I Bought Some Jeans on Sale at The Gap And Now I’m a Person Again
I was the only person in Gap at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday, which I would recommend for anyone who has tried to avoid thinking about their body for a very long time and is ready to face the music in the most boring way possible and at a 40% discount.
I have spent the past year alternating between the same two pairs of Gap maternity leggings. I do not regret this choice, I kind of enjoyed it really, and I almost want to go so far as to recommend maternity leggings to everyone. They’re so high-waisted and forgiving and comfortable it’s almost like you don’t exist. Alas, my leggings are finally doing me a goddamn favor and pulling apart at the thigh seams, that glorious, faithful reminder of the way my legs rub against each other.
And I should say that these leggings fell apart in the course of a year is not, I don’t think, a testament to their shittiness, which is fairly standard, but instead a testament to my own lack of self regard and um, inability/refusal to wear anything but leggings for a year.
Saturday morning found me in the city for coffee and croissants with an internet friend, right next to that wonderful stretch of Fifth Avenue which feels like the mall all over again, but in a good way. I mean, I don’t live in Manhattan. It can be a mall if it wants to.
By the time I had an armful of clothes there were still only two or three people there and no one in line for the dressing rooms. It wasn’t long before I was trying and failing to pull jeans a size up from normal over my ass, and debating whether I had it in me to ask for a bigger size. I did not; never have. Should I be so proud? I wanted to not care anymore, magically. I started planning how I would lie to the salesperson about how recently I gave birth, as if she or anyone would care. 4.5 months seemed like too long ago. One month was too soon to believably be out of the and on a shopping trip.
“Oh thanks, yeah I just had a baby. How long ago? Oh, just two months ago. This is my first time out of the house! Ha Ha! I felt it was important to take care of myself this way.”
Instead I left my coat in the room, and half of the clothes I was trying on, and walked back around the store grabbing everything in a few sizes up, living on the edge, deciding I didn’t care if one of the three other customers stole the coat which, let’s be honest, I won’t be able to zip up anytime soon anyway.
The second pair of jeans fit me. I don’t know what size 30something jeans are in American sizes and frankly, I don’t want to know. I recommend this move to anyone. Buy clothes that fit you. Buy them on sale. Grab the biggest pants you can find and don’t go to more than one store, your soul can’t take it.
The jeans are stretchy and dark and I don’t even care how they look, or how I look. I felt good in them. Nothing was squeezed or stuffed and I didn’t feel like I was trying to regain, or lose, anything. I wasn’t fighting or resisting anything. I texted Dustin from the dressing room, “Omg jeans that fit…I might cry out of joy.”
There was a 40% off sale going on and the jeans cost me $30.
I bought four other shirts, which don’t matter, and I bought Dustin a shirt, too, which does matter, because I bought something nice for someone who isn’t the baby.
$120 later, I came home. For lunch I went and sat at a bar by myself for 30 minutes. I wrote in a notebook and ate a hamburger and drank a half pint of beer that comes with the lunch special ($10). The rest of the afternoon the baby napped next to me in bed while I watched all of Transparent on Amazon, for free, with headphones on. I decided that my desire to support Jill Soloway, okay my desire to watch this show, outweighed my desire to never support anything Amazon does, ever. Plus it only cost me a free trial of Amazon Prime, which I will cancel.
I don’t know what it means that watching television and buying jeans and sitting at a bar by myself made me feel like a person again, but it happened all in a day. People, moms before me, told me this would happen one day down the line. “In two or three months, you’ll feel like yourself again!” “At five months was when I really started to enjoy it.” “At nine months, I started to really like my baby.” Ha! Sitting on the couch with a new alien baby in a daze, reading these messages felt the opposite of encouraging. You mean I’ll feel like this for MONTHS?
Ha, ha, ha.
Today, though, I am wearing an ‘outfit’. Today, I do not actively hate my life. (How do you ‘actively’ hate something, you ask? By saying, over and over in your head, how much you hate it.) Today, it is okay that I have not written anything aside from this blog post. It’s okay that we don’t know where we will be in three months. It’s okay that I am wearing a new size and my organs are in new places and I may never sleep again. I left my purple Crocs at home, and I’m wearing a button-up chambray shirt ($24.00 on sale) that doesn’t have that big of a gap between my boobs. I went to Baby & Me Yoga yesterday ($18) and I did a chaturanga. “I think you have the strength” my teacher said. “I think you’re ready.” I was. It sucked but I was. Today I’m wearing jeans. I have some kind of weird belly thing now, the kind of thing we wondered about as teenagers, why all moms have them. Now I know not all moms do. But I do. And oh how it sucks! And lo, how these few months have sucked, too. But I think we’re okay, my body and I, at least for today.
All of this only cost be $148. Okay, plus four and a half months. And the rest of my life.