This blog entry is my attempt at entering Gigi's Gone Shopping's Talbots jeans contest. I don't have good luck with contests. But once I won $26 at a showing of the Princess Bride when I was in college, so I have high hopes. Inconceivable! If you would like to enter the contest, or just find out more about it, visit Gigi's (awesome and helpful) blog.
When I was 14 years old, I dressed like a runaway teenage heroin addict from an old episode of Law and Order. This sounds like a gross overstatement. It is not. Along with other assorted bad habits, I also had an 18 year old boyfriend with an acne problem and interesting little moments where he would just stare straight ahead and say odd, inconsequential things and then claim he couldn't remember it afterward. This was, perhaps, his greatest talent. A real prize, that one. I wouldn't be surprised if he weren't somewhere setting a fire as we speak. ANYWAY, my mother was, of course, not pleased with any of this. She tried bribing me to get away from him, she tried forbidding me from seeing him, she tried EVERYTHING aside from mounting his head on a pike to use as an interesting lawn ornament (which is probably what I would do with either of my daughters in this situation). I had a window to sneak out of and a cadre of excuses and I was 14. A willful little beast.
But then one day my mom took me to the FANCY mall, the mall that was an hour and half from the house and big. They had a Ruby Tuesday that had refrigerated plates at the salad bar and that strawberry tallcake stuff that came in a giant balloon goblet. This was the coolest thing I could conceive of, being a 14 year old from the sticks. After consuming the meal of my life, she took me to the Gap and (somehow) talked me into trying on a pair of jeans. I think she said something about the Gap being headquartered in SF, and it being a "hip" place. I liked the jeans--they were a bit beaten up looking, and they FIT. It was at that moment that I could see what I had been covering up with all of that ratty, ripped material I had been wearing--I had hips. And curves. And they were not all that bad.
My mom bought the jeans, along with a long sleeve t-shirt with a SF streetscape on it. And the next week my mom took me to a church youth thing where everyone was supposed to sit around and be positive influences on each other and drink cherry Kool Aid. I wore my new outfit. I was halfway through my stack of storebrand Oreos when I saw a boy peering at me from behind some HUGE glasses. He had curly hair and was wearing a pair of purple corduroy pants. I got up to get a napkin. He was still watching. We went to sing some songs about purity. He stood behind me and when I turned around once, he was staring intently at my behind. Guess he wasn't listening to the song. When he saw me turn around, he turned roughly the shade of his pants, cleared his throat, and said, "I like your pants."
Four words, folks. That's all it took. I smiled back, and the next thing I knew, he was showing me some pictures from a school trip to Paris he had just gotten back from. He was wearing a fanny pack in about 80% of the pictures. I didn't care. He had nice eyes.
We now have three kids. We used to live in Berkeley, and once I took a picture of the streetscape that was on the front of that shirt when we went out for dim sum. I have lost the shirt, but the jeans are still in the attic. I wore them until I physically couldn't get in them anymore, and they have survived two cross country moves, college, grad school, and the afforementioned three beasties. I have a feeling that I could get into them at this point, but I prefer to just let them sit, the aura of youth and love and memories hanging on them.
Best damn pair of jeans ever.