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Vanity and the Purple Pants: Zip to It

I’m basically a realist and acknowledge I fit the buxom peasant type rather than greyhound thin. In build terms, we are talking about the difference between apples and pears, rather than beanpoles. I completely accept that it is unlikely that I am going to metamorphose at this stage in my life into a six-foot svelte type (and if by any chance I do, I will of course be patenting the process and retiring in style on the proceeds).

I don’t however think it is a completely unrealistic goal to say I would like to fit back into a pair of trousers I wore during the halcyon days when I only had two children and had to pause to try and remember if I was over thirty or not. These particular trousers are a pair of purple velvet jeans lovingly preserved in the section of my wardrobe known optimistically as “clothes to which I will return (or more accurately fit into again) at some point in the future.” Keeping the trousers company at that end of the wardrobe are such treasures as an interview suit from my days as a banker, a pink wedding outfit last worn in 2000, and the black velvet Oxfam glamorous number that has the amazing ability to stretch round all sorts of shapes as numerous girlfriends will testify.

Just to place things in context, the purple velvet jeans were tight in the first place. I know they are sounding completely hideous in the light of 2010, but I was very fond of them. As a morale boosting move, I decided to have a quick try on this morning to assess the effort that was going to be required to have me sashaying across the room in them again, though I suspect the Drama Queens would be united in a rare moment of agreement in banning any public outings were they ever to see me in them.

All was going well; I did up the top button with a bit of a sucking in of cheekbones—and everything else (needless to say)—and attacked the zip while simultaneously jumping up and down. I don’t know why I have always found this last maneuver helpful but I find it does work. And it did this time but with agonizing results in that I managed to trap some of my flesh in the zipper. I have come across this phenomenon before in Tom Sharpe type novels but it is normally males who have the problem with trapped and zippered flesh.

I would have screamed blue murder, but had the added complication that the house was filled with burly builders, who (true to form) having been absent for most of the week, had decided to pick that moment to hold a mini conference in the bathroom in the making. The thought of being discovered hopping round my bedroom, trapped in a pair of purple velvet jeans that weren’t even that fashionable in the 90s was too much for my pride and I merely uttered a series of desperate whimpers as I summoned up the courage to rip the zipper down. It did occur to me what on earth was I going to do if I couldn’t move the zip—but the thought of trying to casually sidle out the door shielded by some kind of caftan garment on my way to casualty was too much for me and I gave a desperate and eye wateringly painful tug.

In the cold light of day, and it is cold in Sydney at the moment, I’m assessing the damage; an interesting looking scar and a resolve that at least half a stone is going to have to be lost before I am even risking tugging the purple number over my thighs again.

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