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Friday, January 11, 2013

Ode to my Pants

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to bid adieu to my gray pants.

They were, and now they are no longer.

But what can be said of my gray pants?  Because while the fit was good, they were never my favorite.

Why, they fell out of favor only two weeks after they were purchased.

I remember the day clearly.  It was early fall.  The moon was in retrograde, the Minnesota Twins were on a winning streak, and I had successfully used a neti pot for the first time with little lasting embarrassment.

That is all, of course, a lie.  I remember nothing of the day except this:  I am sitting at my desk when I look down, and there, on my brand new pants and from out of nowhere appeared, on my right knee, a nickel-sized white smudge.

Naturally, I tried to remedy the situation.  And by “remedy the situation”, I mean to say that I spit on my thumb and rubbed the offending blemish with it.

Surprisingly, my saliva, how ever heartily applied, did nothing.

When this tactic failed, it fell upon me to employ the next-in-line remedy in my stain-removal arsenal:  I wet a paper towel with a bit of hand soap.  Rubbing vigorously, what I suspected would happen did:  the paper towel fell apart.

The rest of the work day was dedicated to staring, off and on, at the spot. 

Whatever could it be?

Several enthusiastic and ultimately fruitless washings later, I was forced into an uncomfortable realization:  my new pants had been permanently stained and I would never know how.

And yet I still wore them.  They were, after all, brand new.

Poor girl, I supposed my co-workers to mutter amongst themselves.  I hear she only has four pair of pants.

And it was true.  “Four pair of pants,” my mother has always said, “is all you need.  Mix up the shirts.  No one will ever notice.”

Unless, of course, one of the four pair has a thumb-shaped blot on the knee.

That, they’ll notice.

And so I’ve done what any sensible gal will do:  I waited until the time was right – roughly two years, I believe it was – and picked up another pair of pants.  Four dollars at the second-hand store.  In keeping with the fashion of the times, you cannot sit down in them for fear of exposin' yer undies, but in their favor I will point out that they are stained-knee free. 

And so we bid farewell to the gray pants.

Good-bye, gray pants.

You should’ve meant more to me.

44 comments:

Shelly said...

I like your style, Pearlie. Your mom's four pants rule rings true.

I have a pair of black pants that somehow got a small bleach stain on the bottom hem. Throw them out? Nay! Relegate them to the wardrobe I only wear to WalMart at 4 AM? Never!

I got a black Sharpie and colored in the bleach spot. No one knows except me. Those pants still have a lot of wear in them.

Hope your new pants provide you with years of enjoyment.

Pearl said...

Shell, a black sharpie!!! I love that. That's just smart.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Three cheers for the magic of black Sharpies!

Pearl said...

Green Girl, I shoulda hit my pants with a gray Sharpie!

Daisy said...

Such a bittersweet story. Wishing you lots of luck with the new pants. I hope they don't disappoint you the way the old gray ones did. :D

Have a great weekend, Pearl. Thanks for making me smile today.

TexWisGirl said...

gotta be the midwestern (wisconsin) upbringing. our practical souls would never let us waste a perfectly good pair of pants, even w/ a smudge. :)

Pearl said...

Daisy, :-) that made me smile. Thank you.

TexWis, I think you are on to something there!

Curry Queen said...

Gosh - my first visit to your blog (returning the compliment) and I have found it to be a wholly educational experience. Firstly, I had no idea what a neti pot was (I do now because Google is my friend). Secondly, being from the other side of the Atlantic, I read half way through your post before I realised that you were referring to trousers rather than underwear. Ahem. Which is a shame because I was relating enormously on the grounds that I, too, possess many pairs of grey pants only, sadly, mine are all of the undergarment variety. Ho hum.

jenny_o said...

In keeping with the Scottish frugality of our Canadian province, I must say that your four pair of pants exceed the necessary allotment by two whole pairs :)

Excellent description of the first weapon in the stain removal arsenal. Many times we need no other.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I had a closet full of pants, but I think I mostly wore the same two or three pair every winter for about five years, and a different two or three all summer. BTW, I knew people who used black marker to touch up their shoes before important events.

Geo. said...

I have always secretly felt my clothes are planning outrages.

Stephen Hayes said...

If the spot was on MY pants I doubt I'd have noticed. I don't think this is because I'm a slob, I'm just a guy, which is probably the same thing.

Friko said...

Oh, poor pants.
Did you give them a decent burial?

Ms Sparrow said...

I am an adherent to the philosophy that you can get by with only four pairs of pants--one black, one navy blue, one brown and one either tan or gray. Everything will go with one color or another!

Roshni AaMom said...

I completely agree with 4 pairs of pants! Mix up the shirts, throw in a scarf and different color earrings each time, and no one will notice the pants!!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Alas, they met their demise way before their time. But at least you gave them a suitable send-off.

Kana said...

Oh, pants -- you fell before you hardly begun. Through no fault of your own, now, you will never be coordinatable. (If that is a word) Two years of purgatory suspended your inevitable disposal; but rest now, secure in the fact that your only sin was in not being unremarkable enough for Pearl's 4-Pants Scheme. Goodbye, Pants.

Leenie said...

