When I was a kid, my grandpa showed up at our house one day wearing wrinkled brown pants that looked as though they’d been cut from a gunnysack. He was awfully proud of his find. “Got them at a store where you buy your clothes by the ounce,” he said. “Got about three pounds worth.”
I swore then that if I ever shopped at a clothing store that had a scale at the checkout counter, it was time to put me in The Home. I think that time is coming.
While walking through a mall the other day, I spotted a gigantic sign in a men’s store window that said “Clearance/70% Off/Come in NOW. I used to buy pants only when I needed them. Now I buy them when a giant store sign orders me to.
This was one of those hip young men’s stores where the sales associates, who all look like Brad Pitt’s distant cousins, have to yell above the blaring dance music. I departed that target market years ago. As I entered, I half expected to see a bouncer at the front door checking IDs. “Sir, just keep walking. Sears is in the North Wing.” But 70% off is a powerful lure. So, I elbowed up alongside other much younger customers. While they rifled through a pile of size 28 slacks, I stood alone at the normal-waist-size where I quickly found a pair in the correct length.
Regularly $50, the slacks were on sale that day for $15. I usually hate to try on pants in the store, but something told me I should take an extra minute to test the fit of these slacks, considering they were meant for a man half my age. I ventured further into the bowels of the store to find the dressing room. I asked the pretty young woman working there if it was OK to try on the pants. “Sure,” she said with an overload of perk. But I knew what she was thinking: “Those pants? In your dreams, old man.”
Since the pants technically were my exact size, they should have fit me perfectly, right? No way. They were lacking in nether region space. Extremely lacking. In fact, the pants were apparently designed for men with no nethers at all. I wasn’t sure if I could sit comfortably in the slacks, or even walk in them. These days, lots of pants come in styles called Easy Fit, Relaxed Fit, and Classic Fit. They’re really talking about the crotch fit.
Women worry about things sagging. Men have to worry about it, too. It’s time to add another dimension to the size of men’s slacks. Waist. Inseam, and now Crotchal area. Instead of inches, maybe we could be diplomatic and just go with a guys’ age range. “34 x 34 x 45? You sir, need to step over to our low hanging fruit section.”
Did I buy the pants? You bet. Seventy percent is a seventy percent, even though I had to walk with a limp.
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