobs and flattered the belly. But then it went quite literally pear-shaped because the top kept on going, all the way to mid-thigh, engulfing my butt… then finished with an elasticated hem. It strangled my thighs like a lasso, making the top billow out between boob and thigh so I resembled a shimmering, arseless Christmas bauble.

Why would I want a lasso round my thighs? I know where my thighs are!

. . .

A lovely former colleague visited us today along with her five-month-old twin girls. I held one for two minutes and didn't break it.

"Are you sniffing her head?" Linda asked.

"Yes! It smells like babies."

"What did you think it would smell like? Coffee?"

For the first time in my life I felt a very faint twinge that babies might not be the most revolting idea in the world. Very very faint, mind you.

I raised the possibility with Gareth this evening.

"Nah," he said. "Too much work."

"But we could raise them under a fascist regime like The Mothership did. It would be the total opposite of too much work. Teach them to do dishes and weed gardens as soon as they can lift their own heads. You'll never do chores again!"

"You can't do fascist regimes with kids these days! They just get resentful and steal all your money then stab you in your sleep."

. . .

Hello to anyone who found their way here from People magazine! Just to explain in case you came looking for super duper speedy weight loss tips, there was a wee typo in their review of the Dietgirl book - the lard-busting took around 333 weeks, not 33. Hehe.

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51 thoughts on “Twas The Night Before Christmas Party

  1. I am going on the dreaded holiday party outfit hunt Saturday – for a party NEXT Saturday. I hope I don’t end up with a thigh lasso dress.

  2. Hey! we just had a similar baby conversation after I spent the afternoon with twins (the twins in our case were adorable 1.5 yr old girls).

    One extra incentive for hubby to warm to the idea -tell him you get a free flatscreen TV with every child born in Aus (they call it ‘the baby bonus’). You could come back for a wee while, soak up the atmosphere (ie. tim-tams) and then head back home with a baby under one arm and the TV under the other!

    Sorry, can’t help myself – am in a really silly mood today – have a great weekend 🙂

  3. I do worry about my kids getting older and stabbing me in my sleep. I plan to keep the door locked once they hit puberty.

  4. As always you crack up me! I loved the part about hunting for the xmas party top! I so needed a good laugh. Have fun at the party!!!!

  5. SO with you on the horridness of Christmas party clothes shopping 🙁
    Good luck with the kid thing – maybe you could tell Gareth that they’re more fun than any toy you ever had

  6. The joys of last minute shopping!
    hopefully you found something to wear, otherwise you may be a wee bit chilly up there!

    How funny is Gareth!

  7. Oh, your post really made me smile. I am becoming Christmas phobic; it’s all just too much!

    Hope you had an ace party, though!

    Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxx

  8. I hate those tops with the elastic around the bottom too! LOL!

    Babies are absolutely lovely, right about until the time they hit the teenae years. I have seven kids. My youngest is only two weeks old. My husband just went to get a vasectomy today. I am going to miss having tiny babies around, but I will not miss pregnancy or the teenage years!

  9. omg finally! agreed on the weight loss comment by Ellie, i spent my nine months throwing up, and the only food that would stay down was chicken and chips! don’t give up on Gareth so easily Shauna!

  10. Oh I have a sweater just like that! It’s a gorgeous dark turquoise color, very soft, but it goes almost to my knees and then the hem tightens in. I can never figure out how to wear it – try to cinch up the hem to my waist and let the excess create Michelin Man rolls around my stomach? I don’t understand why I bought it.

    Hee hee on the baby talk. But you are right, it’s an investment that will pay off later in chores.

  11. I knew the baby thoughts would come soon! They’re the rarely-acknowledged side effect of thinking house-buying thoughts. I know so many folks who get preggers within a year of the big purchase. If you don’t want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, keep renting!

  12. Hmmm, this elasticy top business is sounding suspiciously like the ‘woe-is-me-nothing-fits’ default Shauna setting. I think you need to come to London for another shopping trip so Rhi and I can take matters in hand 😉

  13. Maybe you can cut the elastic out. Just think of what a fun (and potentially disastrous) project it could be!

    Babies scare me.

