21 May, 2013


Originally posted in June of 2011.

Not so long ago, I bought some new pants. It wasn’t easy.

It's not that the process wasn’t easy; I just had trouble deciding it was time to buy new pants. It's been years, after all, and it seems I’m in that between sizes no man’s land. The ones I bought are a little too big, but I feared the next size down would be uncomfortably snug.

On top of that, my weight has been fluctuating. Not much, but this is after 40 pounds of very steady weight loss. Soon it will start to go back down again - or at least I hope so – but these fluctuations had made it even harder to decide what to do and what size to buy. If I begin to lose immediately, then I should have gone with the smaller size. If not, I made the correct choice. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I like these pants. They speak to me. Really. In the store, they spoke to me. They said, “We’re the right color.” They said, “We have no pleats, just as you wanted.” And they said, “We’re on sale.” They spoke a lot.

And they continue to speak. As I put them on this morning, they spoke to me. Yes, they did, and I wasn’t hallucinating. Not this time anyway. I hadn’t noticed in the store, but right there on the inside of the waistband – on the right side – it says “ONE LEG AT A TIME.” Shut up! How thoughtful is that?! (It has occurred to me, however, that my Scots ancestors didn't need that advice.)

I suppose the phrase could have some deep philosophical wisdom - some fundamental truth - but I’m not buying it. It’s quite clear what we have here is a mini-user’s manual. And not a minute too soon. Far too many have been injured trying to pull up their pants after putting both legs in at once. And what of those who bounced from the bed into the air and attempted to spear both legs into their pants as they descended. Oh, the humanity.

Everyone - Thom included - ultimately owes Dockers our sincere thanks for taking the lead on this; other manufacturers will surely follow suit. Soon we can expect all of our pants to have instructions on the right. Not only that, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the left used for daily affirmations. All caps, bold face, phrases to make us feel better about ourselves. Maybe a "YES YOU CAN" for those who bought the smaller size and are struggling to fasten them at the waist.

Can user's manuals for each of the other articles of clothing be far behind? I think not.