It’s them and me; staring each other down from our separate sides of the cubicle.
I take a deep breath, give them one final look from top to bottom before cautiously taking a step forward.
My palms are clammy. The fear is palpable.
How did I get here? I was only meant to be returning a jumper.
And now, I’m… shopping for jeans.
Here's Mia Freedman's top 10 pairs of jeans. Article continues after video.
I can hear the collective sighs and groans from here. Shopping for jeans is up there with… shopping for bras. And pap tests. (Oh, you’re overdue? Pause where you are and make that appointment now, I’ll wait!).
Basically, (and welcome back) shopping for jeans is gruelling, but necessary.
And as a short, curvy size 14-16 woman, it’s a whole other level of urgh.
There is much to consider: calves, thighs, hips. And hurrah, you got them on - and over your ass - and the zipper is up too!
But whoa Nelly! Hold on the excitement for a moment.
Because the waist might be perfect, but it’s baggy around the groin.
And it sits well around the groin, but your calves feel like they’re in a vice.
And your calves are comfy, but the legs are wayyy too long.
Oh, and then you look in the mirror.
The colour is too “dirty” - or too blue or too light - or there are too many rips, and the denim isn’t stretchy enough, or the cut makes you look… like a dumpling.
Shopping for jeans is a lot. It usually takes weeks - nay, months - to psych myself up for before I even venture into a store. Because, I’m sorry, some things just cannot be bought online.