The Pants

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

“Mom!” I grumbled, “these don’t fit either!” I could feel my throat closing and my eyes welling up. “Mackenzie’s fit her so well, and...and Juliana’s actually look good on her.” I stared at the streaked mirror disgusted with the pants that squeezed me in some places, hung loosely around others, and exposed my knobby ankles. All I wanted was to start freshman year without looking like a dork. I took a deep breath, drew back the polyester curtain of the dressing room, and stepped out into the dimly lit uniform store. The female clerk, only a few years older than I, flashed a false smile.

“I’ll grab you some more sizes,” she offered as she hurried toward the endless rack of khaki pants.

That day I should have expected to leave Debbie’s Uniform Store disappointed; after all, I had already spent 14 years dealing with the wearisome task of finding pants that fit my lank body. My mom, unsure of which motherly cliché would hurry me up, stood outside the dressing room. She endeavored to console me by saying that she would love to have my long, thin legs rather than her short, stubby ones. I turned away from her, my eyes welling up again, and thought, “I would gladly trade my legs for hers if it meant fitting in.” I drew in a big, but...

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