Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Where's the Flood

(Originally posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 by Tim)

So a couple of weeks ago, Cat forced me to go shopping for new slacks to wear to work. Now it isn't like she knocked me out and then I woke up in the Gap wondering what had happened, but it was pretty darn close. I used all the excuses I could to get out of it and turned my wining up to level 9, but it was all to no avail.

"Gosh, I should mow the lawn, can't we go tomorrow?"
"I think I pulled something taking out the garbage, can't we go tomorrow?"
"There's three whole days before I have to go to work, can't we go tomorrow?"
"Modi looks like he's going to bite Sam, we should watch him, can't we go tomorrow?"
"I'd really like to rest up so I can watch the meteor shower tonight, can't we go tomorrow?"
"I've heard that the RCR (Rabid Christiansburg Republicans) are having a meeting at the mall today, can't we go tomorrow?"
"Hey, let's rewire the dining room!"
"I called The Gap and they said they have nothing in my size, but they are getting in a big shipment of "short guy" clothes tonight."
"Look! A moose!"

Needless to say, I really hate clothes shopping. I think it's because I rarely feel like I get it right. This is one of those anxieties that goes back to trying to fit in when I was in middle school. I could never manage to get the same look with clothes that the cool kids did. It's not like I couldn't look at the cool kids and make notes of what they were wearing. I also don't really remember any restrictions on what I could buy, but somewhere in there the connection wasn't being made. I'd either buy a whole bunch of clothes that weren't the right style, or a bunch of clothes that were the wrong size, or I'd do something else that just didn't get the look. Don't even ask me to start in on hair.

I particularly remember some of my foibles with buying pants. The worst was the year I bought five pairs of jeans that were all to tight for the fashion and were really very uncomfortable. That isn't what this post is about. Sometime before middle school, I had a set of neighborhood kids make fun of the fact that my pants were too short. The classic comment was, "Where's the flood?" Ever since I've always been paranoid about my pants/jeans being too short. This has coupled with the fact that I have 27 inch legs and mens pants start at 28 inches has resulted in my buying pants that are too long for at least the last 15 years.

Now it's not like I've been tripping over my pants/jeans so the too long thing really shouldn't be a big deal except that long pants tend to rub on the top of my shoes when I walk around. This rubbing was shredding the cuffs on my pants and the bottoms of my jeans rather quickly. Certainly more quickly than any other part of the jeans was wearing out.

Cat's solution to this problem was that we should buy me shorter pants. A brilliant idea except that it they don't sell men's pants any shorter. "They don't have anything in my size, in fact, no one does, can we come back tomorrow?" Well it just so happens that The Gap we were in was attached to a Kid's Gap. We figured that there are definately kids my size so maybe I would have better luck with boys sizes.

Boys sizes are odd. They're like women's sizes. Nothing useful like a waist size and a pant length size in inches. They are acending numbers without units associated with words like "slim", "regular", and "husky". I guess this scale is used, because Mom's mostly buy boys clothes and it's something they are used to. After some experimentation, we found that I'm closest to a 12 Husky. I actually think I'm a 13 Husky but, of course, there are no odd numbers. This leaves me with a choice of buying pants that are too long (14 Husky) or pants that are just a little too short. In the end, we went with a little too short. I'm hoping that it was the right choice. I've been really careful to pull the pants out of the dryer when we wash them for fear that they might shrink. I've also been collecting a mental database of relative pant leg length of male faculty at Radford. I think I'm in the right range, but I'll have to wait until the spring when the New River overflows and see if I get any personal emails from the dean calling me to action.

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