"Rob," I began, "didn't we just go to Ross yesterday?"
He glanced over at me. "Oh. Yeah. But I think we were looking for something else," he replied.
I considered that for a moment. "Sure, that must have been it. Or maybe I just wanted to go to Ross because I like Ross?"
He shrugged and we drove on. Still, something about it didn't make sense. There wasn't anything else I was looking for. I'd been needing a pair of jeans for awhile now, and I didn't really need anything else. I had the feeling that I had gone to Ross on purpose to look for something in particular, and though I had left with nothing but a necklace, some übercute matching earrings, and three sets of fuzzy pajamas, I was sure that I hadn't GONE there to look for any of those. In fact, I had a sneaking suspicion that the bright yellow flannel Spongebob Squarepants pajama bottoms had distracted me from whatever it was that I had gone in there to get.
I turned the trip over and over in my mind, when, without warning, it came to me in a flash of hellfire and thunderous despair.
I turned to Rob, horrified. "Dude," I got out, then couldn't finish.
I tried again. "We went. To Ross. To look. For JEANS, man! That's why we were there! There was nothing else, no other point! We went there SPECIFICALLY for jeans."
Rob did a double-take. "Nooooo," he denied the possibility. "Didn't we go there to get your fuzzy jammies or something?"
"No, Rob," I said, still trying to cope with the recovered memory. "We went there to buy jeans, because that's where I got this one pair that I like so much! But all they had was butt-crack-city low-rise and those ones with the fake fading thing going on where it's faded starting just below your crotch and ending just below your knee." I shuddered at the thought. "Or the pre-disastered ones with carefully calculated fakey tears and holes here and there to make it look like they're well-worn already."
"Oh yeah, I remember that now." He looked a bit concerned. "So, what do you want to do? I mean, this is a different Ross. Maybe they have different stuff?"
I brightened a bit. That was a possibility, indeed.
"Let's just go there," I decided. "As long as we're on the way, we might as well."
"It's all fucking futile anyway," I added for good measure.
Rob stifled a chuckle. That was usually his line, after all. In due course, we arrived at the store.
It was at this point that I noticed I was becoming less ... shall we say ... picky. I grabbed a pair of low-rise, straight-leg, fakey faded jeans off an end-cap as we walked into the store. Rob just looked at me and didn't say anything. He didn't need to. His raised eyebrows and the shake of his head spoke volumes. Luckily, I was not listening to either of them.
I glanced longingly at a lovely soft crocheted cardigan, and stopped to look at the price tag. Rob cleared his throat. "Focus," he said. "The mission, remember?"
Yes, yes. The mission. I made a mental promise to seriously look at sweaters at some time in the future, and proceeded on to the jeans section.
Again, Rob and I split up with him taking one side of the rack, and me taking the other. I pawed through the jeans, one after the other. Low-rise, low-rise, straight-leg, hideous cranberry paisley with chartreuse ribbon trim, too small, too big, too big, too -- oh my freaking GOD what the HELL were they thinking -- too ... oh, wait! There was one! Yes, and another! Mid-rise, boot-cut, my size (approximately -- we'd find out in the dressing room) and more or less the same color from top to bottom. Finally. FINALLY!
Rob had found a couple of pairs meeting the criteria as well, so I hauled them all off to the fitting room.
The first pair I tried on was a definite maybe. At least, it was closer than any of the other twenty to thirty pairs I'd previously attempted. This was a good sign! And they were only eight bucks! Things were looking up!
Unfortunately, the rest of the pairs were a disaster. In particular, the low-rise pair I'd picked up at the front of the store was less like an actual pair of trousers and more like a pair of jeans' legs with a waistband and a belt attached. At least I know what to look for when I attend the annual Hang Your Ass Out in the Wind Gala Charity Ball. But for everyday wear ... oh, hell, for ANY day wear: forget it.
Still, I had one pair. It wasn't great, but it was okay. After a few more cursory looks around the store (mostly to see if they had bright yellow flannel Spongebob Squarepants pajama tops, since the other Ross only had the bottoms), I paid and we regrouped.
"Hey, you got one pair, so that's good, right?" asked Rob hopefully.
"Yeah." I sighed. "But I really need more than one pair. I just don't know what to do at this point, though."
"Well..." he thought about it for a minute, "I think my wife usually gets hers at Mervyn's. Maybe they'd have something?"
My initial gut reaction was just to say no, and go home in defeat. I was tired, by God, weary to the bone! I had tried on over thirty pairs of jeans that day! It's true what they say, you know: trying on non-fitting jeans kills something deep down in the depths of your soul. The very DEPTHS of your soul, I tell you!
But again, that spirit of bravery or stubbornness kicked in. I was not going to let the jeans designers of the world defeat me! No. Not no, but HELL no! It was a mission! You don't just drop the mission because the ravening hordes of evil have eaten your SOUL!
I turned to Rob with determination in my eyes.
"Mervyn's it is," I said. "Let's roll."
[To be continued here]