So there we were in the men’s department at Nordstrom, perusing jeans. I for one was giddy with excitement; not only had I convinced my husband Dan to actually shop for jeans, but he was open to spending the extra money on something a bit more hip. And I could tell he was serious because he even enlisted the help of a salesperson, a skinny and fashionable twenty-something named Eugene.
We told Eugene we were looking for something in a dark wash, a relaxed fit, without any embellishments.
“Something you can wear to work and then go out to dinner in,” Eugene explained as we nodded in agreement.
And then he happily went to work gathering about a half dozen pairs of jeans, none whose name started with an L and ended with an S.
Eugene makes us at home in an extra huge dressing room where Dan dons his first pair of outrageously expensive jeans.
Dan: Whoa. How am I supposed to get these over my thighs? Uh…yeah, these are way too tight in the thighs. But look, the waist is okay; there’s this big gap here.
Me (smirking): Welcome to my world, buddy. Welcome to my world.
Second pair: Same thing.
Third pair: Same thing, plus too girly.
Me: Now those are promising!
Dan: Uh, I don’t think so. (Turns around to reveal said jeans riding high up his ass.)
Me: Oh. Okay, I guess not. If those jeans had a name they would be called “The Eddie Haskell”. Or maybe “Anyone Who Encounters George Clooney”. Or maybe “Obama at Celebrity Fundraiser”. Or maybe –
Dan: Okay, enough! I get it!
The fifth and sixth pairs all had the same thigh issue, even though the waist fit fine or was too big. I was intrigued.
“Holy crap,” I thought to myself. “It’s like watching myself try on designer jeans. I usually end up leaving the dressing room in a huff, wondering if the fit model was a twelve-year-old girl.”
By the time he was done, Dan was starting to sink into the shopping depression that we ladies are way too familiar with.
“Who are these men who actually fit into these jeans?” he wondered.
“Well honey,” I started. “Eugene, for one. Did you see his waist? It’s probably a 24 at most. His belt was working so hard to keep his pants up I could almost see sweat coming out of it. Plus I’m pretty sure I could kick his ass.”
“These are all made for super skinny people,” he sighed. “I’d have to lose another twenty pounds. Let’s go look at shoes.”
Wait a minute. Did I hear him right? Let’s go look at shoes? That is right out of the female playbook. We invented “Let’s go look at shoes.” Because every female knows that even if you are feeling bad about your body but you still want to buy something, you go for shoes.
We stroll over to the shoes, but not even the lovely selection of Gucci loafers was able to shake him out of his funk. Every now and then I’d hear him mumble something about “skinny people” and “no jeans for normal guys.”
Again, I knew how he felt. Here we had worked our butts off all summer, eating better and working out. We were definitely in good shape, yet those stupid jeans made us feel like freaks. Who knew that men’s designer jeans were also cruelly designed to only fit stick figures a select demographic? And who knew that men got so depressed about it?
It’s kind of refreshing. But in the meantime it looks like we are headed back to Kohl’s. Sigh.