Angst. Heartbreak. Remorse.

These are all words adequately describing my recent tragedy.

When I first started working for the CR six months ago, I had several life changes to make. One included leasing a new place. Another included buying new clothes.

I already owned about a dozen work-friendly dresses, so the summer season wasn’t an issue. My grandmother and I enjoyed shopping together before COVID-19. She has excellent taste — so excellent that our former advertising manager Jeanne Lutz would compliment my outfits nearly every day.

When autumn came around, though, I started to realize the knee-length skirts wouldn’t cut it anymore. I needed pants, and jeans felt too casual for the day-to-day grind.

As I searched the women’s section at the Muncie Kohl’s, though, it occurred to me that none of the selection would fit me. Most were at least three sizes too big or two sizes too small. To make matters worse, the store closed its dressing rooms to the public because of the coronavirus. How would I know if the garb I picked would work?

I decided against my better judgment to shop for clothes on the web.

My size in pants doesn’t exist online, apparently, so I took a gamble and ordered four returnable pairs of slacks in a size up, two black and two grey. A week later, they arrived on my doorstep. They were too baggy. I returned them by mail and ordered the same sets in a smaller size.

The next package took weeks to arrive. In the meantime, I fantasized. I imagined whole outfits I could create. I pictured finally having something classy to cover my legs with in the winter.

At long last, they arrived.

I couldn’t contain my excitement, so I ran indoors and stuffed my legs inside them immediately. I glanced in the mirror and gasped — a perfect fit.

Well … technically … the more I looked, the tighter they hugged my rear. But, nothing a long blouse couldn’t fix, I theorized. Perfect fit, I repeated.

I wore the first black pair to work the next day and floated around the office in sweet bliss (and high heels). My coworkers celebrated with me — pants! Yes!

The rest of my day was spent breezing through town in a new pair of slacks. Finally, I hopped in the car for my last trip of the afternoon. My heels clinked against the gas pedal; my pants fell into place.

A short car ride later, I stretched one leg after the other out the door. Across the parking lot I strode, paper pad and camera in hand, heels clacking against the pavement, slacks swishing around my ankles.

What a perfect fit.

So perfect, in fact, I failed to notice the curb. Subsequently, I lost my balance, stepped on the outer rim of my trousers and collapsed on the ground.

A loud tearing sound echoed throughout the lot, a sound similar to what I can only describe as a screaming banshee. Or maybe that sound came from me.

I slowly looked down at my pants. My eyes drifted from my thighs to my kneecaps. And there it was — a gaping hole revealing my bare knee.

Seems like my slacks weren’t a perfect fit anymore.