Pants and shirts. I either have enough of one or the other, but for whatever reason my clothing karma is never in sync.
Some seasons, I have shirts and sweaters and vests galore. Stripes and plaids and solids and patterns form a phantasmal kaleidoscope in my closet. I have short and long sleeves, v-neck and scoop-neck, cardigan and pullover.
When the tops are plentiful, the bottoms are pitiful. I have nothing with which to cover my stout, Slovenian legs, and the few items I do have are either uncomfortable or unflattering. At these times I stand before my open closet, a hangared shirt in hand, and stare hopelessly at the dearth of bottoms. Please note: there is neither skirt nor dress in my closet, and for this I offer no explanation or apology.
In the quirky world of pants, my preference is for sweats and shorts. I like loose, billowing bottoms with easy, elastic waists and lots of ball room. I like to stretch and bend, but mainly I like to eat and for this I need pants with room.
And because I like to eat and am a Slovenian, the bottom portion of my body is a solid trunk capable of withstanding strong winds. While I am rather short, I am not (and let me be very clear about this) petite. My legs are not the long and lithe appendages that hang loosely from the torsos of magazine models. These women have legs that simply fold in half, one atop the other, high above the knee. On the tall and thin among us, this cross-legged style appears annoyingly careless and jaunty.
On me, it is difficult to hoist my legs into the official “lady” position and once there, they have the appearance of plump sausages forced to bend against their will.
Ages ago, my Slovenian ancestors wore sturdy and sensible shoes, work dresses and aprons, headscarves and when the winter wind turned bare legs pink, itchy, woolen stockings. I like to think that back then, thin and shapely legs were cursed. Spindly and weak, they would be unable to push wooden wheeled farm carts through the muddy fields of the Old Country.
Today, in homage to my heritage, I spit on weedy legs for they serve no useful purpose.
These are the stories and explanations I feed myself when I am unable to find pants that properly fit my unique proportions. These tales resonate within not only because they are blatantly true, but also because my mother has fought the Battle of Unfortunately Sized Pants her entire life, and as I was raised with her explanations…they have now become mine.