... but at least it ends here! After sleeping on it for a night (or rather, losing sleep thinking about it), I decided to return the pencil pants from the last entry for a size down. It was surprisingly very easy--I just had to call returns/exchanges and put in a new order, and then I was able to return the old pants at a VS store for free, minus the cost of gas to get there!
Here is how Victoria's Secret would have you envision yourself in their pants:
Here is the reality (old pants on the right):
The new pants fit much better around the waist, but I still don't quite fill the legs or thighs like VS expects women to. But that's okay. I like them much, much better than the old pair, and the color isn't too bad either. It's a shame I'm so short because even a 30" inseam is still a little too long!!!