Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
swore that it would never happen to me, but it has. I have become the nightmare
of my teenage years. I have grayed, and wizened. Bits of me that were once taut
are now wiggly and jiggly and bits of me that used to be loose have frozen up.
This I have borne with relative good grace. But today I became my own bete noir.
I bought a pair of Granny Pants. I might ought to have bought myself one of those
"Queen of Denial" t-shirts too, because I was definitely doing some fast self-talk.
After a long day of trying on pair after pair of jeans at store after store, I
was ready to give up. I tried on jeans that snapped just below where my bosom
currently resides. I tried on jeans that snapped way, way, way lower than that.
I tried on jeans that were belled and boot cut and tapered. I tried on jeans that
were "relaxed" and jeans I suspected of being on the verge of a break-down. I
tried on jeans that were the deep, new indigo I rejected as dorky as a girl and
jeans that looked like they had been worn by an auto mechanic for a few weeks.
I think I tried on every pair of jeans in the greater metropolitan area.
And then I found them. The only reason I even tried them on was because they were
on sale. I’m a sucker for something on sale. But I loved them! They were almost
as comfortable as scrub pants. I preened in front of the mirror. ‘These look like
something Katherine Hepburn would wear,’ I thought. ‘So neat looking, so flattering,
and so comfortable. Are they a little short though? Nah! I see people wearing
their britches all different lengths. They’re fine. And sooooo comfortable!’
Why were they so comfortable? I am going to tell you something now that I never,
ever thought I would say in a million, billion years. They have a half elastic
waist. And long, loose legs. And square sailor style pockets. And I love them.
And they are not Kathryn Hepburn pants. They are not sailor pants. They are Granny
Pants, pure and simple.
I have worn all kinds of jeans in my life. I
had elephant bell hip-huggers that were more patch than pant and were they ever
cool! I have cut the seam out of jeans and put in a big triangle of brightly colored
material. I wanted to do this myself and wear them to the Sadie Hawkins dance
in seventh grade. I couldn’t sew, and my mom wasn’t going to be home in time,
so I tried some good old Elmer’s glue. That didn’t work so well, so I stapled
them and called it good. I went over to my friend Jane Reed’s house. "Wow, Liz!
Look at your jeans!" What I heard was, "your jeans are so cool."
Jane said, "look at Liz’s jeans."
"I bet you did those all by yourself,
"Yes ma’am, I did," I said not too modestly.
you like me to just give them a quick going over so your staples don’t show so
much?" Since one of the staples was, at that very moment, jabbing itself painfully
into my calf, I agreed that this would be nice.
In high school I wore
my jeans way, way, way too long so that the cuff would get appropriately frayed
and dirty. In the ‘80's I wore super tight jeans in every color of the rainbow.
The tighter and brighter the better to go with my enormous shoulder pads and gigantic
Then I had a decade or so that I just could not find any jeans that
both fit and looked right. Until yesterday. I wore those jeans today. I asked
my daughter if she thought they were too short. "Don’t worry, Mom. Nobody will
notice." Uh-oh. I started to fret and tried to see my reflection in a glass door.
And then her words sunk in and I had an epiphany. "Nobody will notice." Nobody.
I am free! Liberated! Released from the dictates of fashion
through sheer perserverance in surviving this long. I can wear any durned thing
I want to wear and nobody will notice! Good-bye panty hose, hello knee socks!
Fair-thee-well heels and howdy-doo driving mocs! Hasta la vista cuffs and collars
and waistbands and hello to the wonderful world of jersey knits! Katherine Hepburn
my hind leg! Hellooooo Granny Pants!