As I schlepped through the mall looking for the perfect pair of pants, I debated which was more enjoyable, bathing suit shopping or trying on jeans? I chose option three—having my wisdom teeth removed. I don’t mean to kvetch, but surely Levi Strauss didn’t intend for this item of apparel to be so form-fitting that the outline of every chocolate-covered matzo you ingested during Passover can still be seen?
Let’s examine trends. First came “Bell-Bottom” jeans, then “Boot Cut” followed by “Boyfriend” jeans. Finally someone got smart and invented “Mom jeans” directly after “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans.” Now I’m proposing, “Not My Muffin-Top” jeans. If that sells well, my final contribution to denim heaven will be, “I Ate at DZ Akins and Still Got This Zipper Up” jeans.
As I wandered in front of a display with an older, full-figured, wrinkled mannequin (oh wait, that was a mirror!) I came upon “Relaxed” jeans and “Distressed” jeans. Could “Plotz” and “Nudnik” jeans be far behind? But lest we lull ourselves into a false sense of comfort and security within the fashion industry, beware of “Yeast Infection” jeans, AKA “Skinny Jeans,” right ladies? I once circulated on the Internet that Skinny Jeans are a major fashion faux pas, but Snopes keeps declaring that’s an urban legend. Darn.
It’s complicated where jeans should sit on your torso too. There’s low-rise, (which are supposed to make men’s temperature rise!) mid-rise, sunrise, but I’m still hoping for stock market-rise jeans. Oh! And you must never make the humiliating mistake of calling them “slacks,” or a salesgirl will raise her eyebrows and promptly march you over to “the girdle section,” instead of the Spanx. Like there’s a difference?
Before I escaped Nordstrom, an overly helpful manager named Fran took my arm, offering a guided tour. She pointed out new colors in plum, turquoise, buttercup yellow, seafoam green, mustard, and burnt sienna. Because self-consciousness always looks better cloaked in Crayola colors!
If I thought browsing was fun, I was in for the time of my life once coerced into the dressing room. “Ms. Lewis in fitting room 2…how’s that size 16 working out for you?” blared Fran, over the department store’s PA system. Fran repeatedly returned to harass, err—check on me, bringing new items (that she just knew I would simply adore) until I finally told her to pretend she worked in Walmart and disappear. I consoled myself thinking lots of things probably come between Brook Shields and her Calvins nowadays.
As I shyly approached the cash register, I hid my item away from Fran’s prying eyes. “Baggy, saggy, craggy, shaggy, haggy trouser style” proclaimed my label. “With 88% Spandex.” Just as I wondered what the other 12% could be (Fran-dex?) she cheerily (but suspiciously) remarked, “I’ll be seeing you very shortly!”
“Fat chance” I thought to myself (laughing at my pun) and drove home, where I immediately discovered the plastic store security tag firmly attached to the pocket of my new Trouble Shooter jeans. Grrrrrrr. Naturally. Fran works on commission!
Stephanie D. Lewis is a regular contributor for the Huffington Post and her humor blog can be found online at OnceUponYourPrime.com Her book, “Lullabies & Alibis” is available on Amazon. Follow her on Twitter @MissMenopause