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The Perfect Pants

July 16, 2005

Each year, my company sends our entourage of plastic bag salespeople to sunny Palm Springs, California for a weekend of R & R. Well, they send us out under the guise of a sales meeting, but here’s my take on it: they put us up at the Wyndham hotel, we have lunch by the pool, open bar at dinner, a massage or round of golf on the company, an entertainer for the awards banquet, plus a crapload of company gear. That sounds like a vacation to me, and so it is worth the eight hours of intensive bag and sales training we undergo for two of the five days we’re there. The thing they haven’t figured out is that they should do training on the first day we’re there, rather than the last (when we’re all hung over, tired, and cranky), then maybe we’d retain more and sell more bags. Really though, I don’t complain.

While those who choose to partake in the golf tournament are off whipping each other on the greens, the rest of us get free time to do what we please, and for us women, that means shopping. There are a ton of really great shops and boutiques along the main drag in Palm Springs. It’s a nice mix of what I like to call “upscale” and “affordable” shops, so at a short walk from the hotel, this is a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Last year, a few of us hit the shops with a load of fury. Knowing that the year prior, I had managed to completely replace the outfit I had brought for the awards banquet, I was on a mission for a repeat performance. We went into so many shops and tried on so many outfits, I thought my appendages were ready to fall off.

Being 5’8″ and what people tend to think is super skinny (I’m a size 5), with a bit of a booty (it’s that black gene in me), it is SO hard to find pants that fit me right. They are always either too short, too tight in the thigh, too tight in the butt, or too big in the waist (I don’t care if it is fashionable these days, I like to keep my crack covered), or some combination of all of those things. This makes that crucial moment in trying on pants of, “are they going to work?” so terrifying for me.

Two pair of pants, a skirt, a shirt, a sweater, a few Christmas presents and a pair of shoes later, we hobbled into the last shop and found some of the cutest shirts and accessories. We meandered around the shop for a minute and as we turned to leave, there they were: a pair of pinstriped black slacks just calling my name. I have always wanted a pair of pinstripe slacks. So I grabbed them off the rack and dashed into the dressing room and put them on. I went through my usual I’m-trying-on-pants-let’s-hope-they-fit ritual. Waist, check. Hips, check. Legs, check. Butt, double check for making it look smaller. Sitting, good. Standing, good. And every woman’s bonus: they were even a size 3. Perfect fit. And I mean perfect. “Oh my god, these pants are perfect!” I shrieked, and then stepped out of the dressing room to model them for my friends. We all agreed. They were perfect. I had to have those pants. And as I undressed, I glanced at the price tag, hoping for an equally perfect price.

$300.

Maybe these pants aren’t so perfect after all. Sadly, I stepped out of the dressing room, hung the pants back on the hanger, and moped the whole way back to the hotel. Over the course of the next two days, these pants managed to work their way into every conversation. I think that every single person at the hotel heard about these pants.

On the last night of the meeting, after forcing us to eat banquet food for four days, the company treats us to a nice dinner out for anyone still left in town. After dinner, we headed down to Coldstone for some ice cream (for those of you that don’t have it, Coldstone is the best and most evil dessert in the world. They mix yummies into homemade diet killing ice cream on a cold marble slab and it is absolute heaven). As we walked down, I noticed that one of the shops was still open and ran across the street to buy a shirt and jacket I had seen that I didn’t get. As I walk into the ice cream shop with my bag, everyone turns and looks at me, and almost in chorus, I get, “Eunice! You did not get those pants!” One person even reached to check my bag like I was a crack addict hiding my stash. I laughed and said no way.

I did mourn the devastation of the find for a few days after I got home though. I even contemplated calling the boutique to verify the price and to ask if they would ship them to me. Sick, I know, but I will never find another pair of pants that perfect again.

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