Nothing fits

By Mir
March 19, 2005

After three (long) days, I appear to have shaken my migraine. This is A Very Good Thing. The Less Good Thing is that in its wake—no longer left trying to focus around searing pain and/or wavering vision—I’m left with this feeling of restlessness in my own skin. I should feel good and if nothing else, the twelve hours of sleep I got today should render me well-rested. Instead, I skulked around the house feeling uncomfortable and itchy and wishing I was anywhere but here. No; that’s not quite right. I was wishing I was anyone but me.

I think I’d rather have a migraine.

But hey, I’m tough. And I haven’t had a kid-free weekend at home in almost a month. So I slept and slept and then I got up, and then I went back to bed and slept some more, and I got up (again) and cranked up the music and started cleaning. Because it turns out that even when I hate everything, there is only so long I can tolerate the gritty *crunch, crunch* under my socks as I roam around the house. (I have heard it said that the seasons around here are Winter, Still Winter, Construction, and Almost Winter. I beg to differ. From a mom’s perspective, the seasons are more like Ice Puddles, Sand, Dirt, and Leaves. We’ll be in Sand for a couple more months.)

Naturally, after cleaning I wanted to reward myself with some Girl Scout cookies. But then I thought, Hey, why don’t I go really wild and go shopping! I need some pants, so it’d be a good thing to do! This is how you know that my brain is suffering extended damage from the migraine.

There’s a reason I need pants. There’s a reason I haven’t been shopping for them yet, even though I have multiple pairs of good and lovely and wonderful pants that are falling apart from age and wear.

The reason is: our stores are liberally stocked with pants designed to fit aliens from a distant galaxy where women are composed of a malleable substance much like silly putty. When no one is looking, these alien women infiltrate my favorite retail haunts and snap up 1) all the funky-looking styles that no actual human would wear, 2) all of the pants that only come in neon orange or chartreuse, and 3) all of the pants that are actually normal and cute and reasonably priced but produced by designers who smoke a lot of crack before deciding on the measurements. I don’t really know what happens with the bottoms from 1 and 2, but in the case of 3, that’s easy! They take their purchases home and then just rearrange their lower bodies (a squish here, a squish there) to accomodate the cut of the pants.

See, I shouldn’t be shopping for pants in a bad mood. But I’m not very smart, sometimes.

Mind you, I walked into the first store and out of hundreds of pairs of jeans and pants, managed to find only four that I was even willing to try on. This is because I’m incredibly picky. Remember “When Harry Met Sally?” Yeah, Sally has nothing on me. It’s insane, the things I demand from my pants. Obviously my standards are ridiculous. I know I should change. Really. But for right now, I demand the following from a pair of pants:
1) They must not cut off the circulation in my thighs while straddling two counties at the hem. (Who let bell bottoms come back?)
2) They must not be tapered. (Just because I don’t want bell bottoms doesn’t mean that I want my jeans to look like leggings.)
3) They must reach my shoes but not trail a foot behind me on the ground. (I’m 5’6″, which is supposedly the average height for women in America. I am astonished at how hard it is to find pants the correct length.)
4) They must cover my underwear rather than being so short in the rise that the button hits right around the clitoris. (So. picky.)
5) They must not have such a long rise that they come up to my armpits. (Did I mention picky?)
6) They. Must. FIT.

I don’t want much. From life or from my pants.

Anyway, I tried on the first pair and looked in the mirror, and they looked pretty good. I was pleased. Until I turned around. If I was looking for some pants that would double as extra storage, these would’ve been perfect. Or if I was one of those silly-putty aliens, that’d work, too… I could just squeeeeeze some of the fat from my ass up to my waist and get rid of that huge gap of material where the waistband sits four of five inches away from my body. Purty.

I went to three stores. I’m not sure how many pairs I tried on. The ones that I could get on (some I couldn’t get past my knees, which sped up the rejection process) all had that same gap in the waistband. Because, apparently, I missed the meeting where they let everyone know that having a waist is out this season. I’m so embarrassed.

