Friday, April 21, 2006

Mirrors in Hell

It’s a silly little digit printed on a tag, or woven into a label, yet it holds enormous power over millions of women. It is arbitrary, and varies widely. Most of us find our range of capturable digits, and are content, or resigned, to adopt them as our own, when—HALLELUJAH--out of nowhere when we weren’t even trying and certainly didn’t deserve to fit in one, we stumble upon an item with a SMALLER NUMBER! We look at it skeptically, assess the width in relation to our own, begin to put it back knowing we have never ever been that size, prepare to chastise ourself for being so foolish as to think we might be now especially in light of what we ate last night, check the tag again, glance furtively around to see if we are being punk’d…….?

Heart going pitter-pat, we sandwich the garment (usually found in the form of jeans) between other pairs bearing our usual number, not wanting anyone to see the size in our sweaty little hands and think “right, lady, you’re going to squeeze your big ole behind into those?” Our voice cracks with excitement, fear, anticipation, dread when we ask “May I try these on?”

The treasured moment is here. One leg, then the next, and—YES!—the zipper closes and I CAN STILL BREATHE. I can even sit down. We almost don’t have to actually like the garment (almost)—the fact that it fits and officially has that “smaller number” is so close to enough—thankfully I do like them. Today I am certain God loves me.

Powerless am I to NOT purchase these jeans. In this moment I am a flaming born-again Calvinist, KNOWING these jeans, with their itsy-bitsy (in relation to my usual digits) “number” were predestined before the creation of the Wal-Mart Empire to fit me, go home with me, be my new best friend.

One eensy-weensy compromise of my principles later (admit it girls, you would have done the same!...wouldn’t you?), plus the 45 minutes it takes to get through the line at Wal-Mart, and I am the elated owner of size such-and-so Levi’s. And all it cost was my soul.

So I’m wearin’ the jeans, I’m likin’ the jeans, I know what the tag says, I like what the tag says. But the fact is, my butt is the exact same size it was before the appearance of the magic jeans. How can I be so easily duped?—all the while knowing (kinda) I’m being duped, but loving every minute of it??? And who are the geniuses who figured out if they just mess with the numbers they can get me and millions like me to buy whatever they want? Did they intern at Enron? Are they Satan? And what does that make me—soul-less slave of the empire?

Are there mirrors in hell? Yah, I think so too. At least my butt looks good in these size ___ jeans.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Hate That I Love It

I also don’t like confessing it. But my significant other keeps reminding us of the need for transparency, so I suppose I should open the blinds: I love TV.
I do.
I know I’m not supposed to.
I know that all the cool people hate it, or at least are indifferent.
I know it’s mind-numbing and mostly dumb…yet that seems to be exactly why I indulge.
It relaxes me.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t love all of it! You won’t catch me watching the Hallmark channel, humor-less sit coms, or those silly soaps. Nope, I’m all about reality, like Court TV, Larry King, The Daily Show, Judge Judy---now there’s some quality programming! Nothing like a good lawsuit between a woman and her son’s baby’s mama over return of bail money to help one wind down after a hectic day.

Who needs soap operas?—or wine? Give me a half hour dose of white trash wranglin’ over fifty bucks and I’m good to go.