If you have coffee (or cocktails, especially cocktails) with women of a certain age, at some point in the conversation you'll hear these three words:
"My body's changed."
Generally, this statement is accompanied by hand gestures that communicate helplessness at best (hopelessness at worst). Our bodies are changing and I'm here to tell you that it's frustrating as hell.
When I was younger (and thinner), I used to wonder why so many older women wore caftans and muumuus. Now, I know.
Because their jeans don't fit anymore!
I was never skinny-skinny, but I was fairly fit and trim. (Actually, looking back at photos, I didn't realize how fit and trim I was. What's that funny eCard? "I wish I was as thin as I was the first time I thought I was fat.") Nevertheless, I used to have some trouble buying jeans. Invariably, the hips would be too tight or the waists would be too big. When I did find a pair cut to my ... um ... proportions, I would happily wear them day-in, day-out until they pretty much disintegrated.
Until this past week, I had two pairs of jeans in my closet. Neither is threadbare and they are — allegedly — my size. But, something's happened. You guessed it ...
"My body's changed!"
Suddenly, the thighs, hips and derriere are baggy. Under any other (pre-menopausal) circumstances, this would be good tidings of great joy and much celebration would ensue. But now, any self-satisfaction is cancelled out by the fact that in both cases, the waists are too tight. Like way too tight. Like I can barely breathe and I've developed that most dreaded of all figure features: the muffin top.
I realize that my evolving shape is not the end of the world. But, c'mon. On top of internal heat waves, I have to buy new jeans? Not fair. Not cheap. And not even easy. Every pair I've tried lately has given me the same issues. Too tight where they used to be loose. Too loose where they used to be tight.
My sixteen-year-old daughter, meanwhile, has at least a dozen different pairs of jeans, each of which fits her like a glove. Abercrombie, Delia's, Aeropostale, Urban Outfitters ... it doesn't matter. She's like a one-teen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. All things denim magically wrap themselves around her perfectly.
This past weekend, we set off on our first college visits with some good friends. The rest of the long weekend was spent shopping together. At Nordstrom Rack, we found a display of marked-down NYDJ. For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, it stands for "Not Your Daughter's Jeans." They were 45% off. They were unabashedly "mom jeans." But, I had reached the point of denim desperation. I broke down and tried them on.
What a difference a cut makes. That and some stretch. The NYDJs actually fit my waist and my butt and my hips and my thighs. At the same time! They're cut higher than anything you'd find in my daughter's closet. And, suffice it to say, that's fine by me. As you can imagine, I bought them. In fact, I'm wearing them now, with an embroidered blouse and a pair of classic Frye boots.
I definitely don't (definitely, definitely don't) look sixteen. But I look pretty damn good for 51.
What can I say? These are not my daughter's jeans. Truth.
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