  14. Oh man. I just went shopping for a potential dress. I tried on one of those things. I think they’re made for people without bodies. My rear end poked out, and the ensemble looked like a full sack of potatoes. Then I tried on a soft jersey shift dress that had pockets, and I looked like a washerwoman from a Soviet Bloc country. It came down too far past my knees, which was ridiculous because I’m 5′ 11″ (~1.8 meters?). Tried to belt it, and it looked quite good (some volume on top, some below, and I had a waist) but I didn’t buy it. If you’re still looking (which you’re probably not), try that because you can get a cheap dress and do it up or down, depending on the event.

    And babies are scary. Completely scary. They’re like high-maintenance very delicate house plants that scream, vomit, and have bowel movements.

  15. Just wanted to stop by and say how excited I was to see you in People magazine this morning! Woo Hoo! Go Shauna!

  16. lol, I hate dresses like that.

    They should make a cologne that smells like babies, that way girls like you and me don’t have to go and have babies just for the smell. 😛

  17. Uggh! I tried to do the whole shopping for a holiday party outfit. All I could find were clothes made for elves or Mrs. Claus. No in between. Now I have nothing to wear to the ball. Stab me in the eye with a spoon…

  18. 1. I think all trendy clothing styles are made for 14 year old girls with no hips and 2% body fat.
    2. Congrats on that awesome book review (despite the glaring typo!)
    3. I love how phrased this: “I felt a very faint twinge that babies might not be the most revolting idea in the world.” I’m waiting for that very very faint twinge I experience to turn into hard core baby desire before deciding to procreate. My DH and I both agree wtih Gareth right now-too much work! Thanks for making me giggle and for giving me a clear way to tell all the obnoxious people who harass me about procreating how I feel-it’s a real public service you’re providing here you know!

  19. hi folks… thanks for your comments!

    and sorry they are still not working properly. ARRRRRRGH!!!

    vickie – i’m not sure who was on the cover, i only have a scan of the review.

    Margaret – Mwahaha! It wasn’t like that honest guv… there were just so few styles that suited my shape. i am sure it was yourself and rhi who taught me i need waist definition! 😛

    i ended up remembering a dress Rhi gave me when I last saw her, it was too big for her but did the trick for me. woohoo for being the Big Sister 🙂

    (that said we should defo do another shopping day next year, all three of us on the spend next time 🙂

    Cookies – arrgh hope you find something soon… it sucks, i know!

    pyschsarah – i think you nailed it there. so many styles seem designed for the hipless!

  20. We raise our kids in a fascist regime, only way to do it. Although they rebel quite a bit and there are riots and uprisings on a regular basis. LOL!!

  21. I adore your blatant use of the word arse! I found you in People yesterday afternoon, and have been reading your old blogs most of today. Loving it! Your comment about the typo with the 333 weeks…(mwa ha ha)…so great!

  22. Babies are fun and you rarely regret them once they are here (until they turn 12).

    I tried to find you on the People site… got a link? Or is it just in hard copy? Congrats on being in People, that’s awesome.

    p.s…. all my kids do their own laundry from the age of 10, but if you think having 5 kids means you get to skip the housework, forget it. If I can get ONE of them to take the trash out, I count it a good day.

  23. Hi folks, I think the comments should be okay now as I upgraded to the new default Typepad templates. All the problems were due to my circa-2004 stylesheet, oops.

    I can’t get the Author comment formatting to work so my comments stand out, so will bold them for now!

  24. That top would have been perfect had you been climbing a really tall Christmas tree 🙂 🙂

    Glad you smelt the right end of the baby LOL

  25. I’m allergic to babies. Especially if they have to come out of MY body. (Shudder)

    Clothes buying is much more fun in the women’s department than plus size where most of the designs are atrocious. Congrats on the People Mag story!

  26. How is SC liking being called a “sexy Scot” in the review. My hubby would get the biggest head in the world if he was referred to as sexy in print.

    I baby twinge on occasion, but I watch “Babies, special delivery” to cure me of the twinge. Works like a charm. You only have to see one woman crying her eyes out and screaming bloody murder trying to push the baby out and you get over the twinging very quickly.

