I find clothing stores intimidating. I find the clothes in the clothing stores even more so.

Don’t even get me started on the sales people. They can smell my fear. For me, the safest way to shop is online. Retail avoidance. Risky business.

Unfortunately, online shopping lands you on the email list of every major department store and outlet chain. Every day I get a zillion emails from these stores with luring coupons and discount codes. Before I can hit delete I am seduced by the subliminal message that says, “you want it, but you can’t afford it.”

I can’t afford much, so these daily temptations lead me astray often. I have learned that if I allow the adrenaline of the virtual shopping bag to fill up, the tally of my final purchase offers a sobering reality that helps me delete the account before any real financial damage is done – which is why I should not have fallen for the half price discount on blue jeans from my favourite online department store.

I rationalized the price could not be beat, I knew my size and figured they would fit the same as the last pair I bought in store. Wrong.

The delivery package held the great promise of flattering blue denim with enough Lycra stretch to squeeze my warped figure into them. Cool new jeans. Exciting.

And then it happened. The zipper went up and my jaw went down. I saw my reflection in the mirror: I was wearing mom jeans. The waist pulled up to the bottom of my rib cage, so high that if I sat down, my chin would be in a pocket. Even the flattest stomach would have been desperate to escape the swathed denim prison that stretched the landscape of my abdomen, which now looked like a flotation device that nobody in their right mind would want to pull the chord on. Stretch denim is only flattering when it stretches in the dimensions agreed upon by the wearer. I was a navy blue sausage.

The pockets were embroidered in double-stitched loops as if to say, “we’d do a single stitch, but at her age, she can’t really see the detail.”

The legs were wide, and I’m not talking flare fashion width. No, more like air-traffic controller flags. And you know, maybe if they were really long, the jeans would elongate my figure and I could pull it together with a pair of heels and a matching belt, (let’s pretend I own heels for a second). The mom jeans were not long enough though.  They were like sailor pants, stretching all the way down to that awkward part of your leg which isn’t quite the ankle but nowhere near the floor. If they were any higher the Carpenter would ask, “Hey, where’s the flood?” He is funny like that.

But this situation wasn’t funny. I tried to wear them. Really, I did. I accepted my fate and chose not to exercise my return policy. But the mom jeans wrecked my mojo. They made me feel dowdy and uncool. It was like being back in Grade 5 when my mom ordered me teal blue chords from the Simpsons-Sears catalogue and insisted I wear them.

Talk about kick-me-ugly pants on the schoolyard.

That is your lesson today folks: if you shop online beware the mom jeans. Real friends don’t let friends wear mom jeans.