These are the pants, not the exact pants but so close it's bringing back the memory. The artfully torn and faded bell bottom jeans that I coveted and finally shelled out $60 of hard-earned babysitting money to purchase. They were so soft, so comfortable and fell ever-so-gracefully over my blue converse with the cheeto-orange shoelaces.
I loved these pants.
And I wore them almost daily further adding to their vintage glory.
This was senior year so I was in physics with my best friend Vanessa. We were the goof offs in the class: always late, always talking, always joking, and much to the dismay of the other students, aced every project (I'm sure it didn't hurt that my dad was an engineer). Anyway, I was wearing my fabulous bell bottom jeans on the day of bottle rocket testing. (In case you don't know what that is, it's a 2 liter soda bottle that we attached foam fins to, glitter and a handkerchief parachute. You set it off with air and the winner was the one whose rocket remained aloft the longest.)
They couldn't be tested indoors, so Mr. Vine, our physics teacher, dragged the class out to the soccer field. To get there we had to hop over a very short fence. No problem. I'm five foot nine. I lifted one leg in the air to throw it over and heard:
A cool breeze washed over my thighs as I realized my fabulous bell bottom jeans had split down the middle. Panicked, sweating, cheeks flushed, I pinched my legs together to close off what modesty remained.
"What happened?" Vanessa asked.
"I split my pants," I replied in a quivering voice.
She laughed hysterically, and I had to laugh too. The teacher recorded the bottle rocket send offs (of course) so if any of his later students watched the videos they would see me, legs crossed over one another bending ever-so-carefully to avoid having my underwear captured on film forever. After class Vanessa and I used a conglomeration of safety pins to hold them closed for the rest of the day because as luck would have it, physics was first period.
And as upset as I was to be stuck in crotchless jeans for six hours, I was more upset over the demise of my fabulous, faded bell bottoms. The moral of this story: If you're going to wear artfully faded jeans, DON'T HOP ANY FENCES.
Next: The day I fell into the garbage can.