I grew up in an era where cool jeans came outfitted with a tiny red rectangular tag and a number somewhere in the 500s. The choices were straightforward - boot-cut or straight leg, stonewashed or regular. Mom jeans hadn't been invented, because those of us wearing them weren't moms yet.
It was a simpler time - when jeans were jeans. They covered what they needed to cover and served as a practical staple in one's wardrobe. Times have changed. Hip, fashion-forward folks make statements with their derrieres by way of fancy stitching, rhinestones and other gaudy adornments. Bling, baby - it's hit our rear ends and it's hit them hard.
I'm not merely talking about the attire of twentyish trendsetters - although they also follow the fad. I'm referring to moms, like me, bedazzling their backsides in ostentatious splendor - no ifs, ands or buts about it.
You can imagine my reaction when I initially observed other soccer moms and their flashy posteriors. I was shocked and came to an immediate conclusion: I had to get me some of that splash!
I went jeans shopping and discovered people spend big bucks on their big butts. Trendy denim makes us pay for our bling - ka-ching! While most of the embellished pants sat well beyond my budget, I stumbled on a generic brand of less-expensive bling - which is sort of an oxymoron if you think about it.
I made my purchase and drove home feeling mighty hipster. I was officially a rhinestone cowgirl, ready for her first rodeo - or at the very least a local youth sporting event.
When I wore the new jeans, people commented on the sparkle and I thought, "What in the H-E-double-toothpicks was I thinking?" Decorating your derriere can have but one foreseeable outcome: it will make people notice not only your bling, but the size, scope and girth of your back pockets. I'd gone and called attention to the one part of my anatomy that needed no undue scrutiny.
Since then, I've become comfortable with my flash-in-the-pants. I wear them often for one main reason: they are comfortable. Most of the time. The other day, however, I ran into a little glitch with my fancy-pants jeans.
Weather conditions were wet, and unbeknownst to me, droplets of moisture fell onto the fake leather interior of my vehicle. A puddle pooled and was soon met with the rhinestones on my rear. As I drove, my jeans reacted like a paper towel and by the time I arrived at the grocery store my vehicle's seat was dry - mine was not. I hoped my denim water spot wasn't a visible to the naked eye. Just in case, I rushed through my shopping list, anxious to make a quick exit.
I stood in the checkout line feeling edgy and damp. I shifted uncomfortably, hoping the wet spot didn't show and praying it didn't look like I'd had more of an accident than I'd actually had. Then I heard a voice behind me.
I turned to see an elderly lady beckoning for my attention. "I couldn't help but notice the back of your jeans," she said.
I nearly fell over.
She paused before continuing, "I was wondering, can you feel those gems on your pockets when you sit down?"
I breathed a sigh of relief and told her I couldn't. She continued to admire my wet backside.
"They sure are pretty," she said. "Those diamonds aren't real, are they?"
I wanted to say, "No, but the fat is." Instead I shook my head and tried to look dry.
Since then, I've come to an important conclusion. While jeans are a necessary staple to most wardrobes, beautifying your behind may not be such a clever decision. But you know what they say: hindsight is always 20/20.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" You can read more and follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.