I came to Germany with three pair of jeans, every one of them already getting rather old. One was a black pair that I had never liked - in the store and through the first couple of wearings, I thought they were dark blue. One was a pair I bought back in 2004 when I had counted calories and dropped a size. The last was a pair I bought a few months before I got married, faded 10 shades by now and starting to disintegrate.
Since moving here, I've spent more time in jeans than I have since college, now that I can wear them to work and I live in a frumpier town than Boston. So, the wear has been greater. Then comes the other little problem.
Expatriate weight gain. Is it just me? Maybe it's just a slowing of the metabolism instead. Whatever it is, I've suddenly blown up like a balloon. Perhaps I've been in permanent it's-vacation-and-you-should-eat-what-you-want mode since landing in Germany. I know I've been walking at least as much if not more than I did in Boston. I haven't been playing DDR anymore, though, because it turns out the second dance pad was also broken in shipping (in addition to the first one, which we threw out long ago). So maybe I get a little less exercise than I used to.
So, the jeans I got when I was at that calorie-counting point are painful to wear. The disintegrating ones are getting worrisome. And forget the black ones (not to mention, they're uncomfortably tight too). Time to get a new pair of jeans. So I went to the local department store, after finding out H&M jeans are 40 EUR anyway and figuring I could get something better for only slightly more.
First note: The German friend who, when asked where the best place to buy jeans, told me "America," she wasn't kidding. Maybe I'm just fuzzy on the pricing because it's been so long, but they seem to cost more here. I'm probably fuzzy on the pricing. All my jeans in Boston came from Target or Filene's Basement.
Second note: Good God. I have never felt so fat in my life. Actually, I have probably never been so fat in my life. Nothing in my previous normal size fit. Everything with a low-cut waist felt like it was just ending right under the biggest, fattest spot and would never stay in the right place. Also, there seems to be a big "slim thigh" thing going on - no dice, dude, the thighs are not slim. And the new 80s-style slim-all-the-way-down jeans? Who are these flattering on?? Thankfully, things are not yet so bad as they could be - the next size up is slliiiiiightly too big. By another week of my rapid blowing up, they ought to fit just right. *sigh* But sadly, I ended up with a pair skirting the border of "mom jeans", because they didn't make me feel like I was hanging out all over. Damon says they look nothing like mom jeans, but I don't know. The waist is disturbingly high. But at least it seems to keep the big giant new me more in check.
After all this miserable trying on of jeans, I felt like a giant, lardy, getting-stared-at-for-being-so-huge bull-in-a-china-shop lugging my big old self around the store, trying to find Damon, who went downstairs to see if they had any really small ironing boards. I even noticed I looked a little pink in the dressing room mirror, embarrassed to be in front of the anti-shoplifting cameras with my pathetic attempts to get into my usual size of jeans. I had found two pair on sale that were acceptable and wanted to find Damon to get his opinion, so I bumbled off to the escalator with the jeans in hand. Big mistake. Trying to take the as-yet-unpurchased items off that floor caused all kinds of sirens to go off. Suddenly about 5 people (felt like 50) were staring at me, wondering what on earth I might be thinking, trying to walk out of there with that stuff! The clerk kept saying something to me over and over in German, but through the fuzz of horror at having all eyes on my new fatter self carrying my new fatter jeans I couldn't figure out a word of it. I think she was telling me I could just buy them right there, or asking if I wanted to buy them there, and I tried to say in German to her that I didn't know if I wanted to buy them yet, and she just looked at me like I was crazy, and I started to wonder if I might just pass out and die of embarrassment right there. Another clerk then asked me where I was going, and I just couldn't do German. All English came out. I told her I was looking for my husband who was downstairs and she let me go. So I went. The sirens went off again at the top of the escalator, then again at the bottom. I thought Damon was on the bottom floor and I couldn't bear the idea of going through 4 more of the damn sensors so I called him. We met up again and I bought just one pair of the jeans. And I had to go back to the same damn desk I'd just embarrassed myself in front of.
But, the new jeans are much more comfortable than those ones from when I was skinnier.