Friday, September 3, 2010

Melty pants

I pledge my allegiance to these ugly pants.

Do you own an article of clothing that you simply cannot part with? Perhaps an old college sweatshirt, a favorite baseball cap, or a concert tee you got in the early 90s?

For me, it's a pair of black, cotton, wide-leg pajama pants I purchased from Old Navy. I must have bought the pants 12 years ago. Yes, that's right. It's been over a decade and I can't let them go.

In the beginning, they were used for weekly visits to the gym. My faithful workout pants got sweaty and grimy and did a lot of time in the laundry-- which is how they started getting super soft. Pretty soon I realized they were way too comfy to waste on 24 Hour Fitness, thus the pants got promoted to wear-around-the-house status.

The first thing I used to do when I got home from work was change into those pants. It's was much like Mister Rogers' daily ritual. Fred took off that stuffy jacket and those stiff leather Oxfords and slipped on a soft sweater and broken-in sneakers. All the while singing and smiling and looking so darned content. It's exactly how I felt when I wore my favorite pants.

I watched TV in them. I lounged around my apartment in them. Sometimes, on weekends, I would wear the pants for 48 hours straight. Wake up in them, eat breakfast, bum around the house, go out for coffee and lunch (thank God I wasn't being stalked by the paparazzi), make dinner, sleep, wake up, etc.

Then one day, I got a bright idea and decided to cut them. Who knows why I made them capri-length. They looked horrible. I was crushed. I demoted the pants to doing-work-around-the-house status. I cleaned the bathroom in them. I painted my son's nursery in them. They were my "crap pants"-- but still as comfortable as ever.

About six months ago, I was changing into my pants and noticed a chilly, breezy sensation near my bum. No...could it be? My worst nightmare come true: I had holes in my beloved pants! It was a minor crisis. Do I keep them? Do I dare throw them out?

"Dear Pants: We've been through so much together. Marriage, career ups and downs, two kids... how can I kick you to the curb?"

So I decided to repair the holes. Seventh grade home-economics class came in handy, and within five minutes-- voila! No more holes. Granted, the material is gathered and bunched up now, and when I wear them it kind of looks like I have a permanent wedgie. But I don't care. I love my melty pants. Some day they might spontaneously combust.

Until then, only death can pull us apart.