Lost in Suburbia: That’s why they call it the blues

Tracy Beckerman More Content Now

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to bite the bullet, step out of her comfort zone, and do the one thing she really, truly, deeply dreads: Buy a new pair of jeans.

It wasn’t that my jeans were too small or too big, they were just old and out of style. Or maybe my body had changed and the jeans that used to fit right were now too low and gave me a muffin top, or too baggy and looked like clown pants, or too high and looked like (shudder) mom jeans.

Whatever the reason, my jeans weren’t working for me any more. I realized the time had come to update my jeans before I got ticketed by the denim police, or worse yet, got called out by my teenage daughter.

Summoning up my inner jean fashionista, I went to the department store to try on some new styles. But somewhere between the time I had given birth and when my firstborn left for college, there appeared to have been some big changes in the jean industry. For one thing, the jeans were so skinny I actually thought for a minute they might be arm pants. Then there was the cost. The last time I bought jeans they were the same price as a tank of gas. Now they were the equivalent of my son’s college tuition. As I perused the racks I saw literally dozens of brands I never heard of, at prices I had never conceived of, in sizes I could never fit into. It was the trifecta of jean hell.

I decided to try on just one pair first to figure out what size I needed. I grabbed something that said it was my size, went to the dressing room and pulled them on.

I couldn’t get them past my calves.

“Excuse me,” I said, stopping a salesgirl with an armful of clothing. “I think these jeans are mismarked.”

She looked at the waistband and then the ticket.

“No, it’s right,” she declared.

I shook my head. “Oh wait. Is this the children’s department?”

“No, ha-ha,” she laughed. “This is women’s.”

“Well, this is my size, but I couldn’t even get them up my legs,” I protested.

“These are super skinny jeans,” she explained. “They’re meant to be tight.

Maybe you need something less skinny with more stretch?”

“You mean like sweatpants?” I said glumly.

She smiled and grabbed me a couple of pairs of jeans off a table. I looked at the price tags and gasped.

“Do you get anything with these jeans?” I asked her.

“Like what?”

“A defibrillator?”

I went back into the dressing room and tried on the first pair of jeans. They got up to my thighs. The second pair went a little higher. Finally, I managed to get a pair all the way up and buttoned. But I was pretty sure if I sat down in them, the jeans would rip, the zipper would shred, and the button would pop off and hit someone in the eye. Hopefully the sadistic salesgirl who gave me the jeans.

I left the dressing room and found the salesgirl.

“Tell me something,” I asked her. “Are all the jeans you have cut like these?”

“Yeah,” she said. “Pretty much.”

“OK,” I said, handing her back the failed pants. “Let me know when the Mom Jeans come back in.”

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