• Lara Flanagan

I hate shopping, especially for jeans

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

I was at the Gold Coast a while ago and I was fascinated by some of the fashions.  Heading into the big smoke is sometimes like being slapped in the face with a dead mullet.  I can remember sitting there thinking, why the fuck did those girls pay for jeans that aren’t complete?  It was a new style of jeans, where the manufacturer had removed pieces of fabric so there were great big bits of legs exposed.  It made no sense to me.  I wondered as to whether those girls with the exposed thighs had fun at home only shaving the skin that people could see.   That is the sort of game that I would enjoy.  Shaving, but sort of not.

It also reminded me that I was heading to a major crisis in my life. 

I needed a new pair of jeans.  Damnation.  I hate shopping and the shopping I hate most is shopping for jeans.  The last time I bought a pair of jeans was two weeks after Archie and Rissie had been born so my jeans were almost 10 years old.  After 9 months of puking my guts out due to the two large parasites inside my stomach, I was in super svelte shape.  After I gave birth to Archie and Rissie I was 10 kilos lighter than when I fell pregnant with them.  Bloody amazing.  That 9-month’s pregnancy was the best weight loss experience I had ever had.  My beloved jeans were also a marker as to when I was getting chunky and a bit more Rubenesque than usual.

I can’t tell you enough how I hate shopping.  Little Rissie often hits her head against the wall in despair that she has a Momma who finds a seasonal uniform and wears it until it falls apart.  Occasionally she will look lovingly at my wedding dress.  It is a black 1950’s Audrey Hepburn inspired number that I am keeping for her. This gift will prove to her that I do occasionally have a feminine side and there have been times when I have been known to have donned a frock.  On the rare occasions I venture out to dinner, I will pull on my jeans and put on a top that is not my current winter jumper and she will point to the wedding dress and suggest that I could wear that.  “I don’t think so Rissie, I would look a bit silly at the local Thai.” 

She tells me that I don’t understand.  “You could look pretty mummy,”   I reply to her quite pertly, that I look just fine and I think I am pretty the way I am.  You see, constant positive body and image reinforcement for my princess child who thinks her mum is a dud.  What I don’t tell her is, “God no, I would have to shave my legs and I can’t remember the last time I checked out my pits.  I don’t have a bloody brush cutter. Out damn spot, out.”

I truly hate shopping.  But I knew I had to venture out as my 10-year-old pair of jeans was falling apart.  All I can say after this experience is what is it with fucking modern jeans?  Skinny jeans? Skinny bloody jeans?  They are not skinny bloody jeans, they are an assault on your self-esteem is what they are.  I don’t know anyone who looks good in skinny jeans, apart from Rissie and she is 9-year-old with the body of an 8-year-old child who needs a bloody good serve of something deep fried.

Shopping makes me nervous and it possibly makes me a little bit belligerent.  I know I am going to have to try on jeans and I know I will have to look in mirrors created by cruel sadists.  You know the ones, the ones that highlight every blemish and fault and remind you that perhaps it is time to also invest in some new knickers.   I would have thought with all the technology in the world someone would have invented a mirror that makes you look hot.  A mirror that adored you. 

Oh my god, I am a curvy woman who looks fantastic in jeans.  Muffin top? I have no fucking muffin top.  I have amazing hips encased in skin tight stretchy denim.   Get me the low-rise pair so I can show off my brand-new underpants with diamantes.  I can’t believe I look so amazing.  The mirror would make me buy three pairs, then I would get home, try them on and realise that I looked like a badly made sausage stuffed in a denim casing.  That is the sort of thing I might tell Archie and Rissie to focus on.  Invent a mirror that makes people buy.  Then we could retire to the Dutch Caribbean.

I marched into Just Jeans as that is where I bought my original jeans.  I did not want to browse, I knew exactly what I wanted.  I found a shop assistant, pointed to the jeans I was wearing and told her that I wanted a pair just like that.  I think she flinched as she responded, “I don’t think we make jeans like that anymore.”  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  “Then what have you that is really close to what I have got on right now?” I asked.  Boot cut, denim that looks like denim, mid-rise, you know, normal jeans?  I just want some normal jeans.  Not stretchy, not skin tight, not weirdo colours, not with pieces missing and pockets hanging out. 

In god’s name, can I just buy some normal jeans?  She pointed me to their boot cut section, they still had some in stock for dinosaurs like myself.  Are they mid-rise? I asked her.  I told her that I had no desire to be showing off my undies.  She nodded and left me to it.   I don’t think she saw much potential in me.   I tried on these jeans.  The same size, the same style that I had worn into the shop, and I wondered what in god’s name had they done to these jeans.  They were stretchy and tight and weird fitting.  They were just odd.  Why the hell did every single pair of bloody jeans stretch?

I went out to my friendly shop assistant one more time, wearing my new jeans that reminded me of body parts I had forgotten, cradling my old jeans.  “I want jeans just like this,” I told her.  I asked her to feel the fabric but she refused.  They are cotton and they are soft, they don’t stretch.  They are jeans.   Just give me cotton jeans.  She then told me that 100% cotton jeans are no longer made.  All of them have elastane in them.  The lowest amount of elastane you can get is 10%.  That sounds ok, where are they, I want one of them.  She pointed at me and told me that I was wearing them.  I hobbled back to the dressing room.  Archie told me they looked great. 

Rissie told me that at least they were new.  I had had enough, I bought the bloody jeans.  When I got home I threw out my old jeans as I kept on putting my foot through the knee and it was annoying the hell out of me.  I was tempted to make shorts out of them which were the height of fashion, the only thing that would cover my crutch would be the dangling pockets hanging down my thighs. I knew that if I did that though Rissie would disown me.

I got online and ordered another pair of jeans, the same size, and style but in a slightly darker denim.  For good measure, I bought two shirts that could be my summer uniform.  I did not want to go into a shop again.  That would have me sorted for the next five years I thought.  While waiting for my second pair of jeans I spent time emailing my girlfriend Julie-chan about how much we hated buying jeans. We sent each other pictures of muffin tops.  Really scary muffin tops and had an enjoyable exchange bemoaning changing fashions and cursing skinny jeans.   

Julie-chan concluded that in 2027 we would probably bitch and moan about modern fashions and remember fondly those amazing jeans we bought in 2017.

My second jeans arrived.  I am now sorted for a while and don’t have to shop again.  I have worn both my jeans for a few days.  Same pair same size, same style.  One pair feels too tight, one pair feels too loose.  I am like Goldilocks stuck in a jeans nightmare.

What the hell is it with modern jeans?

#SingleMum #Skinnyjeans #Jeans #Motherhood #Humour #MyStories #MyNotes

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