Now it’s no secret that I can be a bit obsessive.
(See: Food Network, Christy Nockels’ voice, ongoing hair / highlighting issues, Mississippi State basketball, Monk & Neagle’s new CD, fried food, diet Coke, etc.)
I’ve been this way my whole life, and while I would like to say that I’m going to relax a little bit here in the latter half of my 30’s and try to dial down the obsess-o-meter, I know better than to make that sort of bold statement because, after all, I am the same person who, about three weeks ago, bought every remaining container of Eucalyptus & Spearmint soap at my neighborhood Bath & Body Works because the soap was half price and WHAT IF THEY STOP MAKING IT? WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND IT EVER AGAIN?
So. Where was I? Somewhere slightly to the left of sanity? Why yes. Of course.
Ever since Big Mama mentioned in our first podcast that she thought I should wear jeans to the Deeper Still deal, I have been slightly obsessed with jeans. And lest you think that I’ve found a new obsession, I would just like to state for the record that I have merely re-activated an obsession, as is my inalienable right as an American.
I believe you can find provisions for this in the Constitution and other official government-y-type document thingies.
As some of you may remember, earlier this year I had a bit of an existential jean crisis, and the internet came to my rescue, as it has done so often in the last two years. I tried a couple of different brands after I read through my comments, and while I liked the brands I tried, I didn’t love them.
I mean, they were nice enough, and they were cute, too – but we just didn’t have that “spark.”
I didn’t think much about jeans during spring and summer because why would you even think about wearing any sort of full-length denim garment when it’s TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY NINE DEGREES OUTSIDE, but now that there’s that first hint of fall in the air, I’m ready to think about jeans again. So I’ve been paying attention to jeans, trying on some jeans, attempting to discern the trends (by the way, Big Mama has a mini-encyclopedia of jean-trend information here), and giving some deep thought to which jeans I’m going to pursue for Fall ’07.
And if you’re thinking, “Sister, you may have a little too much time on your hands,” I would just like to say that you’re exactly right. Thank you for noticing.
But really, a girl has to have an alternate thought activity while listening to a four year-old sing “There’s a party in my tummy! So yummy! So yummy!” six or seventy two times in a row.
Anyway, I mentioned last week that I was going to choose comfort over style for the Deeper Still conference, and I really and truly did just that. I abandoned my search for The Perfect Jeans and packed my suitcase with whatever was clean. At the time I thought that my decision was because of my Profound Spiritual Maturity, but Saturday morning, when the praise team took the stage, I realized what had actually happened.
Y’all, there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord led me to empty myself of any pre-conference preoccupation with fashion because He knew in His divine wisdom about the jeans that Angela Cottrell was going to be wearing last Saturday morning.
DON’T YOU SEE, INTERNETS? Had I been worried with my own wardrobe, I would not have had room in my heart for Angela’s jeans. But since I was but an empty fashion vessel when I arrived at the Sommet Center that morning, I was ready for a fresh wide-legged work, a new denim direction.
And I’m telling you: those jeans filled my fashion cup to overflowing.
Oh, He is faithful.
I put the jeans in the back of my mind so that I wouldn’t miss the real purpose of the weekend, but when we broke for lunch I called my podcast partner to give her a re-cap of Beth Moore’s session, tell her that Christy Nockels was in the house (!!!), and relay as much information as I possibly could about Angela’s jeans (trouser cut, wide legs, dark wash, perfect hem).
She was on the case immediately.
I saw the jeans one more time during afternoon worship, and I figured it would be the last time I’d ever have contact with them because I couldn’t fathom that I’d ever be able to find a similar pair. I was okay with that – I really was – because even if the jeans had only crossed my path for a short period of time, I knew that they would remain a precious, inspirational memory that I would carry in my heart for the rest of my earthly days.
About thirty minutes after the worship time was over, I headed out to the concession stand to get some lunch since the lines during the actual lunch break were just a little bit longer than endless. I was looking down at my phone, checking my missed calls, and when I finally took my place in line and looked up, I saw a guy about four feet away from me who looked really familiar.
Probably because I had recently seen his face on a Jumbotron as he led 22,000 people in worship.
Yep. Travis Cottrell.
And in that moment, two thoughts occurred to me:
1) Maybe I should introduce myself and tell him how much his ministry has meant to me.
2) MINISTRY-SCHMINISTRY! NOW IS MY CHANCE TO FIND OUT ABOUT ANGELA’S JEANS!
Remember, girls: I am a person of Profound Spiritual Maturity.
But you will probably not be surprised to learn that, in the end, I did not say a single word to Travis.
Because I am nothing if not a chicken – a loser, jeans-obsessed chicken.
With inch-long roots, I might add.
On my way home last Sunday I thought of the jeans more often than I can tell you, and I was just sick – SICK – that I didn’t SPEAK UP, ALREADY and mention the jeans when I saw Travis at the concession stand.
And by the way, if you’re wanting to give me a lecture about how I need to be more bold, you’ll be glad to know that Emma Kate has already taken care of that. Twice. Since Monday.
But y’all, the Lord has been at work during this time of fashion uncertainty. He really has.
First of all, Melanie found some trouser jeans at Target that are both inexpensive AND sassy. They aren’t exactly like Angela’s, but they are cute. And sometimes cute is enough.
Then, Thursday night, thanks to Mel’s near-constant efforts to help me find the jeans, I got an email from A Source Who Shall Remain Unnamed, also known as An Angel Straight From Heaven. And thanks to the critical, timely information provided by Source / Angel, I was able to make some terrific strides with my jeans-related inquiries and can now show you this picture of the jeans Angela was wearing, though her denim may have been a little lighter, and I can’t be completely certain that the waistband is identical, not that I’ve scrutinized this photo or anything:
Somebody say “Hallelujah” one time.
(I think it goes without saying that I would never, ever tuck in a shirt if I wore these jeans.)
(But that is perfectly fine because I haven’t tucked in a shirt since 2001.)
(And honestly, aren’t those legs the greatest things you’ve ever seen?)
Now I may get a little teary-eyed as I tell you the last part of this story (HOLD ON, INTERNETS – THERE’S AN END IN SIGHT), but I trust that you can understand how tender my heart must be at this point.
Last night, in Steinmart(s), I found a pair of jeans that are almost identical to the ones in the picture.
I did, y’all. I really did.
The waistband and the tops of the pockets are a little different, but that is of little concern since no eyes will ever gaze upon those parts of the jeans outside of the privacy of my own home.
And do you know what? I already love my new jeans. I do. I know it might seem soon, but sometimes, when you put on the right pair of jeans, you just know that you know that you know. There’s absolutely no question that I owe Angela’s jeans a big “thank you” for putting a fashion dream in my heart – a dream that has led me down the somewhat unexpected trouser-jean path.
So THANK YOU, Angela’s Jeans. I don’t even know how to begin to express my gratitude.
But I can honestly say that I will never be the same.
I will never be the same.