Last Friday, I drank a few cups of strong coffee, took a deep breath and headed out to the mall. I was determined. I was resolute. I was going to find some jeans that fit, that were cute, and that wouldn't require a home equity loan. Seriously. That was my plan.
Jeans used to be easy. In the 1970s, and even into the 80s (until I had my first child), I would glide into any jeans store, grab a few pairs of Lee jeans, size 28w x 34l (I liked them long. Heaven forbid my socks would ever be seen.), plunk down my money and head out to wash them 4 or 5 times before wearing them. Easy peasy.
Then, through much of the 1990s, I'd order straight out of the Eddie Bauer catalog.
But, somewhere this millenium, jeans became complicated. Expensive. Oh, and something happened to my hips and thighs. I felt like I needed a 12-Step program. "Hi, I'm Judy and I need to shop for jeans." "Hi Judy." I'd watch Oprah or "What Not to Wear" and I'd nod and take it all in. And I'd think, well, if Oprah says Lucky Brand jeans fit everyone, they'll sure work for me. So I bought a pair. And they were okay. But, not day to day jeans. (Good lord, they cost $100+. That's not everyday for me.)
I wanted jeans that were comfortable, were cute, and didn't make a statement.
And so I grabbed jeans from every rack, from every pile and shlepped to the dressing room. (Can I just take a minute to say three-way mirrors combined with that sick yellow light should be outlawed. I don't need that view.) I tried on, I winnowed and sifted. I shlepped some more. At one point, when I was making my 3rd or 4th trek to the dressing room, I thought I might be having my first hot flash, but decided that I was just overexerting myself. Too bad I didn't bring along a sherpa.
And, miracle of miracles, I found a pair that worked. And, they were on sale. So I grabbed them in dark wash and regular wash. Then I grabbed a 3rd pair. Just for good measure.
I know what you're asking: "WHAT KIND? SHARE THIS INFO!! IT'S NOT CLASSIFIED, DAMMIT!" But, here's the problem. They might not work for you. Because you don't have my thighs (but, if you want them . . . ). So, you'll have to do what I did. Set aside a few hours, and try on 20+ pairs. Look at them from all angles (yes, even that angle). Squint. Try on another pair. Try on the first ones again. Then grab a brand you've never worn and just see. Revise. Edit.
It's like writing. No one brand works for everyone. What worked a few years ago (or decades ago) might not work now. What you first think is right might not be right when you look at it from another perspective. Just like writing. Some people write on the computer, some write in longhand. Some outline. Some wing it. There's no one perfect style or size or cut or brand.
It's work. Writing and jeans shopping. It takes time. It takes commitment. It takes sacrifice. But, when it all falls into place, when the conflict sets up the perfect plot point, when the character swims into view, when the jeans fit just right, it's a beautiful thing.
And now, I'll share with you the jeans that worked for me--I found them at Macy's in the Style & Co. department. They are Levi's 512 Perfectly Slimming (that might be hyperbole) Stretch Jeans. The tag even mentions that they "flatten your tummy." According to the tag they are "New" which makes me feel very cutting edge.
So, have no fear, if I could find some jeans, so can you. Same for that whole writing gig. Have at it.