So … where was I? Oh yes, the Levi’s. After Levi’s revamped their line was about the time I’d been pregnant, had my first son, then had my second son 2.5 years later. No idea what I wore in between the two kids, probably a variety of stretch pants and other comfy-fitting things. I can remember a couple of pairs of loose, flowery pants from JC Penney that I practically lived in, along with long, tunic-type tops and cardigan sweaters. Maternity jeans always fit, of course, provided one could cover up that tell-tale maternity panel in the front. I know I wore maternity tops long after I was pregnant. After my second son was born in 2001, it took forever for the pounds to come off. I eventually started wearing Eddie Bauer Natural Fit jeans, they fit pretty nice for a few years. Not really sexy or stylish on me, but nice enough and comfortable, and I could eventually fit into a size 6. And then Eddie Bauer started closing all of their stores and going to an online-only based business. And the Natural Fit “fit” changed, I got put on a new antidepressant, separated from and eventually divorced my husband, and I started losing weight. That was about 4 years ago. I’ve been going back and forth between the Eddie Bauer jeans and Gap jeans (forget the line, but they’ve changed their fit as well and those no longer work for me either) since then … until last fall.
I finally broke down and decided I’d try some of the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. No, this isn’t a plug for them by any means. In fact, my first pair had this nice brass nailhead-type trim on the back pockets – that slowly proceeded to fall off a few at a time in the laundry – even washing on gentle cycle (per directions) and line-drying. That was annoying. Eventually they all fell off so now I have dark blue nailhead-type trim, the underpinnings of the brass, on my back pockets. That’s the negative aspect.
The positive aspect is that these jeans make me feel like I’m 20 years old again. Okay, maybe 25. I was still a little too skinny at 20. By 25 I was nicely curved but didn’t appreciate the figure I had and always thought I was too fat, at 5’6″ and 120 pounds. Reality was that I was just right. Now that I’m 45 and the idea of having a 24″ waist as I did back then seems like more fantasy than an actual honest memory, the prospect of looking good in a pair of jeans again seemed equally remote. Not with these jeans. Worth every penny. And yes, they’re not cheap at close to (or over) $100 a pair. Not as pricey as some of the celebrity jeans, granted. But certainly well above my budget. But ohhhh! The fit. They ALWAYS fit. Fat day, skinny day (well, I never have those), bloated, grumpy, whatever kind of day … they fit. And they look good. Sleek but not tight, slimming and slenderizing without being obvious, and comfortable no matter what. I was thrilled to easily fit into a size 4 again with these. Yeah, okay, it’s vanity sizing designed solely to part me from my money and boost my ego. Fuck it, it works. Awhile back, after all the nailhead trim finally fell off, I realized that my size 4 jeans actually got a little loose on me over the course of the day. Could it be that I could actually wear a size 2?
Oh, a size 2. The mere words harken me back to slightly scandalous outfits worn to concerts with heels and funky boots back in the 80’s, when I had permed hair that I aspired to styling like Michael Hutchence’s. (Not ending up like him, mind you, rest his soul). My stomach was relatively flat (never had six-pack abs, not even a 2-liter set) back then and my boobs were actually where they belonged. My face still had that peaches and cream look to it, and even though I stressed over every pimple, they never left a scar (unlike now). My contact lens prescription was only a -5 diopters (instead of -8) and I didn’t need reading glasses on top of them. No gray hair, no wrinkles, no random fears that I was developing Alzheimer’s. I didn’t have kids and was single and had that youthful fearlessness that seems so far removed now. I traveled to Europe twice with my best girlfriend and I’m sure we ended up in a lot of places where two single young women shouldn’t have been traveling. And yet I rarely, if ever, worried for my safety. I felt so burdened by my youthful issues and yet didn’t realize it or appreciate just how unencumbered I was. No mortgage, daycare, school for the kids, no marriage or spouse, no divorce, no worrying over paying the utilities, the phone, the cable, the cell phone (didn’t exist then anyway), whether my computer crashed or not … it wasn’t there.
And yet we don’t realize how simple our lives are when they are that way, do we? Rarely do we realize how many of life’s gifts are bestowed on us when it happens, and we take so much for granted. Health would certainly be one of them. Safety another. Long before the days of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, we were safe here. We felt safe abroad. We felt safe riding bikes as kids late at night, miles from home, or walking home from school by ourselves. It didn’t occur to us to be afraid.
Can merely putting on a pair of well-fitting jeans bring back that youthful naivete? That sense of immortality of youth, the fearlessness, the feeling that the whole of your life lay ahead of you and you could do anything?
A few weeks ago I tried on a silver-embroidered rear end (no nailheads to fall out this time) pair of NYDJ’s in a size 2. They fit perfectly. Well, they could fit a little better but it reminds me that I need to drop those pounds. I still look good in them without having that whole muffin top look thing going. They make me feel slim, sexy, vibrant – and dare I say it? ALIVE. I’ll keep you tuned.