I’m seven months pregnant and digging deeper into the storage bin of maternity clothes each week. Today I pulled out “the $12 pants” and thought of this story, written about a week before my second child was born (originally posted on my MySpace blog).
Monday, April 16, 2007
My mass and/or girth reached some sort of critical point on Friday and suddenly I could not pull on my maternity pants. Fearing this might happen, I had purchased a pair of larger pants from the JC Penny catalog earlier in the week. I wore them on Friday and Saturday. Happily, they allowed blood flow to my legs while seated (a nice change). Unhappily, they were huge, off-white and ugly. I needed to go shopping.
I live a few miles from the shopping Mecca of East Pierce County. This street has everything, including a sex toy shop, but for some baffling reason does not have a maternity clothing store. I haven’t been able to find a metaphysical store either, although a co-worker says she saw one near the Best Buy. I’m not sure she knows the difference between a metaphysical shop (where one can buy candles and tarot cards) and a head shop (where one can buy Grateful Dead stickers and things “to put your weed in, man”). To be fair, they both sell incense and bumper stickers railing against the President. But I digress.
Last night I traveled to the Motherhood Maternity outlet in the SuperMall. I told the young clerk who greeted me (I later learned she was the new store manager) that I had about three weeks left (wishful thinking), had outgrown all my pants, and needed the cheapest pants and/or skirts they had. “Cheap” is what Motherhood Maternity does best and I was at their outlet store, for Pete’s sake, but apparently my choice of words offended her. She wrinkled her nose and said, “If it’s cheap you want, I can’t help you. Try the clearance and “as-is” racks over there. See what you can find.” She waved her hand at the corner of the store and left me alone.
Luckily another clerk, a tough-looking older woman, had overheard us and wanted to help. “What size are you, Dear?” she asked.
“Lar . . . um, extra large, now. I had a thigh explosion,” I over-explained.
There was a beat where neither of us spoke and I almost saw the words, “The baby’s not in your thighs, Dear,” flit across her face, but she just shrugged and said, “That happens.”
She helped me find a $5 skirt and two pair of pants ($12 and $13 each). She also suggested some other items –ah, upselling, I know you well—and in the end I left happy if a little poorer than planned. I’m wearing the $12 pants now. It’s so nice to have blood in my legs without feeling like a complete fashion catastrophe.
You just reminded me of something I’d completely forgotten (blocked?) over the years: That I had to completely abandon pants altogether in my last month and wear my giant denim maternity pinafore dresses every day. Dear Lord, they made ugly clothes for pregnant women back then.
And BOO for snothead retail help, YAY for $12 pants!