Took Zac jeans shopping today. My son, bless his heart, is thirteen. That means he’s a teenager.
Did he want to go shopping. No. He was tired, he said. He didn’t really need new jeans, fending for himself with size 12 jeans that hug his heels and wearing shorts in all kinds of weather. I won’t even talk about him wearing hoodies even in the snow, though he has a perfectly good, new winter jacket hanging up in his room.
Nobody wears those. Duh, Mom. I also won’t bring up the snow boots from last year that he wore once.
We headed out to JC Penney’s. This, friends, is the only store that carries the brand of jeans he likes. He won’t wear anything else, as you know. I figured we better go together and pick them out to escape any future hassle. Then I know for sure that he’ll wear them.
We found the boys’ section. We found the Levis. We found the skinniest skinny jeans known to man – or woman. I hate skinny jeans. They make very few post-puberty mortals look skinny. But they look even worse in pink, or floral. Trust me.
He picked up a gray pair in his new size, 14. The color had changed slightly from a medium gray to a blue-gray. But I wasn’t about to say anything. These were the Holy Grail of jeans. Best not mess with them or mention any possible change in their manufacturing.
Zac emerged from the dressing room in new jeans. They were…baggy. Baggy?! Oh no!
“Mom, they’re kinda big,” he informed me, plucking at the legs. And they were. The jeans, unlike the former pairs, did not encircle his limbs in a gentle fabric embrace. They hung in wrinkles down his legs and puddled on his shoes. Whoa.
“Do you want to look at another type of jean?” I asked, hopefully. I like shopping for clothes. This time together gave us a rare opportunity to bond doing something I enjoy. I even thought maybe, just maybe, I could interest him in some sale jeans. These were full price. I’ve never seen them on sale. Ever.
“No,” he responded quickly. “I like these, even if they’re too big.”
He didn’t want to try on any others. He didn’t want to look at shirts, which he’s also outgrown. He only wanted the jeans, three pairs to be exact. Which turned out to be a good thing, because there were only 3 pairs left in the entire store in his size. Huzzah!
I had a personal gift card left over from Christmas to spend as well. He humored me by going over the women’s section. He could not figure out the sizing.
“Size 14? Size 10? Why are they sized like this?” In his world, usually your size is closely tied to your actual age. He is 13 and he’s wearing size 14. But women’s sizing contains mystery and freakishly bad measuring. I told him my size and he was even more confused. Let’s just say I’m glad my size is not tied to my, ahem, chronological age.
But what if it was? Would women still claim to be 29 or 39? Would those clothes even fit, or would they sort of set off an alarm if you tried them on? “Step away from the size 18 jeans. You are too young to wear those. The 12-year-old clothes are over by the toddler section.” “Warning, warning! This female is 54 years old, not 39. This skirt will self-destruct in 5 seconds!”
Could be messy. Could be incredibly embarrassing.
On second thought, I’ll stick with the enigmatic world of women’s clothing sizes. Seems safer.