Defeated, I stopped at Target on my way home. Good and loyal Target! Did you know that you can now buy (regular) Coke with Lime? Did you know that since that came out, my Target has stopped carrying the fridge packs of Diet Coke with Lime? I hate Target.

So, yeah, that really helped my mood. Bunches.

What I would really like—aside from pants that fit—is the ability to get what I need without feeling like I’m constantly surveying a million choices, trying a few, and ending up with nothing.

Being a smartass works for me most of the time; it’s served me well, over the years, but it’s an uncomfortable persona to shed. I think I’m being clear in expressing what I need, and either everyone is used to assuming me to be my own island, or what feels like forthrightness to me is, in fact, too subtle. I don’t always know.

But the end result is always the same: I retreat. Because I feel like I expressed what I need, and wasn’t heard. Wouldn’t it just be easier to be my own island and know my isolation is self-made than to keep trying to include others who aren’t listening to me? Maybe.

But I never give up pants just because they’re so hard to find. I’d be naked without them. And as much as I’d sometimes like to, I doubt I’m going to give up other people. Even when they blow off plans with me. Even when they keep going after I’ve said “I don’t want to talk about this.” Even when they grump at me when I try to help in spite of really needing some help, myself.

I wonder where I can find pants in the “glutton for punishment” cut.


  1. part-timer

    I know just what you mean!! Hubs and I had a leetle argument this weekend. And I usually just give up and count it all as me being spoiled or needy. BUT… I finally decided that my needs are important. You have needs. Don’t allow yourself to forget them -Stand by them. They are important!! Just like a really good pair of pants. xoxoxox

  2. Suzanne

    That’s easy. Glutton for punishment pants can be found in any Jr.s department. unless you’re just fond of neon, polyester, unlined, too short or too long hip…no…crotch huggers.

    I’ve been putting lime in my real coke for ages. I wish I would have thought to bottle it, mass market it, and become rich enough to have my own designer lable. damn me.

    By the way…What color goes with neon orange?

  3. chris

    once again, you’re blogging from my brain- only much more eloquently (even after the migraine, wow!) i can’t count the times i’ve asked myself “didn’t i say that out loud ,,, in english? why in the name of all things civil did NO one hear me?” i’ll let you know the answer when i find it if you promise to do the same. blessings

  4. Summer

    I am going to go shopping today, and I’m scared. I’ve got all the same problems with pants that you have, compounded by the troubling fact that I’m only 5’2″. Pants made for regular women are acres too long. Pants for the “petite” assume that I am built like a hippo. A short hippo, but a hippo nonetheless. Pants from the juniors section will fit my short legs and my waist, but not my Hindu-temple-carving thighs. I own ONE pair of jeans, and it’s not for lack of trying.

    I think it’s almost as hard to find a good pair of pants as it is to find a good man. Thing is, I don’t want to be monogamous with my pants.

  5. Ginny

    Two words – Land’s End. They will custom make a pair of chinos based on your answers to a two-page questionnaire. At $59, it’s a pretty good deal, and if they don’t fit exactly right the first time, they will re-do them. I love this because I have really, really long legs and it’s difficult to find jeans or pants that are long enough for me.

  6. steph

    did you try Ann Taylor Loft?? not the regular Ann Taylor but the Loft store…more casual and less expensive. love love LOVE their clothes! their pants come in three different fits, one of which is bound to fit you!

  7. Zee

    Ditto on the Ann Taylor Loft recommendation: I love their pants and have never had any trouble finding ones that fit. The Gap used to do the 3-lengths thing too. They probably still do, but I rarely find anything in there that I would be willing to put on my body.

  8. Bob

    I believe you’ve touched on why I enjoy your blog so much – the smart-ass touch. My wife has a pretty damn good line in smart-assedness, but having lived in the South since we were married has put that genteel touch to it. It creeps up on you and hits you from behind. Some don’t even realize that they’ve been smart-assed, they get that I’m confused, did she or didn’t she look.

    You seem to be alot alike that way. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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