  27. How is SC liking being called a “sexy Scot” in the review. My hubby would get the biggest head in the world if he was referred to as sexy in print.

    I baby twinge on occasion, but I watch “Babies, special delivery” to cure me of the twinge. Works like a charm. You only have to see one woman crying her eyes out and screaming bloody murder trying to push the baby out and you get over the twinging very quickly.

  28. I know exactly what you mean about those tops. Even if you were 6ft with no hips and looked amazing in skinny jeans (coming from someone who fits precisely none of those criteria) you’d still look stupid in those tops. Pressure shopping is always dire in my experience…

  29. I know exactly what you mean about those tops. Even if you were 6ft with no hips and looked amazing in skinny jeans (coming from someone who fits precisely none of those criteria) you’d still look stupid in those tops. Pressure shopping is always dire in my experience…

  30. I bought a top with an elasticated bit at the bottom too, I cut it off, then wore like a big ribbon in my hair which I took out when I got to the party as I remembered I’m 41 and not 14 anymore-sigh

  31. I bought a top with an elasticated bit at the bottom too, I cut it off, then wore like a big ribbon in my hair which I took out when I got to the party as I remembered I’m 41 and not 14 anymore-sigh

  32. The problem is you might have boys and they smell okay to start with but by the time they are the size of my boys, you don’t even need to be in the same room to smell them and it’s not something you would do voluntarily. I wistfully imagine locking them in the garden and turning the car hose on them.

  33. I know…seriously…I don’t get the elastic band thingy in the bottom of shirts either…I mean REALLY…I don’t need any help making my middle look any rounder thank you! STUPID shirts!

    As for the People Magazine thing…I think they accidentally did it on purpose to make it more marketable…mags do things like that…tis the biz.

    Yeah…I get very, very slight twinges every now and then…did I mention very, very slight…but then I gain my senses…remember how hard it was to get my body in shape in the first place and remember I have no money nor time to raise a kid to the point of child labor…oh well, guess I have to do my own chores…or perhaps coerce the boyfriend into doing it 😉

  34. Like many here, I discovered you through People magazine, and it couldn’t have come at a more meaningful time for me. I’ve hit a brick wall with losing weight, having dropped 10 pounds after recent surgery only to put it right back on. I’m struggling not to pack on the holiday pounds, especially because I’ve got a biz trip to Australia next month.

    Thanks, Dietgirl, for sharing your inspirational story and best of luck with the book!

  35. Holy cow, you’re in People! Woohoo!!!!

    The fashion from the 80s should have stayed in the 80s. Those long tops were hideous then, and they still are now. Ugh.

    Your baby conversation is a riot. Keep working on Gareth. Yes, they are a lot of work, just like anything else worthwhile. And they are totally worth it. You two would make the most adorable babies! But you’ve got some time… we were married 6 years before we had Sophie.

  36. Put the baby down and step back! I don’t know what secret the others had, but my two both left serious kilos behind when they were born… and each lot’s harder to get rid of…

  37. Shauny,
    to merge your two bits of thinking together – I too was perplexed that elastic was at the bottom of all the tops, until I got preggers and was thankful I didnt have to go and buy propper pregnancy chlothes and the elastic stopped the bumparoonie from scaring my work colleagues.

    Seriously those tops flatter no-one.

    Come to the dark side dear. A half scottie-aussie is fun. Mine glows in the dark down here. Gareth will turn, you can make the kiddo do all the things that gareth wants to do that you cannae be arsed to do.

  38. I LOVED your hubby’s comments about having a baby: “You can’t do fascist regimes with kids these days! They just get resentful and steal all your money then stab you in your sleep.”

    Hey, you never know, right??!

  39. Shauna, the People Magazine has Tom Cruise on the front cover gloating about his life. It costs £3.75 on the import magazine stand in Borders Brighton and I would never have seen it if my wife hadn’t been flicking through it, stopped at your picture and said “Don’t you know her?” (Disclosure: I have a copy of Dietgirl and I met you twice in 2002, the end.)

    P.S. I hope commenter #46 realises that People Magazine in the US is VERY different to People Magazine in Australia. For one thing, less readers’ wives…