Africa Media: Narratives Assignment

This morning, after a hot shower, I made the executive decision to wear my favorite pair of pants. I remember buying these specific blue jeans at an H&M in Rome during my semester abroad in Italy, freshman year. I’ve always had a strange sense of style, as I am drawn to bright, out-of-the-box clothing items sure to catch the eye. After five years of wearing uniforms at private school, choosing my own outfit daily gave me a new sense of freedom. In a store full of excitement, these pants called to me.

They scream adventure, with two large, ripped holes at the knees and patches all up and down both legs. The patches on my left leg include the word “LOVE” with the ‘O’ in the shape of a watermelon half, a bigger half of a watermelon below another rip, the word “WOW!” in comic book style, a striped juicebox and milkshake with eyes, and an apple with a bite taken out of it. The right side has a heart, a pair of slightly opened lips, a box with the words “LADY BOSS,” a striped soda cup (no eyes this time), and a black cat wearing glasses and a bow tie. Unique, to say the least.

The first time I wore this beautifully crafted piece of denim was to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As I said before, adventure pants. The jeans did not disappoint in their debut. They matched perfectly with my white graphic tee, tan fluffy Guess coat, and the light pink beanie protecting my head from the fall wind. Of course, we can’t forget my black Guess boots with golden zippers up the front (those babies might’ve seen even more crazy places than these pants)! I posed for picture after picture along with my best friends Danielle and Marie in front of the huge tourist trap, until a photo worthy enough of posting was captured. Ah, the life of a millennial. I will say that the comment section of the chosen picture, showing Danielle and me in front of a blurred out Eiffel Tower due to foggy skies (best we could do, though), certainly did not lack a mention of my pants. They were a hit.

Since their debut, my favorite pants have travelled with me everywhere. They were perfect for my time in Europe. They were perfect for wintertime in my home city of Atlanta. They were perfect for when the weather of Los Angeles, where I attend university, decided not to be sunny and 75. I’ve worn them to class, for weekend activities, to dinner dates, and even occasionally when I go out to party. I can wear them with almost any top really, but I usually stick to my classic white Capri T-shirt, or my preferred choice of a red bodysuit with spaghetti straps. This combination has been deemed the “Grace Outfit” by my sophomore year roommates. It is my absolute favorite thing to wear. It is my friends’ favorite outfit for me to wear. This outfit predicts a good day is to come.

“I love your pants!” I hear every time I wear the jeans somewhere new.

“Thanks, I got them in Europe,” I always respond.

“Did you put those patches on yourself?” people sometimes wonder.

“Yes,” I sometimes lie. But in truth, I bought them this special. And I bring them along for my many journeys.

Come to think of it, the last time I wore these jeans, my boyfriend Jerry Dann asked me to be his girlfriend during a rock concert. He must’ve liked my style.

Now I have brought my favorite pants on a new journey, to Africa. Packing for this continent was quite a strange experience, in which my mother mostly took the reigns. She definitely forced me to pack light, which I cannot say is easy for a teenage girl who, indeed, brought five suitcases home from her school in LA. One of those suitcases had to be purchased after the rest were already filled to the brim. So yes, packing light was something new.

Mother Susan, as I call her, only wanted me to pack two or three pairs of Jeans. Yeah, right! She didn’t even originally include my favorite jeans in her first stack of pants for Grace’s trip to Africa. She can be a crazy one, that Mother Susan. Obviously, when she wasn’t looking, I tossed about four more pairs of jeans into the stack. I refused to wear the ugly boring safari pants everyday, which Susan bought from TJ Maxx, or Marshall’s, or one of those cheap overwhelming mom stores that always seem to give me a headache as soon as I walk through the door.

I will admit, I stuck to the safari pants my first week here in South Africa. I was with my family in Johannesburg and then Madikwe game reserve for a safari, so the pants seemed fitting. They’ve also been keeping me warm from the African winter weather.

Today, however, the Wednesday of June 5th, I have officially begun classes for my journalism internship with Africa Media. The excitement of the morning led my eyes to a certain patched pair of pants. It’s time to get to work, and nothing makes me feel more like a ‘Boss Lady’ than a rockin’ outfit to demonstrate my attraction to the strange and unique.

As I first sat down on this South African beach right outside Mossel Bay, racking my brain for something to write about, I looked down at my pants. I look now again. They won’t last forever. The rips will grow larger, and my legs will grow bigger. But for now, these jeans will continue to predict good days to come.


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