Today I am going back to Old Navy to return a pair of pants. I am not exactly sure what compelled me to purchase these pants in the first place, besides the fact they were on the sale rack and were technically my size. But they are tight. They are very tight. They are extremely tight. They are also khakis, and when I initially tried them on at home, I am fairly certain that, to an imaginary person who was standing 20 feet away, I would have appeared as someone who was not wearing any pants at all, and who was also naturally hairless with no genitalia.
I can tell within a nanosecond of trying on pants whether or not they are going to be too tight, which makes the fact that I don’t just try them on in the store all the more inexplicable. But I hate trying on pants in stores. It strips away at the remnants of my masculinity. In fact, not too long ago, while in Kohl’s, my wife made me try on pants, and accidentally sent me to the women’s dressing room. You would think that would be impossible, and a complete fabrication for the sole purpose of this rant, but it is true. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether or not a dressing room is for a) men, b) women, c) both, d) employees, or e) the boiler. There are no signs anymore. No one was in there at the time, but while I was stuck in another pair of extremely tight pants, I heard a congregation of female voices outside the door. Holy crap. I knew I should have tried these on at home. I had to wait in my stall until it seemed as though everyone else was in theirs, and then I high-tailed it out of there. My wife thought that was hilarious, and I would have too, had the pants fit. But I was in no mood for shenanigans.
So the second I stepped into my most recent purchase, I knew it. These are too freakin’ tight! Not only are they too tight, but they take the actual shape of my legs, meaning they get tighter as they go down, eventually choking my ankles. They might as well have had elastic bands on the ankles. In fact, the person who made these pants is probably the same moron who created sweatpants with the elastic ankle bands. (“They go great with tube socks!”) Who the hell would wear such a thing? If there is an iota of a chance that someone will see my socks while I am standing up, you might as well go back to the drawing board with those things. Does anyone have any idea what an idiot I look like wearing pants with tight ankles? Besides the fact that my legs are three miles long, I wear a size 13 shoe. It looks like I have clown shoes on when I wear pants with tight ankles. Better yet, it looks like I am on stilts with clown shoes attached to the bottom. I belong in the freakin’ circus.
But I tried to talk myself into it, not wanting to go back to the store to return them. I even asked my wife’s advice. I walked by her, frustrated and shirtless, and said, “What do you think…Are they too tight?” She said, “Ummm…No, no. They’ll be good for work.” Now granted, my place of employment has a dress code, although nobody actually abides by it. Well, it’s not so much a dress code as it is, “Please get dressed before you come to work.” And even that notion has been violated during the summer months, when certain half-shirts have revealed more skin than I’d ever like to see. Because I tuck my shirt in and sometimes wear a tie, I am the Cary Grant of the office. But even I would be arrested if I wore these pants into work.
Tight pants have become the bane of my existence. I am so frustrated. I would say that for every 10 pairs of pants I buy, 10 of them are too tight. Most of them I have to return, but sometimes I am so annoyed at the situation that I just give some pairs away to charity. And I can’t even feel good about that, because I picture a truckload of clothes arriving in some third-world country, and somebody tossing my donated pants to a tall Ethiopian boy, who excitedly puts them on and says, “These are too tight. I look like an idiot.” (He speaks English in my imagination.)
Really though, I just can’t figure out the consumer target of pants manufacturers. Who in their right mind would wear a pair of “nut-huggers” that almost become like “onesies” at the ankles? Who, I ask? Yet almost every pair of pants I see meets this criteria. I come from a generation of teenagers that wore the baggiest pants imaginable, and wore them around the groin area instead of the waist. Now I am trying to be a professional man, and cannot locate the balance between “upstart teenager who sags his pants” and “corporate honcho who reveals his socks at the water cooler.” There has to be a happy medium, but I have yet to find an outlet that sells happy-medium type work pants. Does anybody sell pants that will fit my waist, yet hang off my legs a bit and cover a portion of my clown shoes at the bottom? Does anybody sell pants that, if the wind blows, you will see a ripple in my pants, instead of an up-close view of my balls?
If so, please let me know. I will even swallow my pride and try them on in the store, if you can point me to the appropriate dressing room.