i think the thing i most detest purchasing is blue jeans, which is ironic, because i would wear them every day if i could, especially if they fit well.
and therein lies the rub. finding a pair that fits well has been damned near impossible.
they're too low on my hips. they're too tight around my waist. they're too baggy in the butt. and i cannot stand the way they cling to my calves. i know why they're made this way. i know the purpose is because they make your butt look good. and a girl's stomach's supposed to be, in that perfect world, flat as the table upon which my laptop sits. but seriously? who has a stomach that flat? it sure as shit ain't me.
right now, my stomach's about as big around as my hips are. my thighs and calves look more like bowling pins. i'm not that interested in showing off all those curves as i am in being comfortable in what i'm wearing... in my skin.
so for kicks one evening after i'd left work, i went to dillard's, to the men's department to try on a pair of jeans there. i'd lucked out in meeting the manager of that department who was really, really kind to me. i told him at the first than i had an odd request. he didn't bat an eye, but he'd recommended that first i try a particular brand in the women's department downstairs. i did. and i didn't like them, so i went back upstairs. and he took quite a bit of time talking with me about what i wanted and looking over the merchandise, picking out half a dozen pairs. i bought three.
that's the first thing for which i've been grateful. i'd expected to be treated like a freak, and he'd shown nothing but kindness.
on saturday, the weekend after i'd made these purchases, a very good friend of the family celebrated his birthday at his middle son's house. the son's wife is one of those beautiful people. the golden girl who has no trouble whatsoever in a crowd, who loves the bangles and the hoops and the strappy, shiny sandals and the fashionable, feminine attire. she's the complete opposite of me, basically.
and i'm not writing this because i wish i could be more like her. i don't wanna wear the bangles and the hoops and the strappy, shiny sandals and the fashionable, feminine attire. but i wanna be that comfortable in the clothes i have donned that day.
while i was physically comfortable in what i'd worn--an oatmeal and navy striped, long-sleeved, v-neck t-shirt, my favorite of those three pairs of jeans i'd purchased and and my brown sanuk flip-flops--i felt wrong, especially standing next to her and her friends. they all had daughters. they were talking about how they wanted their girls to bother with the bangles and whatnot two days a week, and the rest of the time they could wear what they wanted. the conversation made me feel more self-conscious. more ashamed of the fact that i'd chosen these jeans, that i couldn't be more adept at painting my face and fixing my hair, that i didn't fit.
and i kept thinking about what that jackass had said. about what a lot of jackasses have said over the years.
i told her, later as she had lead me to a cooler holding the coca-colas, about the most recent jackass' comment. and instead of blowing it off, she showed concern and kindness. and when i'd left that night, she gave me a really good hug. i love hugs. they are beautiful things.
a week later, this past saturday, i went back to the men's department at dillard's where i got more help from two more guys who also managed to not treat me oddly. because i felt like i hadn't taken enough time to really look--as invested as the manager had been, maybe i'd been a little too quick in making my choices. i'd decided, since i liked that pair i'd worn the saturday before the best, to buy more by that brand and donate the others. i found two more pair. and yall, they fit me SO WELL. the second guy who'd helped me... when i'd come out of the dressing room, i asked him what he thought. he said they looked good. and when told him they were men's jeans, he was quite surprised. they don't dig into my belly, they hug my butt and hips so comfortably, and they're just the right amount of roomy in the leg. plus they're long! and that's always been the ultimate bane of my existence; jeans have never been long enough. they don't have a lot of trim on the pockets. the wash is fantastic. i'm loving these, yall. i don't give a shit that they were made for a man. they feel really good. more, i like the way my legs look in them.
and then monday, in the mail, i got a really nice note from that golden girl... more concern... more kindness. those are beautiful things, too. so little and yet so monumental.