A few weeks ago, as many of you know, I was immersed in the Sale of the Century. Led by the hand of my grandma Mama Kitty, aunt Jacquie, and cousins Emily, June, and Eleanor, I was inducted into the longstanding family tradition of Rummage, which involves a lot of sorting, a lot of pre-sale prep, a lot of camaraderie . . . and a lot of shopping. I talked about the joys untold of the pre-sale shopping experience, but I neglected to tell you a certain sad story involving the loss of a fabulous pair of jeans. Today, the time has come for me to take you down this Path of Tears, Dedication, and Ultimate Triumph.
I’ve talked before about the changes in girth taking place in my persona due to the 40 hours per week that I log in an office chair. Yes, I do squats and wall pushups while the coffee machine heats up every morning in an effort to counteract the strong magnetic attraction that I exert over certain particles called ‘calories’, but let’s face it: my job is still not what you could call an ‘active environment.’ This has resulted in the demise of a few old favorite pair of jeans that I just couldn’t really wear comfortably any more.
If you’re a woman, you know how challenging it can be to find a pair of jeans that a) fits right b) looks flattering c) doesn’t slide halfway down your derriere when you sit down, and d) doesn’t pinch the whole . . . ‘area.’ You know what I mean.
Anyway, as I helped organize the massive Women’s Sportswear department to prepare for the fast-approaching Rummage sale day, I came across a pair of jeans, in a size (which I shall not disclose) that felt gooood. The fit was comfortable but the look was lean. Pair that with a classy dark wash, and I was in love with them from the moment I zipped that zipper and buttoned that button. These could finally fill the void that the other smaller jeans had left when they betrayed me and rejected my New Larger Self.
I added the pants to my growing stash of pre-sale finds and went on my merry way, sorting boxes of donations into piles: knit shirts, sweaters, sweats, skirts, shorts, etc.
At the end of the evening, Wild Woman and I headed back to the hotel. Back in the room with all the girls, I unpacked my paper grocery bag full of goodies. Everything was hunky dory until–lo and behold–the magical pair of jeans was gone.
Noooo! I shrieked. Crwaghghaaaaaaghghghg! I yelled. Then I passed out approximately 3 times in quick succession, just for dramatic effect.
I quickly convinced myself that despite the fabulous dresses, skirts, and tops I had come away with for a couple bucks apiece, those jeans had been the summit of the summit of my success. Somehow I had left them behind, and my life would never be as good as it could have been with those jeans in hand.
Due to the whole ‘having a job’ thing*, I wasn’t going to have a chance to return to Rummage the next day and ferret them back out of the piles upon piles of clothing. So I turned to my cousin Eleanor and put on my most persuasive face.
Of course, first I had to decide which of my persuasive faces to pull from the old arsenal. The options were many:
“Hey you! Get on the job and find me those jeans! Or else . . . something disturbing about a cannoli!” It’s my mobster “offer you can’t refuse” face, and it’s helped me out on many occasions.
“Hey! I JUST KNOW YOU TOTALLY WANT TO HELP ME FIND THOSE JEANS!” It’s the persuasive method called “Carry Them Away With Your Sheer Enthusiasm.” I used it all the time when I managed a sales team.
“If you find me those jeans I’ll give you this gingerbread man that I baked.” This is the bribery method, but since I didn’t exactly have access to my kitchen at the moment, this wasn’t going to work.
“Hey! Find me those jeans! I’m Jenna and I call the shots around here!” It’s my tried-and-true older sister Boss ‘Em To Death method, and it worked on my two younger siblings for years. However, since Eleanor is my older cousin and an older sister herself, I figured she’d be on to my little game.
In the end I went with more of a pitiful, heartbroken cute-face option.
“Eleanor, is there aaaaany way before the sale starts tomorrow you could recover a pair of jeans for me? I was one of the last to leave, and I’m sure they’re, like, tooootally right on top of the piiiile.”
I felt I was pushing my luck–and pushing it hard. But Eleanor must have understood my deep need for these jeans, because she quickly said “Sure! Just write me the brand and size on a paper and I’ll see if I can find them.”
She found them.
My cousin June mailed them to me, and here they are.
Not only did June mail the jeans, but she also included a cute little black skirt and another pair of jeans just for the heck of it.
And an Alton Brown cookbook (on loan) to teach me about the science of baking. I love my cousins.
I wore the jeans the very next day, and they were everything I had hoped for and dreamed of.
June has had my back from the very beginning:
Here’s an old shot of June (left) and Eleanor (right) with a very little me sandwiched somewhere in between–not to mention a very tiny blond Erica.
Thanks ladies! I’ll think of you every time I put these little beauties on. My butt says thank you, too.
*Let it be known that next year I will dedicate more than 1 vacation day to Rummage. I’ve seen the error of my ways and plan on increasing the Rummage Vacation Day Allottment of 2012 to TWO whopping whole friggin’ frackin’** days! Amen.
**Battlestar Galactica? Anyone?