Saturday, February 28, 2015

Books! But My Pants Are Falling Apart

I bought a pair of yoga pants many months ago and they are ready to be replaced. They have shrunk a tad so when they're freshly laundered I have to hold them in front of me and place my foot on the bottom hem of each leg and then pull, pull, pull up as far as I can, stretching the fabric so they're not too short when I put them on. Often I hear a stitch pop, so I have to inspect the seams along the outside of the leg or sometimes the crotch. God forbid I walk out in public with a hole in my pants.

Last night, I wore the yoga pants, briefly, for dinner at a friend's. When I came home, I draped them over a bin in my closet. This draping action indicates they're not dirty enough to warrant laundering, but not clean enough to re-hang. I can wear them again the next day provided they're spot-free by morning light.

Today I shower and dress anticipating my "Mom's Day Out." Once a month, I plan a day away from my usual responsibilities to relax, meet with friends, sit in my favorite coffee shop, maybe write. It occurs to me that perhaps this time my plans should include a little shopping. I could use that dwindling Christmas money, tucked in the back of my wallet, to buy a new pair of pants! On the forefront of my day's plan, though, is a visit to a bookstore that recently opened downtown. It's an independently-owned shop that looks enticing in online photos. A regular, old bookstore would be appealing enough - THIS one promises an antique printing press; cool in-store events; and ---put on a quirky hat --- an artificial bird sanctuary! The more I look forward to investigating this new place, the less I think about pants shopping.

I make the drive to the store with friends. It's called The Writer's Block, and when we're parked and walking in, my heart is singing. This is such a cool place! The books! The decor! Birds and t-shirts and vintage board-games and friendly employees!  In under twenty minutes, I have selected several hundred dollars' worth of books. I want to buy them all. I want to carry them home and read them and be changed by them and then place them on my bookshelves to be cherished. But I'm wearing the yoga pants. The ones with almost-holes in them. The ones I wore yesterday, too, and will try to wear tomorrow, after church. The ones that would cost much less to replace than the hard cover autobiography I'm holding and yearning for. In my mind, I hear advice from my more frugal friends: "You can get that at the library." "Put some of those back." But the Christmas money! I do put several books back on the shelf, and appease myself by entering the desired titles into my "To Read" shelf on Goodreads. I buy a book on birding (better to own than borrow because it's a reference) and a practical paperback and a little bunny figurine for my daughter who is turning ten in a few days. And I hope these pants will hold up a while longer.