So, here's a surprising thing. Today's adventure - in our ongoing series of Your Neighborhood Librarian Gets Shit Done - involves something that I was putting off for a reallly long time, and that's buying jeans. My New Year's Resolution was... oh wait, the surprising thing. I don't want to leave anyone in suspense. That shit kills, you know. Nobody needs excess suspense.
Your Neighborhood Librarian Buys Jeans at the Mall
|Times when you wish Purell made lube.|
THE MALL. The place where crowds and perfume samples and overpriced throw pillows and the sinister alleyways of the second floor - I mean, you could get a raging case of genital warts even just from lingering outside Abercrombie and Fitch long enough to tie your shoe. NEVER touch the floor, or god help you the benches, outside of Abercrombie and Fitch.
But I. Prevailed.
- "My New Year's resolution is not to get so defensive when you criticize the way that I unload the dishwasher, or like... fold t-shirts. For example."
- And I, being tired and dense, said that my resolution was to stop wearing unflattering pants. And he just looked at me.
- So then, to clarify, he said, "I think the reason I get so defensive is that sometimes I come home from a few days on the road, or even just home from work, and you kind of hand off to me a little bit."
- And I was like, "Because it may seem like I have a lot of pants, but almost all of them are very frustrating."
- So he further clarifies: "So when you tell me that I'm loading the dishwasher wrong, I get a little defensive."
- And I say, "Huh." And I think about it for a second, as much as I am capable, which isn't much, see above RE: FRIED LIKE A PIG'S EAR, and I consider making some kind of meeting-halfway gesture, but then I realize that I am not at the moment savvy enough to not get myself in big trouble with a resolution that I will not be able to uphold, and besides I am dimly aware that he has just constructed the personal goal equivalent of the Back-Door Brag... call it the Right Back Atcha Resolution... so I say, "Weeelll, I'm going to stick with the pants thing."
|Even if there were loose diamonds in those pockets, |
I would not put my hand in there.
That's right: my husband was like Matt Damon in Oceans Twelve during his early twenties, while I was more like... Parker Posey in anything. "I walked the streets of the greatest city in America with a fortune in my pocket" beats the hell out of "I made minimum wage folding sweaters and measuring the inseam of wizened Ukrainian-American senior citizens so that I could sell them another pair of Sansabelt slacks at Higbee's in the Severance Mall in Cleveland." Everything in Cleveland has a name like "Severance Mall." My sister-in-law lives in Chagrin Falls. It's like a town name in a John Irving novel.
|One of my co-workers at Higbee's. Right.|
Back at work, I had to endure the Obsession for Men ADS. Those ads! They played on a loop on a TV above the cologne counter, and it was all those disjointed phrases that were supposed to be sexy and mysterious and I actually could still recite them all verbatim and that is a TERRIBLE realization.
|This yoga pose is called... no I'm sorry. Even I can't go there.|
Wow we are verging into too much information here. But it is a fact: you do NOT want to find yourself in a fitting room with no bra on, not after two kids you don't. And on top of this cunning ensemble I have my Vulcan Traditional Greeting hoody and a ball cap - I look like a slob but maybe I can pass for one of those moms with the sinewy arms and sinewy faces who have just come from like Mega Body Ab Class Yoga or whatever, there are sure to be some of those at the mall at 10:30am. Picking up a little something at Abercrombie & Fitch.
|Shut up about my hair, jackass.|
But I picked a pair of jeans off a rack, you know, I'm staying On Mission, and they had this pair of like silver dusted jeans and because I sometimes find it necessary to dress like a teenage David Bowie, I liked the look of the silver dusted jeans. They were size... 38. What is a 38, in jeans? Not waist size, not at Benetton - it's more like a European shoe size. But I figured 38 was a pretty big number so I'd try them on.
We nearly aborted right there. That first gimlet-eyed squint at yourself in the fitting room mirror is so often the last. But I soldiered on. Went to the Levis store. Tried on fifty or sixty pairs of jeans and corduroys. Have I mentioned that working retail blows? That poor young lady. And I was extra unhelpful, having no idea what size I might wear, and also wanting to try mens' jeans.
I was fed a line of BS about the jeans I actually did buy, from a boy who was younger than the boots I was wearing. He explained that they were made of "salvage denim." Right. Levis found a shipment of denim that had been lost in a storm and lain perfectly preserved at the bottom of Lake Superior until divers brought it up, sent it to China, and made an enormous run of jeans out of it. The word you're looking for is "selvage," son. It refers to the finished edge of the fabric at the outseam.
Retail, baby. How can you call those wasted years when I came away with knowledge like that?
So this is Your Neighborhood Librarian. Not going naked to work. Let's all not. 'Til next time...