The Usual Fool vs. Trousers

Trousers are a problem for me.  It’s not how it sounds, though.

No, I take that back.  It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds.  I have trouble with trousers in just about every way.  My trouser troubles are diversifying even, with trousers making cameo appearances in otherwise non-clothing related troubles.  Perhaps trousers are the new cows.

(I bet you never expected that sentence to appear in your life.)

After a Fashion

When I was younger, my only trouser problem developed when my body forgot that I was supposed to be three dimensional.  My height made it difficult for me to shop; stores kept expecting me to be shaped like a human, when in fact I was shaped like one of my drawings.


Once I found trousers that fit though, I had no trouser troubles for a decade.  Sure, general fashion abnegated my wardrobe with surprising ferocity–apparently I bought trousers during a peculiar and regrettable epoch–but I stood by my clothes. Unfortunately as I aged, my height reunited with its erstwhile friends: width and depth.

Stylish folk might have considered this a fortunate thing–I had to relinquish my bad fashion trousers–but it inaugurated my brief flirtation with seersucker.  I thought seersucker trousers were amazing; they were lighter and cooler than denim, came in fancier colors, and could be used as pajamas.  In short, they were everything I could have wanted trousers to be, except trustworthy.

Seersucker rips.  It rips spectacularly and easily.  In the course of about a year, I experienced the spontaneous fission of a dozen pairs of seersucker trousers into a dozen pairs of seersucker trouser legs.  This didn’t make anyone happy, although it did tend to accentuate the airiness of the material.

My Tour de Pants

Whenever I mow our lawn or work in our garden, I change into shorts because I don’t want to sully one of my few good pairs of trousers.  Also, I don’t like being hot.  I’m not the sort of person who can wear shorts, however.  I can put them on my legs and walk around–I’m physically capable of wearing them–but the sight tends to make people question my ability to make life decisions.

Recently, because of a preponderance of outside tasks and a dearth of time to do laundry, my only available shorts were artifacts from my one dimensional period.  They fit me when there was less of me to fit.  I still managed to put them on—I’m oddly tenacious at inappropriate times–but I shouldn’t have.

My wife described the result as “bike shorts of denim,” which nicely evokes the strain I had placed on the fabric.  It was probably close to the point at which it would have creaked when I moved, like leather, old floorboards, or my knees.  She handled the situation with her usual tact however:  she doubled over laughing for about a minute and could only stop when she avoided looking at me altogether.

One Woman’s Trash Is Another Woman’s Trousers

My wife is part of an local online group that exchanges and shares goods.   It’s a noble kind of enterprise that strives to let the whole community benefit from the surplus of any one member.  I include all of that so that she won’t sound odd when I say that a stranger on the internet offered to give her some used trousers.  Unfortunately she was ill at the time, so the trouser exchange fell to me.

I prefer clear situations, boring ones even, because I’m socially awkward and easily confused.  I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of approaching a stranger and asking for her clothes.  What if I asked the wrong stranger?  (“Excuse me, Miss.  I believe you’re going to give your trousers to me.  AHHK!  I’m sorry!  It was a misunderstanding!  Please stop hitting me!”)

That didn’t happen of course–the donor actually left the trousers outside her house so that I could pick them up at my convenience–but it could have.  Trousers cause trouble for me.


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