....but i'm not

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Evolution of My Pants

I have a hard time remembering dates. If you were to ask me what I was doing in 1998, I probably couldn't tell you if I started writing in cursive that year or if that was when I first joined Facebook.

Some might say that's a sign of a life well-lived. Most would say I'm just bad at math. Either way, to combat my terrible memory, I've discovered a new way to track the various phases of my life via the evolution of my pants.

It all began with the neon wind suit. Every school year kicked off on the front steps of our house, my little sister and I side by side modeling matching wind suits, hers in teal and mine in magenta. You f*ck up our wind suit color scheme, there would be hell to pay. Mom would click the camera and off we'd swoosh to the bus.

Those were much simpler times...your top matched your bottom, your knee socks were white, your sneakers sparkled, and your side pony made your head perpetually tilt. No questions asked.

But later in the 90's, things became more complicated. Thanks to the evolution of my pants, I can tell you how this is so. I know that my little sister was born in 1998. I know that when I visited the hospital to meet my little sister, I was wearing my coveted navy blue Adidas sweatpants. I know that the year I wore my navy blue Adidas sweatpants was the year I became obsessed with boys and there is a whole stash of memories associated with this time in my life. It's a terrible tragedy that the two coincided.

Shortly after my Adidas sweatpants wore out their welcome (eventually my mom wouldn't let me leave the house wearing them), I discovered Jnco jeans. I guarantee you my mom immediately longed for the Adidas sweatpants days.

Jncos were the most hideous thing you could ever put on your lower half as a young lady (see picture to the right). My Jncos were hand-me-downs and had a giant flame patch on the back of the left pant leg, as well as a little hook thing to hang a hammer on. I don't know any 6th grader who carried a hammer around. People always say leave a little up to mystery, but I'm pretty sure these wide leg jeans really just left people wondering why the preachers kid looked like a boy. I was still in my googly-eyed-for-boys stage at this point and I thought the fellas would love these. Whoops.

I must have gotten tired of all that cold air blowing up my roomy wide leg Jncos because the next significant pant memory I have is two pairs of super tight, super low rise flare jeans by LEI, one in khaki, one in a dark rinse. These were dude magnets for sure. I got about two solid crack showings out of those before my mom washed and dried them, leaving a scrawny 5'9" 14 year old kid with bell bottoms up to her ankles.

It's tough to maintain any level of cool with high waters and that pretty much carried me through to sophomore year, so sometime between the LEI jeans and my senior year of high school, I learned how to dress myself. How that came to be will remain one of life's great mysteries.

What I've provided here is a basic framework for remembering my childhood and teen years. Now when someone asks what I was doing in 2003, I can say "ah yes, the great year of the bootcut burgundy corduroys...I remember it well. The year I slipped on a banana peel in the lunchroom in front of the popular boys."