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Growing Wide is Hard to Do

“The most horrid thing just happened,” I told my dinner companions, as I sat down Friday evening. (Of course, I would have told you first, dear blog, but I was so distressed that the thought of putting pen to paper* during such a harrowing time escaped me.)  I put my shopping bag next to my chair and stared at its contents.  What had I done?

I turned my attention back to my dinner companions, ready to share.  “I went into the Lucky Brand Jeans store, and I told them about the problem I have. I said, ‘I have two pairs of jeans from here, both different styles, and the zipper is always coming down on its own on both of them. I love the jeans, but the zipper is a real problem.  I have to wear long shirts all the time!’ ”

The sales associate looked at me, and said, “Hmm, I’ve never heard of this problem.”

I looked back at her, shocked. “Never? No one else? Okay, well do you carry jeans with buttons instead of zippers?”

“Well I haven’t been here that long. Let me check with my manager about the zippers. The only jeans with buttons we have are the Sienna Tomboy, over here.” She walked me over to the jeans, which boasted a skinny fit and a slight tear in the thigh.

The cost: $129.  I looked around for a “sale” sign. Unfortunately, the only one I saw was a sign above the style of jean that I already owned and was in fact wearing that day, with a long shirt over it, of course, to hide the rogue zipper. They were $30 off! “For $30 off, should I buy another pair and tolerate this zipper farce?” I asked myself. I decided I would not, because I’m nothing if not a woman of principle. Zippers should stay up.

I decided to try on the jeans with buttons. She handed me two sizes, a size two and a size four, and while I was in the fitting room, she assured me she would ask her manager about the zipper issue I was having.  So there I was in the fitting room, trying on Sienna Tomboy jean. I tried the size four first, because as flattering as it is to be mistaken for a two, I am not one. The size four fit really well. It was comfortable, was not too tight, and most importantly, it looked good! Knowing that jeans stretch out, I decided to give the size two a chance. I put them on, and they were tight, but they fit too! I was feeling really good about myself, when the sales associate returned. “I talked to my manager, and do you find your zipper comes down when you are moving or sitting?”

“Yes!” I replied.

“Well, it’s possible you are wearing jeans that are not right for your body. You perhaps have big hips,” she said.

“I may have big hips,” I replied, trying to hide my bitterness. I wouldn’t use the word big. “I’m a woman!” I should have screamed. “Of course I have hips!”  would have appropriately punctuated my moment of empowerment. Instead I looked at her and blinked.

“Well let me bring some styles that might be better for your body type,” she said.

“Okay,” I replied.

I returned my attention to the mirror, pleased that I had just fit into a size two in these jeans with buttons.

The salesperson returned with some jeans for me to try on. I held the jeans up, and something felt amiss. I shrugged off the feeling and put the jeans on.  When I zipped up the jeans, I was not happy. They looked like jeggings – leggings with jean features painted on. “How do they feel?” she asked excited. I pulled open the curtain. “Those look GREAT on you,” she gushed. I stared at her, trying to find the right words to convey my thoughts. “They are more stretchy in the hip area, to fit your curves,” she explained.

I decided on my words. “I do not feel sexy in these.”

She didn’t seem sure what to say. I can’t blame her.  “Let me go find some other styles for your body type.”

She returned with another pair of jeans, much like the first set of mom jeans she had brought over.  I put them on and then immediately took them off.

It was time to make a decision. I chose the torn size two jeans with the buttons, designed for teenagers. I put them back on, jumped around to make sure the buttons didn’t come flying off, stared at my behind, tried to justify the price tag (and could not, but whatever). I took them off, put my own jeans back on, and headed over to the cash register with the jeans. I was in a bit of a hurry, and for some reason it was taking a long time to check out the people in front of me. This gave me some time to seriously evaluate what I was going to do: pay a lot of money for torn jeans that were a size too small and not appropriate for my body type.  Here is how the conversation went:

Future me: Why are you doing this?
Present me: For us. I’m doing this for us.
Future me: I’m the one who has to pay the credit card statement!
Present me: I wear jeans all the time. I wear them to work too.
Future me: These are torn jeans. I can’t wear them to work.
Present me: She said we have big hips. Wearing these jeans proves they are wrong.
Future me: We do have big hips.
Present me: You are going on a diet. Do you hear me?  A diet.
Future me: Our current jeans are fine. You don’t have to do this. Do you think you can ask for a discount because the jeans look used?
Present me: Maybe. I’m pretty sure that’s the style though. I noticed the tear is in the same spot in all of the sizes.
Future me: Okay, ask about a sale then.

My turn finally arrived. I handed over the jeans I had selected. “Will there be a sale anytime soon?”

“No….” she replied. The manager spoke up too, “Not anytime soon. We have one in January and one in June. And those jeans you have picked are our most popular model. Those aren’t going on sale.”

“Oh, really?” I replied, a bit surprised, “I’m just nervous because I’ve never paid so much for torn jeans before.”

He looked at me like I was lying. “Have you never bought jeans before?” He smiled. I should have slapped him.

I looked down at the jeans I was wearing, “Not ones with tears in them. All my other ones look clean.” I said, troubled.

I signed the credit card receipt and walked out.

“So now I’ve bought jeans that are expensive, torn, and not correct for my body and probably my age, all because I don’t want to accept that I have big hips,” I told my dinner companions. David stared at me. I sheepishly shrugged.

I can either return these jeans, or I can wear them all the time.

*That’s figurative, of course. No one uses pen and paper anymore.

Published in Social Life Thoughtful Reflection


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