Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where are Mommy's Pants?

For the month of September I am doing a daily photo challenge issued by Kim of Let Me Start By Saying... Today's challenge was the word "Old"... and at the end of this experience that's exactly what I felt. You can see today's photo and others by following The Pirate Mommy on Instagram, and you can participate in the challenge by following The Kim Bongiorno

A book for all ages!

If I were going to sit down and write a children's book right now I would surely call it Where are Mommy's Pants?. They say "write what you know", and right now that is the question at the forefront of my mind. Where the hell are my pants... or any pants that might work, for that matter? Because they sure aren't in my closet, and thus far they don't appear to be in a store near me, either.

I hate pants shopping. I hate shopping for pants the way some women hate swimsuit shopping. I wear my jeans into the ground, sucking every last strand of stretchy denimy goodness out of them until at last I have to contend with the fact that I look like either A: a stereotypical "homeless person" advertisement, B: a hooker, or, sometimes even C: a stereotypical homeless hooker. That's where I'm sitting at right now. I swore that this time last fall I had at least five pairs of jeans... at least! So why is it that I'm staring at one solitary piece of below the calf denim in my closet? And that piece, naturally, is the "artfully" torn designer jeans that have moved from "a hint of sexy" to "Dear God, woman, cover that up!" No longer do I give the barest hint of tanned flesh playing peek-a-boo through the thick mesh of  "distressed" denim strings. Now it's more like pale fish belly slapped beneath a tic-tac-toe board that stretches nine inches up each thigh. You can follow the ever-visible veins that run up my legs like a sad little road map if you look closely enough. Please... please don't look that close.

So it's not like I have much of a choice here. I have to wear pants, at least in public and according to my spouse and children. And with my Bad Ass Chickcation to New Orleans coming up in ONE MONTH I can't even wait for my knees to get frostbitten. So today I took advantage of the fact that both kids were in school, fortified my courage with a double shot skinny mocha WITH whipped cream (don't laugh.. give me skim milk but dammit you'd better add that delicious whipped cream), and went Shopping. I can vaguely recall actually enjoying shopping, back when it meant a delicious, leisurely afternoon away from being a nurturing, loving, butt-wiping, handwashing, Dora watching Mommy. It meant ME time, quiet time, time where I could examine the way the denim fit to every curve and contemplate whether or not it was the right look for me (as if I had any other "look" than "exhausted and quite probably covered in peas")... as opposed to wildly grabbing underwear, ANY underwear and throwing it in the cart while the baby screamed and the preschooler tried bras on his head. Almost a decade later, though, it's legal to actually leave the children at home and go by myself and shopping isn't quite the luxury it once was. Honestly, it's becoming more and more like a trip into a hostile and forbidden territory.

I walk through the store towards what I presume is the women's department... or misses... or whatever they're calling clothes made for female humans over the age of 25. It's no secret that I can't dress myself, but surely I can buy cute jeans that fit, right? Surely I can do this one thing and come out okay.

This is where I pause for you to laugh. It's okay. 

There are approximately 472 different kinds of jeans here, and none of them appear to be anything remotely close to what I'm actually looking for. There are jeans with giant rhinestone... what are those, lizards? Are we putting reptiles on our asses now, ladies? Is that what we're doing? There are "distressed" jeans, which I have learned means I will look like a Solicitation Arrest Near You in about three washes. There are jeggings.. who the hell ever thought that was a good idea?  Low rise. Lower rise. Low rise boot cut. Low rise skinny boot cut. Low rise distressed skinny pumpkin spice boot-and-stiletto cut. I look for something that rises above my pubic bone and fail. I'm what you might call an "hourglass" figure... except I don't just have a little junk in the trunk, I've got one of those bags you throw up on the roof rack too. Low rise means I will spend every moving moment yanking up my pants, and every seated moment praying that I'm not flashing my ass to every room mom in the PTA. No.  I'm not asking too much, am I? All I want is a pair (or four) of jeans that fit well, are comfortable, trendy but not ridiculous, and won't create the need to borrow against the 401(k). Is that being unreasonable? Am I getting too old to buy cute jeans?

 I search the store for someone, anyone who might be able to light the way. Maybe there's a secret section I don't know about, a special, hidden place where women like me can find the pants of their dreams. It will have oversized dressing rooms with enough hooks for the clothes you want to try on AND your purse. It will smell like freshly roasted coffee beans and the lighting will be good. Denim will overflow from racks and shelves, jeans that are made to embrace curves,  with waistlines that hit a few degrees north of requiring mandatory waxing. And there will be 80s and 90s hits on the speakers, mixed with the occasional sassy late 70s hit. I could try on jeans to "It's Raining Men"... that would be okay.

What, or rather who I find is Cindra, who appears to be the only person working in the store. In between helping a mom whose toddler is wearing a thong like a Spiderman mask, and putting clearance tags on a rack of sequined bikinis, she directs me to one lonely rack of denim that is almost absorbed into the Maternity section. Fitting. I approach cautiously, searching for keywords like "classic", "stretch", and "mid-rise". There are two pair that meet the criteria and have the dubious honor of coming in my size. I scoop them up and haul them to the fitting room. Under the unforgiving flourescent lighting they fit well enough; nothing is hanging out or over. They're plain, but that's okay I guess. I try to imagine them with something other than ratty flip flops and an old t-shirt. Once I'm back in my own shorts I glance at the price tag and actually wince. Seriously? For plain, unadorned denim? Really? Does the amount of fabric required to cover one's butt crack really drive the price up that much? Is the price worth not having to keep looking?

I'm still musing on that last one when Cindra checks to see if my blank stare means I'm thinking or having some kind of medical incident. I hold up the jeans and shrug. "Just deciding." She offers me a reassuring smile and says with unmatched enthusiasm "Those are GREAT jeans. They're all my Grandma will wear!"

So.... I can make low rise work with a belt, right? 

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