a love letter to my overalls
The first time I saw you, I knew. I knew that the world had been waiting for the perfect moment to bring us together.
I was with some skinny jeans, I don’t even remember them anymore. They were… well, unreliable. So controlling. And then I saw you, across the Gap floor, right in my size, your wash the perfect shade of medium blue. Just as if you’d been waiting for me. Just like in a dream.
A year later, darling, here we are.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been together for such a short time. Already, life without you feels unimaginable. All the pants who came before you only helped me to understand how perfect we are for each other. You never give me a yeast infection with your clingy fit. You never betray me by slipping down on my butt crack when I’m sitting on the floor at library storytime. I never have to hike you up, doing that awkward bandy-legged wiggle. You’re just there.
No matter where I am, if we’re together I feel like I can take on the world with a smile on my face. Let’s dig turnips out of the frozen ground with my bare hands in a post-apocalyptic dystopian hellscape, or we could swing by the free birth control stand at the farmer’s market before we catch a matinee showing of the Die Hard remake starring Janelle Monae as Gretl Gruber. You know, depending on how 2020 goes. I’m sure it’ll go fine. I’m not worried. Are you worried? I’m not. Are you?
You are a divine execution of function over form.
Like, literally, you are functional full-body pants that completely cover my form. But not in a shaming way! More in a, “Let me take ‘please others with my appearance’ off your plate for a few hours so you can focus on building your company/casserole/healthy relationship.” Like that. You’re so giving. I love that about you.
As I move through the world with you, my 100% cotton soulmate, I remember how it felt to be a little girl, wild, adventurous. You remind me of a time before I thought that there might be something wrong with having a soft belly. You remind me of the woman I imagined becoming when I was a child: smart, powerful, gritty. I originally imagined her with feathered bangs, shoulder pads, and a rogue vision for a merger between Trask and radio, but now I know.
Now I know that woman, the woman I dreamed of one day becoming, could only be complete with denim overalls.
You helped me realize that almost every piece of clothing that I’ve bought as an adult, I bought because it made me look smaller, taller, and less like myself. But you… you make me look as large as I actually am. With you, I put my hands in my pockets and I occupy space. It feels so good to occupy space! Holy shit! Because of you, I’m asking myself questions like, “Should I try culottes?” and “What is flattering? Do I even need to clothes that are flattering?”
Did I ever tell you about the mentor who told me that a strength isn’t something you do well; a strength is something you do that makes you feel strong. I’d never heard anyone say that before, and I always wondered why so many of the things that people praised me for, things I believed I was good at, were also the things that I dreaded doing and that drained me completely.
When it comes to flattering clothes and overall life partners, I think the same principle applies: A flattering outfit isn’t something that brings you as close as possible to the smallest, tallest illusion of yourself; a flattering outfit makes you feel. Your. Self. Exactly as you are. That’s what you did for me, love.
Sure, after a week with you, when you’re relaxed and maybe need a wash, my butt might look look like that of a frog who spent a winter eating mashed potatoes and then learned how to walk on its hind legs. Sure, you thicken my waist with your heavy cotton and brass buttons. Good luck finding these sensational knockers under your stiff fabric bib. My legs look exactly as long as my legs are, which is… they’re not long. I have the proportions of a Dachsund, really. My thick thighs look thick. And you not only accept me, but you fit me. Perfectly.
I look nothing like a yoga teacher, ballet dancer, willow branch, or runway model. I used to believe that slender and tall was the only way a woman could look. If I didn’t look like her, I wasn’t really a woman. I was a strange assembly of womanlike parts that had been rejected for overspilling the mold. But you help me celebrate that I look like Katie.
With you, I celebrate that my plant patronus is less willow and more General Sherman, the girthy, half-dead-but-still-growing, dropped-a-limb-and-cratered-a-road-but-I’m-good-I’m-good sequoiah of California. I’ve never been bendy, but your girl can plant. These roots go deep.
Because of you, love of my life, my soul mate, my north star, I don’t feel like a failure because I permit my body to remain the shape that it is. I have ceased to assault myself with Spanx and shakes for lunch, but I don’t feel like I admitted defeat. I feel blessed by the peace you brought me. I feel myself, just as I am. That’s the gift that loving you has given me. How can I ever repay you? The truth is, I can’t. But I’m sure as hell going to try.
I will wash you inside-out on cold delicate setting, and only if a spot-cleaning won’t get it done. I will hang you on a velvet hanger in my closet. I will stitch your tears, so tenderly, and cuff your gently tapered hem if it starts to rain.
I will walk through the world with you, through valleys and peaks. Together, we will plant gardens, raise children, go to the mall and the store. We will fall asleep on the couch, road trip to the Grand Canyon. All I want is to love you every day for the rest of my life. I want to wake up every morning with you by my side and go to sleep every night in your tender embrace.
And when the time comes for us to part, my bread, my life, my everything, I want you to know that I’ll wear my next pair of overalls in your honor. I actually already bought them, honestly. I hid them from you, but they’re in the closet right now. I didn’t know how long Gap was going to carry them and I know you’d want me to be happy after you… well, we don’t have to talk about this today.
Blessed are you, the marriage of bib and trouser. You complete me. You make me a better person. Loving you has changed me forever.
It may even have changed the world.
Plus, you have nine pockets. Nine.
FYI, this post was not sponsored in any way by the Gap. I don’t do paid or sponsored posts. I just bought my overalls from the Gap and I am a truth-teller.
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