Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lessons of the Pants

For several consecutive Spring Breaks—I’d guess four—I’d fallen into the habit of reading whatever one of the Traveling Pants books was hottest from the presses.

Having read the final installment in the account of the globetrotting jeans last year, this spring left me with no choice but to reflect upon Pants mishaps of my own design.

I’m sad to report that the New York Capri Pants didn’t make it. They were last seen mingling with the coffee grounds in the bottom of my trash can.

There are reasons for the extreme fate of The Pants. For starters, who knew that lugging two layers of shimmery fabric around your waist could be a workout? I should have donated them to NASA for astronauts to use during zero gravity experiments. As far as Earth-bound applications, I suppose you could use them as a paperweight, but my next point will illustrate why you wouldn’t want to.

They’re enormous. The pattern size I measured for was more than double the size stamped on clothes I buy off the rack. “Sewing sizes are different, mother,” my daughter kept insisting. All I know is that the New York Capri Pants could provide shade and shelter over a large portion of Central Park.

Then there’s the fact that every line I tried to sew kept moving—slipping and sliding all over the place, until the midsection looked more like a licorice whip than a waistband.

But the writer in me isn’t content to just let the unfortunate events rest unexamined. No, the ill-fated Pants must be infused with some sort of Greater Meaning, they must inspire, instruct and inform. They must have Purpose.

I wouldn’t blame you for asking why, but the reason is quite simple. It’s the only way I can cope with the personal failure, waste of expensive fabric, and loss of many hours that could have been invested in more productive pursuits.

What then, can the Pants teach us from their gritty grave?

My husband would say that, too, is simple: I can’t sew.

I say it’s a little of that, and a lot of I don’t know when to quit. I don’t know when quitting is good, or when quitting is bad. It seems that there are times for both, but just like a little kid who hasn’t figured out what strangers are OK to talk to (Policemen? The hairdresser? That creepy guy who drives the ice cream truck?) I’m still learning the rules.

That’s what I learned from the Pants. That, and I can’t sew.

1 comment:

Catherine Wannabe said...

Oh, dear. My practical side is screaming. Couldn't you make them into a pillow? A lap board? A book cover? A rag!?!


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