I met Dave today at the Levi's store on Michigan Avenue.
Dave, as you know, is in a band. And after a recent gig, a bandmate, Jimmy, left behind a pair of jeans (they dress for the stage, though I don't know if the jeans in question were part of his "look") and while I won't bore you with the details, Dave, the nicest man on the face of the planet, felt it was his duty to replace them.
So since we were meeting up for coffee this afternoon anyway, we rolled the Levi's Store errand into the excursion. I was early, and was poking around the store, feeling very much like my father as I noted that the purposely distressed jeans were much more than the new, unharmed denim. Why would I want to pay someone an extra $24 to pre-rip then pre-patch my pants?
Dave walked in the door. "This store makes me feel old," I said.
It got worse.
The Levi's Store is arranged by sex: Boys' clothes on one side, girls' on the other, much like a grade-school dance.
Dave drifted toward the girls' side.
Dave, the one who always notices when I do something to my hair, loves to shop. He loves clothes. Loves them. Just yesterday, we were on the phone and he gave me the URL of a site to visit so I could see the next jacket he wants to buy.
I know what you might be thinking, but I can assure you that Dave is a man very secure in his heterosexuality.
The point is, the jeans he felt the need to replace were women's jeans. Jimmy had bought women's jeans. The very helpful salesguy assured me that lots of guys buy women's jeans.
Really. Really? I know some women buy men's jeans, but I'd never heard of the roles being reversed.
Here's where it gets really bad:
The size Dave was looking for was a 7.
A 7. I was shopping with a man who shopping for a man who was about to buy jeans that wouldn't fit most of my female friends.
Dave thought it best to try them on. We traversed the store again, this time to the boys' dressing area. It was a bit weird, picking up a pair of jeans on the girl side and walking to the boy side to try them on.
Very Helpful Salesguy motioned to a chair in the corner. "You can have a seat," he offered.
I sat, thinking, "Please, God, please, please don't let them fit him."
Dave is a very trim guy, but I just couldn't face any man in my life fitting into a size 7.
He emerged from his dressing room, jeans in hand. They were too tight. Way to go, God. (Mind you, I don't consider myself a religious person. Spiritual, yes. Religious, no. "God" in any context here can be substituted with "Universe," but it doesn't read as well.)
"I think I should try the 9s," he said.
Back we wandered over to the girls' jeans. He assessed a few more styles, decided he had originally picked up the wrong kind. Found the right pair in a size 9. Back to the dressing room we went. Well, he went. I waited.
The 9s were too snug, too. But he decided that the pair he was holding was the right pair to buy for Jimmy. If they were too big, he could return them.
Very Helpful Cashier Girl rang them up. We walked out of the store and into the steamy Chicago day on our way to coffee. At Starbucks, I ordered our new usual summer beverage for us. Dave very kindly paid. We waited. We chatted. We left, headed back to his studio, sipping.
Outside, I turned to him. "Walk or cab?"
"Cab, don't you think?" he asked, mindful of the heat.
"If you don't mind, I think I want to walk," I said.
I was with a man who nearly just fit into a 9.
I'm not taking cabs again until I can, too.