This whole childbearing thing does a number on your wardrobe. There are entire bins in my garage of I've-Put-On-A-Little-But-We-Haven't-Announced-Yet clothes, the Yes-I'm-Pregnant clothes, and then there are the I-Swear-It's-Not-Twins clothes, which are really just two pairs of sweats because you're hibernating at this point, praying to not be another day overdue. By the time you can fit back into your pre-preggo clothes, it's been a while, entire seasons have passed, and styles have changed.
And the re-entrance to the world of fashion can be a bit shocking to the system.
Apparently, while I was focused on getting enough DHA for two, waddling after a rambunctious toddler, having a baby without drugs, googling "symptoms of post-partum depression," diving into an obsession with hippie food, and transitioning to motherhood of two children,
Like socks, for instance.
They can be fluorescent now. And they can conspicuously peek through sandals, over boots, or over shoes that are not called shoes, they're called shooties. Target told me so.
And nothing is supposed to match, which really throws me off because how do I know if it works, or not? Are the colors in my outfits mismatching enough? How do we measure these things now?
I finally got on board with skinny jeans, right before Little One implanted himself in my uterus. Two years later, I'm back in the jeans market and
flares are back.
Flares? That's so 1995, which was a throwback then to 1975.
[Is that the point?]
It's a brave new world out there, and the water's cold.
Two days ago, I ventured out to the mall, determined that the Two Reasons I had detoured from the fun of dressing up would hold me back no longer, plus I had a new jogging stroller to try out.
A double jogging stroller.
I could only get so far back into Baby Gap before I started knocking down hot pink backpacks, which was a clear sign that I needed to go to Mommy Gap to find new jeans. I was a bit optimistic and should have held my guard up, at least a bit longer. Shopping for jeans, especially when hips have been stretched and shrunk and re-stretched should be regarded with trepidation.
Eight no's later, I tried to sneak through the men's section to avoid the overeager sales associate that could speak GapJeans as if it were a second language. She found me, cut me off between cardigans and hoodies.
"So, nothing worked?"
"Well," I stammered, "I wasn't really a fan of the fit."
"The fit of all of them?"
"They were just...really skinny. Like, really tight. Too tight for me."
[Could I play off some conservative card here? Surely, she wouldn't counter that.]
"Well, you know, they stretch throughout the day. "
And then she went into her morning routine, the shower, the jeans fresh from the dryer waiting for her on the stool, the hair regimen, the necessary calisthenics to get the jeans on, and then
"by the time I walk out the door, they're perfect.
After all, you don't want saggy bottom jeans, do you? Next thing you know, Stacy and Clinton will be sitting you down and you'll be on What Not to Wear."
And that's what she did, friends. She pulled the trump card, the consummate fashion nightmare--
she threatened me with What Not To Wear.
What she should have known, though, is that I've had two kids. And that while this transition to motherhood of two, along with this dabbling in PPD, this obsessive compulsion I have with organic food, this mad crazy husband I'm addicted to, this Jesus-life I have deep inside my belly, this stretching and shrinking of an every-changing, childbearing body--while these are the very reasons I have just one pair of decent jeans to my name,
they are also are the very reasons someone who speaks, and threatens, in GapJeans for a living can no longer intimidate me.
I smiled, no-thanked-you, and awkwardly wheeled my monstrosity of a stroller around the scarfed mannequins and I was onto the next store, will resolute, new-jeans-mission still standing.
It was the first attempt in a long time, treading these unfamiliar waters of What to Wear, and while the perfect pair of jeans may still allude me, I was happy to come home with the discovery of something even better:
those Store Ladies don't scare me anymore.