Wednesday, 13 February 2013

When did blue jeans shopping become a blood sport?

First of all, when did shopping for jeans become such an ordeal? I'm sure I've had easier times shopping for cars. You can't do this on your lunch anymore. Oh no. It is an all day trek from one end of the mall to the other and back again. You will be forced to go in to every store - even stores you have never visited before because you are driven by faith that perfect pair of jeans is out there and you are going to damn well find it! 

Vintage Ad for Levi Strauss

I have a little trick I use to protect my sanity when people talk to me in complicated ways about things that should be simple - I stop listening. Somewhere in my brain far out of reach of my conscious mind I go to my happy place and let the technical jargon float around like little bubbles from a bubble machine. 

Skinny ... pegged ... skinny flair ... high rise ... 
classic rise ... low rise ... ultra low rise ...

"Ya. I was thinking blue. Maybe a bit faded but not too much" I will say to sales clerks - who look like they are too young to be unaccompanied by their parents. Their eyes glaze over and their smile quivers a bit. "I'll be right back" they announce. They don't come back.

The last time I shopped for jeans I went to every store in our small town mall and tried on many pairs of jeans. Having failed to make a purchase I was left with no choice but to go to a store I never shopped at. I've accompanied friends who shop there but I just don't like this particular store.

I found a couple of pairs I liked and the prices were reasonable so I headed to the change room to try them on. The attendant handed me a little thingy to indicate I had two items and sort of motioned "over there" in the direction of the change rooms. I decided to go in the first one that was empty, hung up my stuff, turned around to take off my pants and that's when I noticed something on the floor in the corner. When I realized what I was looking at I recoiled as far back  as I could in the cramped space. I was looking at a pair of men's underwear that someone had soiled themselves in and left behind. They were full of excrement - #2 - poop - shit!!

I went looking for the attendant and told her what I found. She returned a blank expression and asked "Did you just come from there?" Again with the gesturing in the direction of the change rooms. "Yes, but..." She cut me off  "Those are the men's change rooms" Wait. What? Oops! But I needed her to focus on what I considered to be the more important issue. She began to scold me about going into the men's change room and this time I cut her off. "I'm sorry. I made a mistake but did you get the part where I said there are men's underwear full of poop in there?" She was still annoyed with me for going in the wrong room "Yes. I'll call someone to come and take care of it." Then she made sure I knew where to find the ladies' change room.

Who puts men's and ladies' change rooms that close together in the same area? I assumed it was all ladies'. It was after all in the ladies' section of the store. I noticed later there was a teeny sign indicating the area to the right was "men's". More importantly, what kind of adult leaves something like that in a public place?

Feeling somewhat like Moses coming down from the mountain, I made my way to the check out and  purchased one of the pairs of jeans. Unlike Moses, my tablets had this commandment:

"Thou shalt not shop at that store ever again".

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