The great blue jeans quest continues. After the fiasco at the Levi store, after the “no we don’t put things on sale” experience at True Religion, and thinking I’d almost nailed it (and for cheap) at JC Penney, I went to Lucky Brand. Well, I went to Banana Republic first, where I felt like Goldilocks without ever getting to “just right.”  So then, Lucky.  At Lucky, I found an amazing sales clerk, Alyssa, who helped me navigate the dauntingly high piles of jeans, all with fetching names like Zoe and Lola (which means “grandmother” in the Philippines, so they might want to re-consider that one).  Alyssa assured me that I needn’t be looking for the “June Cleaver” line of jeans and walked me through approximately four hundred styles–Lucky me, indeed.

Friends, I was in the hands of the Jedi Master of sales. She had me at “oh, I think you should probably try the 4, because the 6 will get too baggy.”  The 4 was a non-starter–although continuing the marketing madness of women’s fashions, some styles of 4 almost fit, while other styles of 4 simply laughed at me from the hanger.

I tried Zoe and Lola, Sienna and Charlie, and even something called “Lil Maggie” (being not “li’l” myself, Maggie was rejected almost immediately). Piles of boot cut, straight leg, trouser cut, low-rider (that was nixed when I realized I’d have to take up a second career as a pole dancer if I wore them)…Alyssa smiled and smiled and filled my dressing room with denim.  I was there for almost 45 minutes and then pulled the trigger on a pair of Zoe bootcut dark denim jeans that cost almost $30 more than I had told myself I would spend.  And a pair of earrings, because you know, they really go with the jeans.  Alyssa’s Jedi charms worked–the jeans weren’t perfect and they cost more than I wanted to spend, but I felt guilty about not buying anything after having taken so much of her time and she’d kept me there long enough that I had a sort of shopper’s endorphin rush that had me thinking the jeans were really cool and wearing them I’d look like…well, like a Zoe when I wore them.

Husband agreed, when I got home, that my Zoe’d butt looked fine but then…then, oh my friends, my endorphin rushed trickled away and I tried the jeans on again in the cold light of the long mirror in my bathroom.

Friends, it’s not the jeans. It’s the pudding. The pudding that results in a muffin.  That pudding–what’s that old-fashioned dessert that English kids get in Evelyn Nesbit stories when they’ve got a sore throat? Blancmange. That’s it.

The problem with these jeans? It’s the blancmange of my belly.

And the end result of this wobbly epiphany? The expensive name-brand jeans are tucked back in the drawer, to reappear when the blancmange has been reduced to a small custard, or perhaps a minor souffle. In the meantime, I’m back to my increasingly threadbare perfect pants from several years ago, which don’t have a sassy name but truss in the blancmange.  Really, when I wear these jeans? My name could be Zoe.