Monday, July 26, 2010

Sisterhood of the Stolen Pants

To the Friend of my Youngest Sister,

You, the one who left the black pants at my mom's house two plus years ago.  Or maybe you.  My sister wasn't entirely sure which friend it was.  And maybe you were the one who moved to California.  Which would work out quite well.  For me, at least.  See, I stole "borrowed" those pants.  But now it's been two years, and let's be honest: you're never going to get them back.  But sincerely, from the bottom of my heart: thank you!  Your forgetfulness in leaving them at my mother's house in the care of my youngest sister is the best thing to have happened to me in pants-related news in the longest while.

I was three weeks postpartum and had to attend a baby shower.  I had a pair of black pants but frankly, they were unflattering and would have left me underdressed for the occasion.  And then I spotted yours, tossed carelessly over the edge of an open dresser drawer.  Classier than mine, and looking like they might just fit me better in my state of postpartum spread, I snatched them up, tried them on, and never looked back.  Oh, I mentioned to my sister that I would be "borrowing" them indefinitely.  When she couldn't even remember which friend was the original owner of the perfect pants, I took it as a sign they were meant to be mine.

I wore them postpartum and the stomach panel smoothed my abdomen better than Pilates ever did.  I wore them lower on the hips as I lost the baby weight, and they necessitated shoes with a heel to keep the fabric from pooling around the ankles.  A heeled shoe it was, then, as I was unwilling to sacrifice the perfect pants.  At certain points my weight crept back up, and so did the waistband of the perfect pants, smoothing and soothing the waist no matter it's location, or the shrinking or growing of its girth.  Those pants hug my waist like my husband's arm in the dark night; they snuggle me up like the long legs of a toddler wrapped around my trunk in sheer joy.  Granted, the zipper stopped working some months ago, but it's okay because I've been able to shimmy those pants right over my hips with the zipper intact, and smooth them into place on my waist, wherever that may be at any given time.

Today I'm four and a half months pregnant, and in large part because of you and your magical trousers, dear friend of my youngest sister, I have yet to don a pair of maternity pants.  I woke this morning, my first work day after a week of vacation, laundry undone, outfit unplanned, and plucked those pants from a folded pile on the table beside my bed.  I shimmied into them for what might just be the last time, yanking them high above my natural waist to allow the baby-carrying belly to expand outward into its natural curve.  It's true they were digging into the ribcage just a bit when I sat, and my backside was nestled a slight more snugly than I might have preferred, but we made it through the day, those pants and I.  And two weeks from this point in my last pregnancy?  I had strangers calling out to me on the street to ask if I was having twins.  So the slight discomfort was nothing at all compared to the satisfaction I felt wearing nonmaternity pants halfway through my second pregnancy.

While I can't claim with any degree of honesty whatsoever to be sorry for stealing your pants, I can thank you for leaving them in the hands of my youngest sister, where they were ripe for the picking and ended up adorning my lucky legs.  And I can wish you all the best in California.  If that's you.  Or, if not, all the best wherever you are.  Someday, if you find yourself postpartum, out of town, and sartorially unprepared, I hope a pair of perfect pants appears suddenly before your eyes.  And then I hope you steal them.

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