I didn’t see the label until I got my new “mom jeans” home from the store. All I knew was that, after a stressful hour in the dressing room, they were the only jeans that came close to fitting AND I could sit down in them without that unpleasant “biscuits popping out of a can” thing going on above my backside.
Which means a lot at my stage in life.
But back to the label. It said: “Heritage fit, classic rise.” OK, heritage makes me feel approximately 8,000 years old.
Apparently these are the same jeans Dolly Madison wore when it was her turn to drive in the travel soccer carpool. But, wait, it was the phrase “classic rise” that finished me off and sent me reeling to the fridge for a glass of Pinot Grigio (122 calories per 5-ounce glass, which is funny because who drinks just five ounces?) “Classic rise” is a gentler way of saying “genuine mom jeans.” Yes, the real deal, complete with a big, long zipper that extends all the way up to my armpits, or feels like it anyway.
For years, I have purposely not bought roomy, stretchy, stay-in-place mom jeans because to do so would be to “act my age,” a metaphorical hoisting of the big white granny panty flag of surrender.
Nope, not me. I only bought jeans with the low-rise label (see canned biscuits above) and while I was completely miserable most of the time, I reasoned it was a small price to pay.
My new mom jeans are labeled “ultra stretch,” “exceptional stretch” and “ultimate slimming effect.” What can I tell you? Hyperbole isn’t just a river in Egypt. But I fell for it. Hook, line and slimming effect. They move with me as I go about my day, which can now include TV commercial activities for women of a certain age like walking along the beach with a cardigan knotted at my neck, buying big bunches of flowers while happily chatting with the staff at the corner flower market and sitting in a copper tub out in a field. Wait. You have to take your mom jeans off for that last one.
While my new jeans scream “She has bone density issues!” I can’t deny how much I love them. I’m wearing them right this minute and they are like a second skin. Which is great news since my first skin has also started showing its age. I’d love to say I have “laugh lines” but that would imply that people now smile with their upper chests and knees.
I wish I’d bought these jeans earlier. Last week at a basketball game, I spent half the game worrying that each time I sprang from my seat, I would leave my pants behind. Stand, applaud, hike up jeans, sit, repeat. At game’s end, I was more exhausted than the players.
And to the guy sitting behind me: I’m sorry you had to see that.
Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.