Perhaps the pants will now go on to another life. A life with a person who will give them a good home in spite of that fatal flaw. A whole novel could be written about The Life of Pear's Pants. Sort if like Black Beauty. There could be a prequil. Then the time at the office and then a coming out of the closet chapter. What then? Stay tune to the continuing story of Pearl Gray Pants.

Leenie said...

Hey, Fifty Shades of Pearl Gray Pants?? Naw, that's been over done.

Sioux said...

OR you could have splattered bleach all over the pants, creating small spots all over. You might have started a crazy trend...

Ian Lidster said...

Yet, in my own quirky way I kinda liked your gray pants. Just sayin'

Gigi said...

Gah! Don't you hate when that happens? And, if you are me, once you notice that spot and realize it's not going away; you then realize that you are only down to three pairs of pants - because no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that no one will notice that spot if you wear them; you can't.

wellfedfred said...

Ugh, office pants, so treacherous, so prone to obscure ailments, drooping hems, jammed zippers, popped buttons, odd spots... and the worn cheap pants that stay home to be slobbed around in stay out of trouble.

mapstew said...

I (ALL the band) wear black suits for wedding gigs. Stains? That's what permanent black pens were made for! God forbid we'll wash them someday! :¬)

xxx

Lin said...

I get it. I had a pair of light brown slacks which promptly got a stain at the knee after the first time I wore them. That stupid stain drew my eye every single time I wore them...and then I quit wearing them completely. Sometimes that happens.

Good riddance, I say.

sage said...

4 pants on a five day work week? I think I have 4 pair of gray pants, but they are all variations of charcoal gray and wool! 4 pair of pants she said, I now feel ostentatious

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I only wear black pants in the winter. This way people don't know if I have one pair or ten.

Belle said...

I have a three pants rule: black, brown and jeans. Your mom was right, change the tops and why would you need more pants than that?

I hate wreaking brand new things. It is an awful feeling.

jeanie said...

Ha! I love the 4 pant rule - I am surviving on 1 at the moment, but with only 2 days work a week I believe I am under the radar...

Tempo said...

I, on the other hand dont own any pants without a stain somewhere on them. (or any other piece of clothing for that matter)

The Elephant's Child said...

I also colour in stains and blotches on my clothing. I would like to be able to do it for myself.

Lo said...

Reminds me of a friend of mine back in college in prehistoric times when argyle socks were a big thing. She was knitting a pair for her boyfriend and found she had made a big mistake a few rows back. Luckily, she was an art major so she simply painted out the error and hoped they would break up before he washed them and found out.....

EM Illustrator said...

Great story, 4 pant rule - very interesting. Enjoy your weekend.

River said...

The stain might have been white-out and could probably be removed with nail polish remover. Failing removal, applique the spot with a cheeky pink rose or something, with a matching rose somewhere else. Ta Da! Designer pants.
My mum's rule was three of everything, one on, one in the wash, one in the drawer. So I have three pairs of black work pants. One that I'm wearing to death, two waiting in the wings.

Linda O'Connell said...

I have been known to doctor my pants, shoes and even sweaters with pemrnanent marker. Pencil lead blended into that spot would have been better than a patch, but a kiss (patch)on the knee would have attracted attention. You chose the right option, but howmany years did it take you?

Mitchell is Moving said...

I too have used the Sharpie solution. Works 90% of the time (very scientifically evaluated). I had a pair of casual brown leather shoes that I loved. I caught the top of one shoe on a file cabinet the first day I wore them. I kept them for 6 more years with that ugly tear staring me in the face. Finally gave up (I think I wore them three times).

NotesFromAbroad said...

I have concluded that Saliva generally works better on children's dirty faces ... fabric is so stubborn !

Buttons said...

Oh they had a good run:)
Spit should have just a little booster in it maybe:) Good buy four bucks, I love the way you shop just like me. B

Pat said...

I once had the same problem with a brown denim skirt and bought a stick on thing as a feature.
I suppose I waited about 2 years before I finally ditched it but hated wearing it even around the house.

darlin said...

Reminds me of my favorite jeans, can't just get rid of them, noooo way! I had to wait until ever last thread which held my bottom in these jeans gave out; naturally it was at the most incontinent time. Seriously though after having three children, being hospitalized for almost 6 months, and lets not forget the yearly woman's check up, all ounce of dignity I once had has been stripped and when those blue jeans let go of their final threads I didn't even care that a bit of skin was showing and went on with my day like it was nothing... after all isn't it cool to wear ripped jeans? ;-)

Farewell Pearl's grey pants, farewell my favorite blue jeans. You served us well.

Daisy said...

Yup! Had a pair like that! I got an iron-on applique of a flower and "that was that"! People remarked about my pretty flower...never suspecting...

Daisy's Barbara - Daisy doesn't need pants!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yeah I only have 4 or 5 pairs of pants and a couple of skirts and a heap of tops. Now my mum would have around the same amount her problem is that she will wear the same outfit 2 days in a row and the same pants maybe for 3 days me I like to wear fresh different clothes every day.

Kathleen McCoy said...

Love your mother's "four pants" rule. I'll keep that in mind!

Diane Tolley said...

I spared a thought for your pants. That means I was thinking of them. But I'm done now.
Yep, Four pairs of pants does me just fine. And a hundred and eighty shirts . . .