Waisting away 

Last weekend I was pretty much confined to barracks but I did slip out late on Saturday afternoon in search of a pair of jeans.

I had bought a pair a couple of months ago, but the stretch fabric no longer clings to my legs and while they are not exactly falling down, I thought a second pair would be useful for next week, when we will be out all day, everyday. The jeans were only around $25 as I bought them in a cheap, big chain store, but I was hoping to run in, pick another identical pair up and be on my way in minutes.

I am not sure what it is that makes people behave differently in these shops. The jeans I was looking for were all stacked up on a large table, except they were not stacked, they were heaped. It looked as though someone had thrown two or three toddlers onto the clothes and told them to go crazy. The sizes were all mixed up, the legs tangled and I stood there for about ten minutes trying to find any pair that might be close to my size.

The changing rooms were a similar scene of devastation. I approached an empty cubicle which was strewn with clothes, like a teenager’s bedroom. I looked at the items, a few on hangers, but most crumpled on the floor and the bench and felt the word, ‘strewn’ floating up in my mind, followed by, ‘selfish’ as I imagined a string of people trying on clothes and then just chucking them to one side in a capricious fit before going off to wreck some other shop.

I was not having much luck and to make things more difficult, I could not remember the details of the jeans I had bought before, so I spent some time trying to guess if they were mid-rise or not, or if they were skinny leg, slim leg or some other kind of leg that was not there anymore. All I wanted was a pair of jeans and it was getting almost as complicated as ordering a cup of coffee suddenly got in the 90s.

Fifteen minutes later I was about to give up when I spotted another table, which was in slightly less disarray and had a different style of jeans on them. I picked up a pair with a thick waistband and a leg length that looked as though I might get away without hemming. The jeans were a size down from the ones I was wearing. I wondered whether to bother trying to get into them, then steeled myself for the carnage of the changing room and went in.

Amazingly, I could get into them. They fit and felt good. This is the first time in a long time I have managed to get a pair of jeans in this size on. They are not a tiny size, but they are definitely a step in the right direction and I was glad I had kept going to find them, despite every impulse I had to leave the shop.

Following on from this triumph, on Tuesday I put my usual work trousers on and my waistband was definitely looser. The weight is slipping very slowly off me. Very slowly. Not even pound by pound, more like gram by gram but it is shifting. All I have to do is to hang in there long enough and try and contain my natural impatience, my sweet tooth and my occasional desire for a drink. That is all.

Roll on Christmas. Hopefully I will be in jeans that are a size smaller by then.

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