There Should Be Pants Here

What Not To Do:

I don’t like pants. I like comfort, and pants don’t equate with that. Any pants, really, but some are a little more comfortable than others. Yoga pants, for example, can be worn to work if you’re skinny and old and decidedly not-sexy, so that’s what I wear to the J.O.B., even though there is a strict NO YOGA PANTS policy; it’s right there written in the dress code. I don’t get called out on the dress code, because on me, apparently, yoga pants do not resemble yoga pants. I dare not ask what they do resemble. I don’t want to know.

Pajama pants can be worn under my long black sweater when I have to drive kids to school at an ungodly hour of the morning/night or pick them up from a J.O.B. at an ungodly hour of the night/morning. Or off a transport that has delivered them from Up Norther to as far as the truck stop on the outskirts of town (in my day, I hitched rides on a lot of transports… my kid doesn’t have to stick out her thumb at all; she just seems to know transport drivers. Not sure how I feel about that.).

If I get stopped by the police while wearing pajama pants, I don’t have to worry about being institutionalized any more – everybody wears pajama pants when they’re out and about. This is a fashion statement that I don’t understand – the only thing worse-looking, in my opinion, is a pair of pants that hangs down past a guy’s underoos. I notice there seems to be less of that now. Maybe these sensitive boys are tired of being snickered at?

At home, I wear No. Pants. I don’t care if I come home and have to leave again in twenty minutes, the pants are coming off, because they bind in all the wrong places. Granted, I’m told I sit “funny”.

I don’t actually sit “funny” – I squat. Some people call this “owling”. I do this on the floor, but I also squat on chairs – and it’s the only comfortable way to write. I squat at my desk. On the chair.

This might be part of why I don’t like big family get-togethers at fancy restaurants where squatting on the chairs is frowned upon – more so, if one is wearing no pants, I imagine. If I have to sit on my ass in a chair for longer than an hour, I’m sorry, Auntie, but I’m going home. And I’m taking my pants off when I get there.

Had yoga pants been the norm in the winter of 2001, I would not be writing this. Had yoga pants been the norm, I would not have felt the need to leave putting pants on the last thing I did in the mornings – til just the last second before racing out the door for work.

I could get away with this for a lot of reasons. My kid went to school across the street – so I could kiss her good-bye, open the door, and watch her safely across the street from the comfort of my enclosed porch. Sans pants.

My husband was not underfoot (or telling me to put pants on) because he was still in bed, being a musician whose day job didn’t start til after 2 pm, and whose night-job didn’t end until after 2 am, and who didn’t have to be up until just before noon to have lunch ready for the same kid, who was the only student across the street who was allowed to go home for lunch, because it was her only chance to see her dad ’til Saturday. So, I could wander around the kitchen to my heart’s content. Sans pants.

I could throw my slippery-shiny miracle-fabric long underwear and my black work slacks in the dryer to warm up and de-wrinkle-fy while I filled my thermos and packed it with my lunch, my keys, my book and my work shoes into my packsack. Sans pants.

I could leave a note reminding hubby to push play on the coffee maker before he went into the bathroom if he wanted Go Juice ready when he got out of the bathroom (and not to fall asleep in there and forget to make his kid’s lunch). Sans pants.

I could throw on my hoody, my balaclava, my scarf, my mitts, my ski-pants, my coat, my boots and my packsack and trudge through the snow to the J.O.B….

Ummmm…. did I forget something…? Hmmmmm…

I didn’t have a vehicle then, but luckily I lived less than a 15 minute walk from the J.O.B. This is the same J.O.B. that I have just returned to – for the third time – not in shame! – okay, sort of in shame – but I was still working for my original boss. I don’t have a pseudonym for my original boss. That’s sad. He was a cool boss.

Anyway, I get to work. I say Good Morning to Original Boss, and pull off my mitts. I take off my coat, and unwind my scarf, pull off my balaclava and take my work shoes out of my packsack. I pull off my boots. I unzip my ski pants and shriek.

Original Boss jumps three feet into the air, reminds me that he has a bad heart and demands to know what my problem is.

“I have to go home.”

“Why?!”

“I just do.”

He’s not impressed. He expects me to tell him why I have to go home, and I’d better have a good excuse, too.

“I’m not wearing any pants.”

That was good enough for Original Boss.

Did I mention that this was before Louie da Boss was my boss? Good thing, too – because for the first couple of years I worked for him, Louie was not the Louie he is today. It took him a long time to decide he liked me – at all – and the first time I ever heard him laugh, I thought he was having a stroke. Prior to that he kinda sorta scared the shit outta me. Unless he made me mad…

In fact, it was during one of my notorious melt-downs (there have only been four, I swear) when I was

SHRIEKING

at him and threatening to quit, that he laughed for the first time. Way to ruin my moment, Louie.

Original Boss, now, was still laughing when I finally trudged back into work, red-faced. He laughed while I pulled off my mitts, took off my coat, unwound my scarf, yanked off my balaclava, pulled off my boots, removed my ski-pants (Pants? Check! Whew!), put on my shoes and name tag and asked him to kindly shut the F up before he gave himself that heart attack.

He told me that he laughed the entire time he was opening the store. I heard him laugh to every customer that walked in, as he recounted the story. And he told the story to my husband, when he popped in before going to teach children a stringed instrument at the music store in the same mall. Not only did hubby laugh, hysterically, he told the story to everybody he worked with at the music store, and every night on stage for the next few weeks.

The last time he’d had any dirt on me worth telling from stage, the story also involved No. Pants (I don’t know if I’ll ever get up the nerve to tell that one here). This is how I came to be known to all the drunks and bar-bunnies and musicians in Sault Ste. Marie as “The Woman Who Can’t Keep Her Pants On.”

So, “The Unconventional Guide to Wearing No Pants…” is actually, much, much shorter than the story explaining why it needs to exist to begin with. It consists of one sentence:

Put Your Pants On.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “What I Wouldn’t Do” – Serena Ryder

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"The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs" is for sale in digital and paper formats at
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