It appears to me that I am becoming more dog-like by the day. The comparisons are shocking. For example…
- In one year I have aged by approximately seven years. (I catch glimpses of my greying roots and haggard face in the mirror and it makes me want to howl)
- The absolute highlight of my day is a walk
- I have been known to run full-tilt at the postman for an opportunity to interact with a human being
- One of the only things keeping me going are the selection of treats I award myself for simply staying afloat
- My doggy training regime is going well and I am well on the road to becoming an obedient lap-dog to Dr. Houlihan’s every whim. ‘STAY’, he says. ‘Woof,’ says I. Good doggie.
In order to appear less dog-like I know I could wear a little make-up or make an effort with my hair or wear a nice jumper, but I have lost not only the will, but any of the way in which to do this. I recently watched some kind of tik-tok thingy featuring a lovely woman slowly spinning while nonchalantly casting a glamorous scarf over her shoulder. She was smiling and kind of winking and flicking her hair all at the same time and it was mesmerising. It was also extremely confusing. Maybe it was all the twirling that made me feel a bit ill? To add to the weirdness she was talking about the ‘shacket’ (the what now?) she was wearing and how the fit was wonderful and the length was just so. As I stared slack-jawed at the screen, my head slightly tilted, I was left to acknowledge that I have lost the ability to pull any outfit together. I literally cannot imagine myself ever looking OK or vaguely smart ever, ever again. It has gone beyond me. And all I can do is grieve the loss of something I never even realised was a skill in the first place.
The seeds of this realisation may have started when I went jeans shopping just before Christmas. I generally detest shopping. It makes me stressy and sweaty. Online shopping is not much better as trying to decide on a size is bamboozling, anything I select will inevitably be out-of-stock and the thoughts of having to return stuff, honestly, makes me want to poke my own eye out. So! Back when we were allowed to do a little real-life shopping, I took myself and the dreggs of a lovely birthday voucher to a boutique in Ennis specifically to buy jeans. I needed a new pair and jeans always make me feel really happy and cool. This would be a nice treat to make me feel better.
Only it didn’t.
Mom jeans are in, you see. They’re all the rage. And me being a ‘Mom’, well, you might imagine all my ships had come in, but the thing about Mom jeans is they look horrendous on anyone who is over the age of twenty two and, well, a Mom. I like my jeans to go to my shoes and be somewhat well-fitting and make my bottom look nice. I want them to make me feel ‘hip’ and casually chic and capable of going to a nightclub at the drop of a hat. Jeans are that link to your teenage years, when getting a pair of Levis at The Moderne marked the best day ever and when you wore them, your own personal soundtrack of Sixpence None The Richer’s ‘There She Goes’ would automatically play in your head.
Mom jeans evoke the opposite to this feeling. Their soundtrack is a Declan Nerney ballad that reeks of desperation. They’re too baggy at the top, too short at the bottom and nondescript in-between. Mom jeans are fashion’s equivalent to baking’s soggy bottom or music’s piano accordion. A bit blah.
I stood in front of a large mirror begging the shop assistant to assure me that although I didn’t feel these Mom jeans looked well at all, others might think I looked in some way fashionable?
‘They’re a bit shorter than I’m used to I suppose,’ I said, scrunching my eyes to envisage how I might look from a distance; ‘And a bit.. baggier.’
‘Hmmmm’ she said, non-commitally. ‘That’s the style.’
‘Maybe I just need to get used to them?’ I coaxed.
‘Hmmm,’ she said. ‘Maybe.’
‘It’s just, they’re not exactly flattering on me, are they?
‘Hmmm,’ she said, checking her watch.
I bought them. The only thing worse than these jeans was the thoughts of trying to look for another pair in a world that says ‘Mom’ is the only style in town.
And I know we can’t blame absolutely everything, like jeans’ fashion trends, on the Corona Virus. But just like shops have been doing for eons, this pandemic is convincing us to accept what is dictated and deemed ‘right’. Everything is necessarily on hold. But it’s only temporary and we need to keep reminding ourselves of that. I want to believe there are other, better jeans out there that I will love and that will love me. I want to believe that just because we’re stuck with Mom jeans for now doesn’t mean that’s what we’ll wear them for the rest of our lives. I want to believe that we will get to experience boot-cut, boyfriend, skinny – all the jeans again. And soon.
Just like with lockdown, I try to look at the positives. I mean there is amazing room in the crotch area. And I certainly won’t get any unwanted attention, no sir-ee, that’s a guarantee. And they’ll look a bit better in the Summer when knickerbockers could almost be described as a thing. Until then, I don’t mind in the slightest looking like Pippy Long Stocking with the full length of my socks on display or, even better, with them tucked into my hurling socks to keep out the draft.
Because, really, who needs a draft right up their leg and around their bum in a pandemic? I am slowly turning into a dog for goodness sake! I deserve any comfort I can get.
Me, bringing sexy back with my Mom jeans and draft-excluding socks. And Paddy, who I can relate to FAR too much.