The stirrup pants that changed everything

I was in third grade. My teacher called my class to the front for “carpet time.” You know, where you sat for what seemed like forever and talked about a book / spelling words / “What is soil?” / the “guess and check” method / “everyone put what you know about Christopher Columbus in the “K” column!” / “Here is a video about staying away from strangers” / “Friends, we really need to discuss who poured all the glue on the lizard cage.”  I distinctly remember my outfit:

  • An oversized white t shirt, probably from some vacation I didn’t even go on (thanks a lot family hand-me-downs)
  • White mountain clogs that gave me an extra two inches so I was able to tower over short teachers in addition to my entire grade
  • Forest green pleated stirrup pants

Unfortunately I can not find a picture of myself in the stirrups but Old Gold Vintage has kindly let me use a photo of a similar pair that recently sold in her Etsy store. So... imagine something like this on a freakishly tall 8 year old.

I looked down in my lap and noticed that my cotton forest green stirrup pants had begun to pill. Sweet, something to do during boring carpet time. I began to pull the little fluff balls off my pants.  I looked around the room, curious if any other girl was doing the same thing.

Huh, that’s weird. No one else is wearing anything but jeans today.

Wait.

Am I the only one that still wears these?

Shit.

I was suddenly so embarrassed.  How could I not have noticed the sea of blue denim surrounding the Island of Overgrown Moss that was my stirrup pants??  I couldn’t even remember the last time I had seen a pair of stirrup pants that wasn’t on a rerun of Clarissa Explains it All.  I had this horrible feeling that everyone in my class had been laughing at my pants for a long time. Oh god… I wear these like twice a week!

For the rest of the day, I felt like my stirrup pants were the pleated forest green elephant in the room.  I hid my ankles as well as I could but it wasn’t easy, given that my clogs basically provided a stage for them.

Even though no one ever said anything mean to me about those pants or even looked at them funny,  I never wore them again.  My love for them dissolved as quickly as you could say “Oh no, I’m standing out.”  Which is pretty dumb, isn’t it?  A kid that young should just wear what they want, right?  They shouldn’t have to care. Isn’t it kinda sad that I stopped wearing those stirrup pants that I loved so much just because no one else did?

Well…no.  You really have no idea what those things looked like in person.  Yeah, that moment on the carpet sticks out as the first time I felt pressure to be like everyone else. But more importantly, it was also the moment I began to suspect how unflattering stirrup pants truly are.

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