I love thrift stores. I live in a city with a large Goodwill store. I walk in and the sense of time passing ceases. When I stagger out and look at my watch I’m stunned every time that three hours have passed.
Four dollar jeans? Are you kidding me? A brand new dress shirt for three bucks? Get the eff out of here! A brand new Hollister hoodie for Chloe? Four bucks? Hell Yeah!
On Saturday I found a pair of jeans (unfortunately, I can’t remember the brand name) that looked nice, but the number on the size tag was 26. My skinny butt fits snugly into a 28 or 29, sometimes a 30 (in the winter after I’ve gained five pounds). I took them off the hanger and held them up. Not bad, maybe a litte long, but that can be fixed, I thought. And then: “These jeans might make me look like I give a shit about what brand of jeans I wear!” The rear pocket design was a little wild for me. And there were these smaller pockets coming out of the regular-sized, rear “billfold” pockets. The top of the small pocket was maybe an inch and a half above the lower. Wierd, but oh well. I tossed them in the cart.
In the dressing room I slid into them like a buttered snake slithering down a hole. Oh yeah! I inspected myself from all angles in the mirror. Nice length. Great color. No obvious wear. Butt looks okay. Not too tight in the crotch. Rear pocket I could live with or alter. Four bucks? It’s on! I’m buying me some size 26 designer jeans. If anyone asks what size waist I have, I can say 26. Obviously, I’m shrinking.
Later, with my new size 26 designer jeans on top of all the other junk in the cart, those rear pockets kept grabbing my attention. I was trying to sort through a million belts to find something to fit a size 26 man. I stopped and stood there with my hands on my hips looking at the jeans. A worrisome question bubbled to the surface: “Did I just try on chick jeans?” I pulled Chloe’s hoodie from the back of the cart and spread it out over my the jeans so I could dig through the belts without distraction. Then I went to check out exercise pants.
Standing in line to pay, as we re-assessed our carted loot, I held up my size 26 designer jeans and said to Jennifer “Okay, I want to make sure about these. Tell me, did I just try on girl jeans?” It took her all of five seconds to confirm my suspicion. Another thing I learned: female clothing sizing is as mysterious to me as nuclear physics.
Okay, so I wore girl jeans for a couple of minutes. Who cares, right? It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Honest mistake. They were placed in the men’s section for chrissake.
The next day I found myself thinking about how close I came to buying and wearing female pants. Then I thought: “Really, who cares?” They fit! Not just “fit,” but remember the snake simile? This was the first time a pair of jeans made me think “buttered snake.” What if I misjudged? What if my butt looked super hot and not just “okay.” Why not buy them? The only danger would be someone looking at my butt out in public and recognizing them as women’s jeans.
Some stranger, in a whisper: “Hey, check it out, that dude’s wearing chick jeans.” And as I mentioned, I could have removed the crazy inner pockets. Who needs six pockets, anyway? And I could have removed the weird pocket stitching.
But see, that’s my problem: worrying about people judging. I want to be like “Yo, I’m wearing girl jeans because they fit and I feel good and they were four dollars. So giggle all ya want, fools, I’m drowning in self-confidence all up in here … punks!”
But, alas, that’s not me. I would have to be 100% certain that nobody would recognize them as female designer jeans. If I happened to run into the actual designer of my sized 26 designer jeans, he’d have to be like “Excuse me sir. I just have to say your butt looks amaaazing in those fabulous jeans. Who designed those beauties?”
Yeah, then it would work out fine.