I think the last time I bought a pair of jeans was when I went to Thrift City's "third Thursday is half off everything in the store" sale sometime last fall. They weren't the most flattering pair, since most women's pants ride high on the hips (which I always thought was the worst design ever for women's curves), but they were clean (used) and cheap. Even before that, I had bought some really baggy jeans that barely clung to my hips when I bought them and as I lost weight, they had no where left to go. The only other pair I stole from my friend Donnie when I went to visit him for Thanksgiving almost two years earlier. They have since become way to big for me and I've had to cut the cuffs off by a few inches to still be able to wear them without dragging on the ground. Although I am horribly casual in my day to day life, the warm climate here in New Orleans does not require that jeans be a closet staple. I know most people have more than two pair, and I know quite a few people who seem to have way more than two legs should have to choose from. To me, jeans have never meant "dress attire," but trends have always said otherwise, so that even those working in upper class occupations whose office is slightly up to date will allow cleaner cut versions of the old American standby for style.

Today, my co-worker, Tiffany, had received some big checks from an insurance settlement on her car and was feeling very charitable, so she took me to the nearby Old Navy and bought me a pair of jeans. I normally abhor malls and avoid them at all costs, but having been able to find shorts in Old Navy that were both affordable and fit well, I was willing to make an exception for a pair of free, brand new, jeans.

I came back to the office with a dark blue pair of button down jeans that fit better than any pair I ever remember. They were cut low so that there were at least four inches between the waist and my belly button, which made them massively comfortable. I stood in front of the mirror of the washroom and my friend and other co-worker, Sandi, complimented me on my stomach, that I had one of cutest belly buttons she had seen. That make me feel good. All those crunches started paying off, and I could see little bumps where muscles were slowly but surely surfacing under tummy fat.

She and I have been walking together after work during the week for a month or so now and before then I had began giving her pairs of jeans of mine that no longer fit me decently, for she was at one point a couple sizes larger than me and was just as broke as I was. Today, she went to the same store and bought herself a pair almost identical to mine, only this time she was only one size behind. When she started working there, we were both junk food hounds, but lately we have gotten into a groove for self improvement, supporting each other to stay at it at now we were both seeing results. I felt good that I had had a positive effect on someone else's life, that I got to walk beside her and know that we were getting somewhere with ourselves.

For the longest time and even now and then now, I have grown accustomed to used clothes, things handed down through a network of people looking to rid their old skins, things that carry a history with them that made it to my closet at some point. Someone is always growing out of or shrinking into a size that's somewhere close to wear you fit and it is only through communication that you find out just how alike you are to the people around you, how sometimes, all that separates you from your neighbor or enemy is a few inches of fabric.

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