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By Jessica McBride
As told to Sharon Grehan-Howes
I guess I've always had a rather love /hate relationship with my thighs. Even as a girl I knew I needed them but I didn't know why there had to be so much of them.
For the most part, through my teens and twenties I could ignore them except when I was sweaty and sat on vinyl. For years we lived if not happily, then companionably.
Little did I know our peaceful coexistence was coming to an end.
December 18th 2009, I remember as if it were only a couple of years ago. It started out a day like any other. I went to work at Proctor, Proctor, Proctor, Proctor and Stagin where I was second in charge of collating. On this particular day I was watching the clock more than usual because at 4:15 our annual Christmas Party was to begin. I was excited to put on my new outfit because I was dying to impress my office crush the hunky Bernard Able.
I'd never worn satin before and found the slinky pants made me feel as sexy as a vamp. With a deep slash of red on my lips and a last minute hair tousle I made my way to the bar/utility closet. I knew my outift was a success as admiring glances followed me across the office floor.
As I sipped a Schmirnoff Ice I heard a soft whisper. I turned but no one was there. It was only when I minced over to the canapes that I realized the whisper was coming from my thighs as they rubbed together! It wasn't obvious unless you told everyone to shut up and listen so I stopped doing that. The whispers melted away and Bernard Able left with the slut from accounting.
My heartbreak made me forget about my thighs until a few days later when I was walking to the bus. I was wearing jeans and as I walked the swish, swish sound began to take on a more complicated cadence. I walked faster and listened intently until it became clear: my thighs were trying to communicate with me.
It was mostly small talk at first. The weather, favourte foods, the state of the transit system, but as days passed and I changed pants, the voice became more sinister. Little suggestions like "Why don't you run for the bus" changed to "Why don't you run in front of the bus". I knew I was in trouble when a particularly malevolent pair of capri pants encouraged me to audition for a revival of Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk.
I sought help but could not hear the therapist over my wisecracking linen trousers.
I tried wearing skirts and dresses but that didn't work because then the pantyhose would make fun of my hair. The incessant talking, the giggling the, the pig noises, they were all I thought about, I craved normalcy like a chocoholic craves Molton Lava cake.
Finally one night, angered and exhausted because my pajamas wanted to watch Late Nite while I wanted to sleep.I threw on some clothes and fled my apartment.
The night was cold so I nipped into my neighbourhood McDonalds for coffee. As I walked back to the table my trousers started nagging me about my caffeine intake and my calcium deficiency.They got louder and louder until my hands started to shake. I raised the cup with unsteady hands and poured the steaming contents poured into my lap.
The pain was searing. I have blurred remembrances of the anguished screams of my thighs and images of the wait staff anxiously hovering and pointing out the "Caution: Contents Hot" warning on the cup.
Then silence. Pain--a lot of pain. But silence. Complete silence.The nightmare was over.
Once again I was able to walk the streets without being told to trip an old woman or steal newspapers. I could tell my co-workers what I did on the weekend without having to hear fake snoring. I could wear what I wanted when I wanted and not fear reprisal. I was free.
I have heard the odd murmur now again especially when corduroy is involved but the minute I venture near those glorious arches the murmurs turn to silence. I have my life back and I feel certain that my life will never be ruined by my thighs again.
Now if only my feet would stop humming .
By Sharon Grehan-Howes