First there were skinny jeans. Now there are jeggings, a combination of leggings and jeans, and there are all sorts of variations thereof: legging jeans, ultra skinny jeans, and just plain leggings. And, if you’re a fashionista, you know, it’s not just a trend, it’s your freakin’ obligation to wear these things and suffer for the sake of beauty. Thus, more and more, we will be hearing the excuse, “My jeans are too tight.”
We’re in California as I write this and, greatly relieved the Mayans were wrong about December 21st, went with my husband’s sister and our two nieces to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. At the 3 o’clock penguin feeding, we found the tank surrounded by little people, noses pressed to the glass; other folks surrounded them in an eager mass. An aquarium employee with a mic addressed everyone:
“Take three steps back, then sit down on the tile. If you want to stand, please stand in the back so everyone can see.”
People did as she said and miraculously, the tank was suddenly visible.
“I love California,” I thought. “People are so cooperative.”
Strangely enough, my sister-in-law and I had just had a conversation about those annoying adults who put their own selfish needs ahead of those of kids. You know the type: You’re at a puppet show, let’s say, and these adults will sit right in the front row, despite the fact that they are six feet tall and their torsos are three-quarters the length of their bodies. There’ll be thirty-six little kids clustered behind them, weeping because they can’t get a glimpse of Punch and Judy, but these adults will remain strangely oblivious. They seem to feel their twelve-year-old twins are in desperate need of their company and won’t survive the puppet show without them, so there they remain, wearing ridiculously tall hats or puffy jackets that obscure the view of those behind them as much as humanly possible.
As if to illustrate this, I noticed as we were waiting for the feeding to begin that the little girl beside me (who was seven or eight, I’d guess) was blocked by a rather tall woman who had decided to kneel rather than sit. The hub-sand and I exchanged the look in lieu of saying, “What kind of a fuckin’ fuckwad…?”
And I could not help myself. I addressed her. “Excuse me,” I said. She didn’t respond. “Excuse me.” Nothing. I tapped her on the shoulder. I tapped her again. The woman in front of her gestured to her to turn around. Finally, she did.
“Would you please sit down? There’s a little girl behind you who can’t see.”
I’m sorry, but it’s hard to ignore a request like that. You are blocking a little girl’s view of a freakin’ penguin feeding. Could you possibly find it within your cold, dead heart to get the fuck out of her way? I mean, there are hardened criminals who would gleefully scoot aside, uttering heartfelt apologies.
But no. This woman was not going to comply. Her reason?
“My jeans are too tight.”
She was not, I assure you, being facetious or ironic. She was utterly, utterly serious.
“If you can’t sit down,” I said, as sincerely as I could manage, “you can stand in the back.”
“I would enjoy this more without all the recriminations,” she told me.
People, this is merely the beginning. We’ll be seeing a lot more of this. From all walks of life and in all sorts of situations.
Expect your children to snatch it up.
“I can’t do my homework/chores. My jeans are too tight.”
Republicans in Congress: “We can’t negotiate with the President. Our jeans are too tight.”
Your local barrista: “No, I can’t get you that low-fat half-caf mocha. My jeans are too tight. Come back in an hour.”
It’ll come up as an excuse for driving above the speed limit, for running red lights, for basically not doing whatever one should do and/or doing what one shouldn’t be doing.
Forget Stand Your Ground. Tight jeans will trump it. Tight jeans will become the Twinkie Defense of the 2010s, now that Hostess has gone bankrupt and skinny jeans have become ubiquitous. And let’s be clear: this nation is on the road to becoming a land of the skinny-jeaned privileged versus the rest of us, skinny-jeanless and forced to follow the rules.
It won’t be pretty, people. Prepare yourself.