The little black pants that could

By Mir
February 11, 2013

I may have mentioned a few (dozen) times that I’m in a play this week…? Possibly? And one of the super things about putting on a production of The Vagina Monologues is that it really doesn’t require any sort of set or costuming or anything. Basically the director picks a theme for what the cast will wear and then everyone goes home and pulls something out of their closet and whatever. Boom. Done.

Last year we had to wear black, purple and gray, in whatever combinations we wanted. That was really easy, frankly, since I wear those three colors kind of a lot, anyway. This did not stop me, however, from going out last year and buying some, umm, SPECIAL pants for the show. In my defense, they were on clearance. Also in my defense, I was doing the “angry vagina” monologue and I really wanted to wear something kind of hardcore that I would never ordinarily wear. Further in my defense, SHUT UP, it is TOTALLY not weird that I bought some faux snakeskin black, shiny skinny jeans.

[Chickadee was horrified. Like, asked me over and over to confirm that I would never, ever, under any circumstances, wear them “for real” any time other than the show. Her horror amused me, but not to the point where I wore them anywhere else. Because they are ridiculous and that was the point.]

So this year, I had no intention of wearing my ridiculous pants, partly because I am still not entirely sure how I managed to wear them in the first place without bursting into flames, and partly because my part is very different this year. [VERY DIFFERENT. My character is supposed to be 93. Pretty sure she’s not into snakeskin pants.] No matter! I have a couple of pairs of black jeans, and I happened to pick up a pretty purple blouse a few months ago… I figured I was set.

Well. This year we’re wearing all black. ALL BLACK. I wore a pair of black jeans to rehearsal one night and asked the director if those would be okay, and she pointed out that they really weren’t black. Huh. She was right; they’re a faded black, so more like a dark gray. Dammit. Fine; I could wear my OTHER black jeans. Except I couldn’t, because they are also kind of gray. DAMMIT. Well, surely I have a pair of black pants in my closet…?

Apparently during my last closet purge I got rid of my black pants. Whoops? (Maybe they didn’t fit. I don’t remember.) So: no black pants.

Now, I don’t HAVE to wear pants. I have black skirts! I have a black dress! But… I really want to wear pants. We sit around on the floor and stuff, and let’s face it, I’m kind of a klutz, and I really would just like to minimize the possibility of flashing the audience at any point during the show. Just sayin’.

Thus began the Hunt For Black Pants. I started with out local thrift stores, per usual. My first outing resulted in a new purse but no pants. Whoops! The next few outings resulted in a lot of trying on but no actual buying. And it was then that I remembered that I have a long history of Pants Woes and I was probably being ridiculous, thinking I could find something that fit on relatively short notice. I’d burned several perfectly good Saturday afternoons shopping and grumbling and coming home empty-handed.

Mind you, it doesn’t help that I am not exactly where I wish I was, weight-wise, at the moment. I am, as I like to summarize it, “feeling a little soft.” That means that no, I am not overweight, I am just out of shape, and the shape I AM has a little more… erm… pliability… than I wish I had. Ahem.

Finally, on a day when we had Activities in both the morning and the afternoon—with a brief(ish) break in-between—I bribed Monkey. “If you will behave and be patient while I try on some pants at the mall, I will buy you greasy mall pizza for lunch. Okay?” He was game. This did not stop him from narrating my entire search at Macy’s, much to the delight of eavesdropping sales associates. (“Mom, you have two pairs, go try them on and let’s go. Why do you need more? What do you mean they don’t make pants for people like you? WHO DO THEY MAKE THEM FOR? Okay, you have four pairs, now, that’s enough. I’m hungry so you have to hurry up. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be rude. I’m just telling you, I’m hungry. EIGHT PAIRS, MOM? REALLY?? YOU ONLY HAVE TWO LEGS.”)

You never saw someone as happy as Monkey was when I came out of the dressing room, holding a pair aloft in a victory gesture.

So now I have black pants for the show. But—you knew there was a but, right?—they’re… snug. I mean, they fit. Mostly. I just need to maybe really commit to exercising regularly. And I totally have been, since I bought them a few weeks ago. But I haven’t tried them on again. I’m sure they’ll be fine. Or I can just hold my breath… for the whole show. No problem. Or I can just, I dunno, embrace any resultant muffin-top as part of my woman-power. Or something.

But they’re cute pants, at least. (I totally can’t remember where I was going with this. Something about pants? I have pants. Yes.)


  1. Liza

    There would be something apropos about flashing the audience at the Vagina Monologues.

  2. Ani

    Had to laugh as I practically LIVE in black pants. :-) Hooray to finding a good pair.

  3. Little Bird

    I kinda have to agree with Liza about the flashing.

  4. Rachel

    I have to agree with Ani… I had to re-read the part where you said you don’t own black pants. I thought ‘that can’t be possible, I must have read it wrong, I mean who doesn’t OWN black pants?” But then, I do have an office job. If I didn’t work in an office, I probably wouldn’t have black pants either, except for yoga pants. Yoga pants, there’s your answer! Comfy AND black! =)

  5. Brenda

    Skirts and floor sitting do not go hand in hand. Good call on the pants. And Monkey has a really good point: Who DO they make pants for?

  6. Korinthia

    Yea for pants!

