"They look awesome, Sue," said my friend Marc when I stepped out of the dressing room of the Levis store in Soho in a pair of Demi Curve, dark rinse, straight leg jeans. I glanced in the mirror. They looked ok. I squatted down. No plumber's crack, and they didn't explode off my butt and blind the sales kid standing behind me. Both good signs. But still, I wasn't sure. They were a little young and I'm, you know, a little not.
"You have to get those," my brother Nick insisted, caressing a grey sweater he'd quickly decide would be better in navy, and then better in black, and then, ultimately, best if he just put it back on the table. "You need to get those. They're hot, they're sexy," he paused for effect and smiled. "They're a whole new Sue."
I laughed. Little brothers: can't live with them, and it's still illegal to kill them.
"Nick, you're not helping!" Marc teased. He walked toward me making a little swirling motion with his index finger which, under regular circumstances I'd assume to mean Nick is nuts but, since I was trying on clothes, I knew he meant Spin around so we make sure you don't leave the store looking like Snooki, so I did.
"He's right," Marc decreed. "You have to get them."
"Really, Sue," Nick added, "they're what all the new widows are wearing."
At that the three of us completely lost it, and the poor sales kid who could still see but who probably wished he'd gone deaf the moment we walked in, simply looked at me like, He's kidding, right? I felt so bad for him. He wanted to make the sale but I could see the hesitation (not to mention, horror), all over his face. Should he really push a pair of hot but definitely just-this-side-of-snug jeans on a widow when there's probably a perfectly good nun's habit available on eBay?
Lucky for all of us, Marc made the decision.
"Enough," he announced. "We'll take them."
Now what you need to know is that Marc and Nick were men on a mission. Their singular goal on this fine Sunday was to snap me out of my funk, funk being defined as the inability to sleep, eat, make a decision beyond what kind of pizza to order the kids for dinner, or drive. Panic attacks had rendered me useless behind the wheel of a car which was fine with me because I had absolutely no interest in leaving the house. Really, when I finally made it to a psychiatrist (after canceling no fewer than five appointments in a row), he crowned me Miss Agoraphobia 2011. I didn't appreciate the sash or the beauty pageant-style bouquet, but the rhinestone tiara rocked.
"I don't need these," I protested. "And I'm not going to wear them."
"Yes you do, and you are," Marc replied, grabbing me by the shoulders and pushing me toward the dressing room. "They'll look great with your little leopard print heels, won't they Nick?"
"Oh. Sure. Leopard print," Nick replied. "Why didn't I think of that?"
"And besides," Marc added, "they're the perfect 'date' jean."
The dressing room door slammed behind me. Did he just use the D-word? I looked in the mirror. Did these jeans scream the D-word? Oh my God, I was so not ready for the D-word. It's too soon. I'm too old. But the jeans did look ok. In fact, the more I looked in the mirror, the more I liked them. And the more I liked them, the more I wondered if they really were what all the other new widows were wearing. I doubted it, but I was good with Nick and Marc lying to me. Especially if they'd help me pick out a top.
I already had the perfect tiara.