Our awareness of the thin line between reasonable and ridiculous grows, if not daily, then perhaps, optimistically, weekly.
This week’s venture into understanding the willfully silly?
Pants that double as tourniquets.
Oh, Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, I hear you moaning. What’s with you and pants? One minute they’re too droopy, now they’re too tight?
It's true. I have written of my fear and confusion around the droopy-pantsed youth of today (I am torn between feeling threatened by young men who want their be-skivvied butts exposed and fighting off the urge to shove my pen down their cracks, just to mess with their heads).
But I am just as fearful and confused by the doughy-fleshed women pouring themselves into decorative sweatpants.
Let’s just sit with that for a moment, shall we? Because yes, people you know -- perhaps even me! -- carry some superfluous weight. The roast beef sandwich with cheese and extra mayo was delicious; yes, I would like more of the sweet potato fries; and what's that? Would I split a dessert?
Would I split a dessert...
What kind of question is that?
It's not the excess flesh that I object to. It's the way it's stuffed into the clothing.
One can only speculate.
Perhaps it's so that said stuffer can continue to say "I wear the same size I did in high school".
Perhaps it's part of a religious ritual, the modern-day equivalent of wearing horse-hair shirts or whipping one's self bloody.
"And so it was on a Friday that she forced her flesh into the Pants of the Much Smaller in supplication and in atonement for the sweet potato fries. May the elastic be with you."
"And also with you."
And here we arrive at the crux of my issues with tight sweatpants: the joining of the words "tight" and "sweatpants".
I realize that this will mark me as part of the Roosevelt Administration, (of which I proudly served!), but there was a time when sweatpants were worn only during physical activity. Loose, expansive, they allowed for freedom of movement. Stretch! Run! Flop onto the ground in feigned exhaustion!
Grocery shopping, catching a bus, seeing a movie: none of these things warranted a pair of elastic-waist-banded track pants.
But then they came out with designer sweats, bedazzled sweats, sweats with saucy suggestions embroidered on their rear-ends, suggestions that would’ve, at one time in our nation’s history, landed your nonconformist self under a heavy door piled high with rocks.
I am not suggesting, by the way, that we stone people who show up in sweatpants.
No, it’s my contention that the majority of them are already stoned.
I wanted to tell this all to the woman on the bus this morning, the woman that boarded on the corner of Spring and Monroe in a pair of bright pink velour pants whose seat proclaimed her, in a series of eye-popping (and no doubt cheek-denting)crystal studs, “Juicy”.
I worried about her callous disregard for the tensile strength of her seams. What these pants held back was something my mind was not willing to grasp at 6:24 a.m.. I pictured the popping of a thread, the words “Fire in the hole!” shouted by the bus driver, the roaring rush of flesh that spilled out and into the aisles, trapping commuters like flies in amber.
They would find us, our faces pressed up against the windows, held prisoner by what had, just moments before, been “Juicy”…
And that's when I knew: I am simply not getting enough sleep...
4 hours ago