Yes, my closet boasts a stack of jeans–three stacks to be exact. Those trusty blue threads I donned during different stages of my life that I’m not ready to let go of yet. One pair is my hole-in-the-knee work jeans for dirty jobs in the yard while another has sentimental paint spatters from late-night home improvement projects. And yes, some are mom jeans.
But I’m in a new place, and none of these jeans seem to fit the who, what, and where I am now. It’s not appropriate for me to try to slip into those old stone-washed college jeans, the maternity ones are long gone, the ones from my former job and life, well, they just don’t suit me anymore because the times have changed and I think, so have I. And according to what everyone else is wearing, the styles have changed while I’ve been at home and cozy in my mom jeans.
Like going shopping to find that perfect pair, I’ve been running hither and yon, trying this store and that, going into the dressing room and holding my breath to see if this might be the pair, or that might be what suits the now me. It’s a vulnerable place, a lonely place. Just me and a mirror and two wide-open eyes searching the mirror to see if maybe these are “the one”, but on the verge of tears knowing that what’s staring back at me in the mirror isn’t what I, or anyone else, wants to see. Because nothing fits.
I don’t have my old entourage of buddies on this important shopping spree giving me feedback, offering encouragement, giving me leads on good stores or deals or styles. And the times when I’ve gotten brave and asked for advice, all I’ve gotten is “well, you used to look really good wearing those ones…” but that was so long ago, and that’s not me now.
Lately I’ve been trying to zip up the jeans you talk yourself into because everyone swears they look great. You know the ones, you’re not comfortable in them–you can hardly breathe and they’re so restricting you can’t do much of anything in them. They don’t make you feel good, and you get the sense that people are just saying “no, really, those look good on you”. I think the word “really” is a red flag warning you that someone is choosing to be nice instead of being honest with you.
Then there’s the pair you have to bend and shimmy and do that little hop to get yourself into. The whole time you’re wearing them you’re self-conscious and uncomfortable because they’re so not you. And you know it, and you’re pretty sure everyone else who sees you trying to wear them knows it too. They’re all looking at you then quickly glancing away out of pity or empathy or worse, embarrassment because you wrangled yourself into an ill-fitting pair where your pantyline is showing.
I’m looking for the ones that as soon as you stick your toes into them, they make you smile because you feel confident in them. This pair is all you. Hugs your curves, lets you move, sets you up for success, helps you hit your stride. Makes you stand up straighter because you know they’re sending a message that’s all you. There’s nothing you can’t do in this pair of jeans, and the world knows it and is sitting up and taking notice. Maybe even taking pictures and Tweeting them.
I’ve been stomping around this town on a solo mission to find these super elusive dungarees that I can see in my mind, but can’t seem to actually get my hands on.
I’m starting to feel like giving up. Like sweatpants and the white-kneed jeans that are only appropriate for wearing around the house are meant to make up my wardrobe for the rest of my life. And of course the cherished mom jeans. No one can take those away from me.
But I’m holding out hope that out there, somewhere, there’s a pair just for me. That won’t fit anyone else because they were designed with me in mind. I have to believe that they are our there, waiting to be found, snapped straight, my feet plunged into those leg holes with confidence that in them, I can do great things.
Last but not least, the price has to be right. And I know exactly what I am willing and able to spend on them.