  7. Sharon

    And this is why I buy a pair of black pants any time I find a pair that fits. I never know when I might need them. Good luck with your performance:)

  8. Nelson's Mama

    Get thee to the store and purchase some SPANX! I wear them all the time and LOVE them!

    I’m was thinking the same thing as Liza :)

  9. Chuck

    As a large-ish guy, I like going shopping at an XL store for guys, because I buy the smallest sizes they have there and it makes me feel like I’m in better shape than I really am. Hope the play goes well!

  10. suburbancorrespondent

    I realized that the only problem I have with pants right now is my stomach. I mean, my hips are right, my butt is right – but my stomach makes it hard to button the pants. And if I go up a size, then the pants look ridiculously large everywhere else.

    Maybe I should just buy a pretty maternity top and pretend I’m pregnant?

  11. Curious Cat

    ummm. if you’re supposed to be 93, shouldn’t you be wearing black pull on pants? i don’t know any 90 something women who wear jeans, black or otherwise. Pretty sure their pants are all pull on. and they sell pull on knit pants at the wal or the k stores for CHEAP.

    regarding the snakeskin pants bursting into flames, wouldn’t that have been COOL for ‘angry’ vagina monologue?? i mean, not so much for you, personally, but it would’ve have totally fit in with the whole angry thing, right?

  12. Frank

    I have to agree with the sentiment of playing the part of 93. That means hitting the thrift stores for some non-denim black, and if they dont fit ‘exactly’ that is part of the schtick. Add an old style black sweater (because all people at 93 are ALWAYS cold), put your hair in curlers.. maybe wear a babuska over the curlers…

    OK… OK… its just a thought… with a funny image. Plus: talk about horrifying your kin. Bonus!

    As they say… Break a leg!

  13. Kim

    When I was a teenager, it drove my mom crazy when my black jeans faded. She dyed them regularly. So, if you love your jeans, go to the drugstore and buy a packet of RIT dye (I think that’s what its called) and dye them. Unless you’ve worn them around the pool and possibly got splashed. Because those spots that you can’t see won’t dye – they will turn pink, thus ruining your favorite pair of skintight-need-pliers-to-pull-them-up-Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. And then you will have to buy a pair of Jordache…

  14. Arnebya

    What Liza said.

    And for some reason, I can’t find any pants I like. None. Zero. I go to the mall or thrift store (first) and come out empty handed (OK, wait, no, sometimes there are coats because I cannot help myself). Pants hate me.

  15. js

    I am packing to go on my honeymoon and I am also packing a little more to, um, love around the stomach area then I would like. It’s like I hit a certain age and all the elastic in my skin was suddenly shot. So there is a pile in a closet going to goodwill just in time for tax season of black pants I will NEVER wear again! I feel your pain. I now have 3 pairs of pants that fit. Also, yoga pants= LOVE.

  16. Kelly

    You made such a great angry vagina!

  17. Aimee

    Am I the only one who thinks it would be totally awesome if you did your 93-year-old, non-angry-vagina monologue in your faux snakeskin black shiny skinny jeans? Anyone? Bueller? Okay, maybe it’s just me. But you gotta admit, it would be a KICK ASS GRANNY who would wear those. Just sayin’.

  18. Rocky Mountain Woman

    I have a friend who would wear those faux snakeskin shiny skinny jeans and totally get away with it…i kinda hate her sometimes (just a little)…

  19. deva

    I’m short. Like, 27-inch inseam short. So yes, who do they make pants for?

    and I would totally wear the faux snakeskin jeans. With the ironic hipster glasses. Extra irony?

  20. Zoe

    Skip the exercising…that’s what air drying and stretching them while wet is for. Keeps them from going gray too which is an added bonus. Best of luck!

  21. Jeanie

    Not to worry, they will probably stretch out a little as you wear them. Hopefully, not too much, though, like a pair I had that seemed to grow two sizes the first day I wore them.

  22. Kristin

    Embrace the muffin top. It’s our destiny as non-20somethings.

  23. Christina

    But, have you thought about…. would the 93 year old character, if she was, ahem, 30-something in modern times, wear snakeskin jeans?

  24. Brigitte

    What suburbancorrespondent said, in fact, I DO sometimes wear maternity tops, but only if they’re not the more obvious kind. And I even have a pair ofmaternity pants I wear if the top is long and blousy enough. Tres, tres sad.

  25. elizabeth

    +1 on the black Rit dye on the jeans if the current pants don’t fit. But…I’d check sooner rather than later, because the dye will be all out of stock in the entire town if you don’t purchase well before you need it.

  26. Catherine

    I agree with Nelson’s mama. God bless spanx! A spanx camisole will totally get rid of muffin top! Makes everything fit better. And you can still breathe. Although I’m sure you and your skinny self really don’t need it. But for those of us who do…

  27. Tracey

    Well, I really wish was visiting eastern Gorgia so I could see this. So here’s wishing you and your new black pants a kick ass performance.

  28. Katie in MA

    Spanx. The emergency back-up plan is always spanx. Or, um, maybe that’s just at my house?…

  29. Margaret

    As Kim and Elizabeth mentioned, I learned the RIT dye trick from my Mother. I use it when t-shirts and sweaters start looking dark gray. Easy peasy and it is so much fun to see the *dingy* clothes come out black, black, black.

  30. Daisy

    Even a young man cannot understand the challenge of finding women’s pants that actually fit.

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