Sometime between the end of last spring and the beginning of this fall, someone snuck into my closet and shrunk all my jeans. I tried to convince my husband that we had a problem with the dryer, but since all of his jeans still fit, it was a hard sell. Without thinking it through, he scoffed and suggested that maybe it wasn’t the jeans—maybe it was me.
“Are you saying I got FAT?” I demanded.
“What? No. Never,” he said, backing out of the room like he’d stepped on a sleeping rattlesnake.
“I’m not fat!” I yelled after him. “It’s the jeans. THE JEANS! They changed sizes!!”
Sadly I couldn’t pin this on him or the jeans. I had gained weight over the summer but I didn’t notice because my shorts were all stretched out. But when I changed over my closet to my fall clothes and tried on my jeans, the proof was in the muffin top.
Realizing I needed something to wear until I could fit back into my old jeans, I headed to the store to get some new ones. As I stared into the jeans department, I realized things had changed quite a bit since the last time I bought jeans out of a bin at Costco after I had my second child. The jean world today had become a much more complicated place. Looking around, I decided there must be no less than 30,000 different kinds of jeans, washes, cuts and brands. Truthfully, it scared the bejeanses out of me.
“Can I help you?” asked a young salesgirl who appeared wearing a pair of faded, low-waisted, skinny jeans that would barely fit over my big toe.
“I need some new jeans,” I told her somewhat fearfully. She seemed thrilled at the challenge and immediately began a line of questioning usually reserved for burglary suspects.
“Do you want jeans or jeggings? Skinny, super skinny, ankle skinny, flare, boot cut, straight leg or boyfriend? Low-rise, ultra low-rise, mid-rise or high-rise? Dark wash, faded, distressed, vintage or classic?”
She paused and I wasn’t sure if it was to wait for my response or gasp for air.
I actually had no idea what half of the jeans she mentioned were and only knew the other half because I have a teenage daughter. I knew I didn’t want anything low-rise because if I bent over it would scare young children, and I didn’t want high-rise because it would make my butt look so big it would be designated the 51st state. Skinny jeans seemed like a bad idea for someone who isn’t, and would probably look like a full-length pair of denim Spanx on me. Dark wash seemed like a good choice because darker colors make you appear slimmer. Actually hiding in your house is the best way to appear slimmer, but that wasn’t one of the options she offered me.
“So boyfriend jeans are cut a little looser, right?”
“OK, I think what I want is a dark wash, mid-rise, boyfriend jean,” I concluded.
“Great! Do you know which brand you like?” She began reciting a list of name brands that I’d never heard of. After the first dozen, I stopped her.
“I really have no idea who any of those are. Why don’t you just bring me a bunch of different dark wash boyfriend jeans and I’ll go from there.”
“Cool,” she said. “Oh, wait, what size?”
I whispered in her ear and she frowned.
“Sorry. We don’t carry that.”
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