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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Motherhood of the Corduroy Pants

I am five months pregnant. And not in the mood. 

Today I spent a total of about four hours and who knows how many gallons of gas searching for maternity pants that fit. Specifically ones that didn’t make me look like I had either just rolled out of bed, was really wearing my husband’s oversized clothes, or was on my way to the Laundromat and wearing my last clean outfit.

Apparently this is a more difficult undertaking than I thought.

For me, a rather short person with an unbelievable 28-inch inseam, (probably shorter than that, even) pants shopping is a nightmare. When I’m pregnant, it’s like the next thing to being in hell – driving all over the area, wasting gas and time, and finding things that looked straight out of 1985. Either that, or a large collection of nice things … in size small. Obviously, someone out there is NOT a size small. That’s why all the larges are taken. Shouldn’t that tell the retail industry something? You’d think so, anyway.

Since Baby is going to be baking all winter long, I guess apparently I need to go searching for winter clothing in, say, August – when my baby is the size of a small raisin and I have no idea what will fit me and what won’t.

I have a mostly hate-hate relationship with the retail fashion industry. You know, the people who think that every woman is 5’8” and weighs 98 pounds. The same goes with maternity fashions. Our choices are as follows, according to my extensive search today: 
• t-shirts (Am I really going to be wearing short sleeves at Christmastime?!)
• stiff pants that are too long, feel like they’re made of sailcloth and convert to capris (yeah, that’d be great if I live in Florida!  But at least you can make them full length, which in my case, is practically the Capri length ….)
• absolutely NO dresses, unless you like ones that look like they have TV test patterns splattered all over them
• stripes, stupid saying like “I love my bump” (gah – I hate that euphemism for pregnancy!) or shirts with weird metallic designs that look like I had the baby and he or she has thrown up on me already. And if I’m going to be pregnant and wearing any slogans on my shirt, it will probably say something like “You DON’T mess with the pregnant lady!”)
Now, there are nice maternity clothes out there. I’ve seen them. In pictures. On models who were irrationally thin and didn’t look pregnant for real.
My first stop was the mall, a sprawling, rambling place that reeks of noxious fumes from candles and perfume and assaults the ears with blaring music that is decades away from “my generation,” whatever that means. Old Navy – blaring rap music at top volume. I thought to myself, If I worked here, I’d be playing 80’s music all day long! Most pregnant women, including myself, have suddenly developed a heightened sense of smell, and I thought I was going to go into epileptic fits after passing Yankee Candle.

Within minutes of arriving, I realized that the only real maternity store, Motherhood, has closed! What the …. I spent more time wandering around looking for my exit than I spent actually shopping for anything. But at least my daughter came away from the excursion with new socks.

My second stop was more by accident than anything else. In my haste to leave the mall, I happened across a maternity store up the street – one that combined the elusive Motherhood Maternity with two other stores. I groaned when I pulled up and saw “Mimi Maternity” and “A Pea in the Pod” on the window. Great. That meant I’d be able to afford maybe half a pantleg or even pair of socks.

I went inside and gravitated towards the cords, hoping to find something. I did – a pile of size smalls for $74. My eyes nearly fell out of my head and I turned to see that Motherhood Maternity’s line – which is much cheaper – was just across the aisle. Now, why would you want to buy the $74 Pea in the Pod pair of corduroys when you could buy virtually the same thing for $32 three steps away? (In today’s economy, who’s going to buy a pair of pants for that kind of money that you’ll only wear a few months? I’d have to wear them 7 days a week, sleep and shower in them to justify spending that kind of money.)

It didn’t matter in the end – even the petites were a bit too long. I asked the clerk about where to buy petite maternity pants, and she said that it would be ‘easier to have them shortened than to add length.’ Umm…I know how to sew (but obviously not well enough to make a pair of pants I wouldn’t actually be embarrassed to wear) and depending on the pants, shortening them does nothing. Had I been thinking like a rational person, I would have told her this – that if the crotch length is too low, you’re still going to have a pair of pants that necessitate you pull them halfway up to your tonsils to get them to fit right. (Picture Oompa Loompa pants.) Apparently the buyers at Motherhood have missed this concept?

There were some highlights of the trip, though. Like when my four-year-old son stared incredulously at the stereotypical pregnant woman advertising picture of her giant exposed belly and asked, “Mom, why is her belly so big?!” I said, “Because there’s a baby in there!” Then he asked to see mine, and then turned to look at me in profile, just for added emphasis. Or when I caught him looking quizzically at the maternity bras and touching the cups. Such things of the human body are mysterious to the young mind! 
In the meantime, I suppose I’ll have to be content to wear my three pair of warm pants and two long-sleeved shirts in heavy rotation for the next four months. So if you see me, please try to pay no attention to the fact that I’ve worn the same khaki pants for the past three days in a row.


Mork said...

LOL I feel your pain!

I actually did find some at Penney's - they were on sale even! But I still need to shorten them - they are low-rise, which means the panel hits me at about mid-belly LOL. So whatever works.