Unlike most women I know, I do not enjoy shopping for clothes. I find the whole experience intimidating, so much so that when I win the lottery, I will hire a personal stylist.
That was the thought running through my mind as I stood in the retail store that had a giant wall of denim that felt about two-storeys high, with stacks upon stacks of neatly folded blue jeans in a buffet of colours, sizes and shapes towering over me.
All I wanted was to find a simple pair of discounted denim. Easy, right?
There was an unhelpful guide to selecting the right fit. My options were a plethora of hip, thigh and length choices.
There were loose fitting jeans, or boot-cut hip-huggers, which are not be confused with the hideous trend of bell-bottoms. Did I want to be a rock star (what?) or a hipster (again, what?)?
There were low-rise versus high-rise waists, and stretch denim versus distressed ripped jeans (expensive jeans with rips in them, because that makes sense to someone, somewhere).
And, of course, the trend that just won’t die: the skinny jean. If skinny isn’t enough, there is the ultimate skinny, the true skinny, and the skinny enough for your ankle but not your thighs skinny.
Finally, there is the aptly named “boyfriend” jean. I own a pair. The Carpenter calls them my droopy drawers. I care, but not that much.
Oddly enough, there was no mention of the one feature that really matters most in jeans; the back pocket view.
C’mon, face it, in the change room, the first thing we do is turn around and strain our necks to make sure our caboose doesn’t have any extra cars on the train (if I have to explain that metaphor to you, we can’t be friends).
I grabbed one pair of each style in a size I guessed at and headed to the chamber of horrors, also known as the dressing room.
Alone in the plexi-glass stall, beneath the dreaded fluorescent lights, I was faced with my physical reality before a large mirror. Truth time. Anxiety overload. I was finished in less than five minutes, with only one pair that would suffice. I ran out of there.
Home again, I whined about my experience to the man who has long been fond of my blue jeans. He could not relate.
The Carpenter hasn’t gained more than maybe five pounds in our 22-year relationship. In that time, his pant size has gone up one waist size, his belt has been loosened by two notches, yet he has never tried a pair of jeans on, ever.
He would have walked up to the towering wall of denim, grabbed his size and paid at the cash register. Done. I love him, but I don’t always like him.
Moral of the story? I have none. I just wanted to whine. Wait. Wine. Now that sounds like a plan. Blue jean baby needs a glass of merlot. All better now.