What you don't know about me is that I was voted most likely to be found in an outlet mall with oversized sunglasses, wearing Uggs and toting an oversized purse shopping for nothing but designer gear.
I am so freakin’ fabulous. I call this my Katie Holmes with a touch of Nicole Ritchie and the pout of Victoria Beckham look. You can just call it SEXY.
And so full of shit. Those aren’t my sunglasses, that would be my washable Eddie Bauer purse and a fleece jacket from Target. I am so fashionable I almost cannot look at myself. Joke. So you are wondering then what am I doing at the outlet mall? Well, it has a Pearl Izumi and Nike store that always has good deals. Since I spend half of my life in workout clothes, I have started accumulating them like you wouldn’t believe. In fact, I have starting hanging up my workout clothes because throwing them in a big bin just wasn’t cutting it any more. I have workout outfits now. I have officially disqualified myself for being one of those women that walks around in black Capri tights, a hoodie and running shoes.
Turns out this is not always appropriate attire. You actually need to own some “real” clothes. Blahblahblah. Says who? And why? Fine. I'll play along. So I had another reason for going to the outlet mall. I need jeans. Sadly my jeans do not fit anymore – except for two pairs, the two pairs that fit on top (sort of) but I resorted to cutting off 4 inches of the bottom just so I wouldn’t trip over them. Oh no, this isn’t “my jeans don’t fit ‘cuz I lost weight” – quite the opposite. You put on weight – whether it’s fluff or muscle – and your jeans let you know.
Stupid jeans. I like my fluff.
Disdain would be one word to describe how I feel about shopping for jeans. Chris does not understand why it causes me so much frustration – he thinks you have a waist size and length size and you buy. Not so in the world of the woman. You have nothing consistent, a different size, heck a different measuring system in every store you walk into.
I started out at The Gap. Aren’t they known for jeans? Is that where they started? I bring in about a dozen different sizes and styles and quickly realize none of them fit.
Chris doesn’t believe me. He insists on coming into the dressing room just to be sure. He is probably looking for a peep show but I prove to him that none of them fit. The worst part – the “ankle” length which I assume means you have ankles where most other women have knees are about 4 inches too long.
Would someone please show me the 6 foot tall woman who is wearing a size 2 to 4 jean out there? Where is she? That’s right, she doesn’t exist. And that is why no one buys your stupid jeans!
Even if the length fits, it’s the waist that pops out. Who has stick legs and a waist 3 times bigger? Who is built like that? Then Chris explains it to me, that is where the muffin top goes.
The muffin top which describes what happens when you squeeze a flabby girl into a pair of tight jeans – they need a place for the flab to hang out – hence, the muffin top hanging over the tight waist.
Sounds sexy. Wait a minute - how does he know this?
I forget that Chris comes from a line of world champion shoppers. His mother is such a shopper that they have to split Sunday into two shifts, the morning shift and afternoon shift. Neither of his sisters has ever made it through a double shift. Mother wears them out after just a few hours of store to store, on their feet, checking tags and trying things on. In Chris’ blood, this hard core, shopper extreme exists. Sometimes I see it in the form of large boxes that arrive at our house filled with things but I know better than to get between a Waterstraat and their shopping. It is not advisable. You will not win.
We try a few more stores then I decide we shall try a store called Lucky. Perhaps I will get lucky in there. Immediately I am impressed because the jeans come in waist sizes. Wait, do you mean that what they are is really what they are? None of this deceptive let’s call it a size 4 when it’s really a size 8 or throwing the whole world off by making jeans in a size….5? Who does odd numbers?
ONE SYSTEM PLEASE!
I have no idea what my waist size is. I decide it might be safer just to guess and try one a few pairs. No problem, though, my husband is on it. He announces to the store: DO YOU HAVE A TAPE MEASURE?
This was like when we walked into the Calvin Klein store and the clerk asked if he could help us when Chris announced: SHE IS SHOPPING FOR BRAS.
Here comes the clerk with a tape measure and he actually goes about trying to measure my waist when I‘m like, give me that and get away from my waist. Turns out my waist is about 4 inches bigger than I would have thought. That is EXACTLY the truth I needed to hear today. Plus it's 2 inches smaller than my husband’s jeans? Someone just call me Jumbo at this point. None of this sizing makes any sense but I go with it and start selecting jeans that might fit when I hear Chris start talking to the clerk.
I have a little cold so I’m drinking tea.
That would be from the clerk. He’s a young kid sipping hot tea. So what does my husband say?
What kind of tea is it?
Now they are talking about tea. Now I am ready to run out of the store. So I go to the dressing room to try on the jeans. No sooner do I get my own jeans off when a hand with a pair of pants on a hanger shoots into the dressing room curtain and a voice says:
TRY THESE ON.
If you need a reason to never take your husband shopping with you, I have about 20 more where that came from.
Turns out I actually found one – ONE – pair that fits. Go me! Chris turns that into two pairs because if they fit you should buy a dozen, he says. This is true. Earlier this year he went on a clothing shopping spree which resulted in about two dozen of the same shirt in every color of the rainbow being delivered to our house.
I settle for two and let the clerk ring us out. While waiting I notice something that makes me realize how old I am and how out of place I am in a store like this. Really, I am a grown adult and I am shopping in a store where they sell hemp hats. That would be a black ball cap with a cannabis leaf.
Leave it to my husband to save the day.
“Did you hear about the story of my mom and the hemp leaves?”
My mother in law the world traveler was traveling abroad and purchased an umbrella that had what she thought was really pretty flowers on it. Really pretty flowers that were actually cannabis leaves. And since she uses an umbrella for sun protection, please picture her walking around in a foreign country with a cannabis-leaved umbrella on a sunny day.
This story makes me laugh. And makes me think we should buy her one of those hats for Easter because it has really pretty leaves. Better yet, as Patty suggested, buy a pair of these beautiful pants because they will surely go with her Easter blouse.
Imagine that experience was just for jeans. Which seemed like enough for today. Now get me to the Nike outlet because I need me a new pair of black running tight capris.
In size Jumbo please.