Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Laundry. As much as I hate it, I do get a small sense of satisfaction from turning the mounds of chaos into neat, organized, piles of folded perfection. In my house, after laundry has been methodically folded and divided into our prospective piles, we place each person’s pile in their room. My mother has gotten the laundry system delegated out and working like a well-oiled machine. Somehow the continuous cycle of clothing never ceases and clothes are always being placed at the foot of my bunk bed. My room is the last one at the end of the hall on the right. It sometimes seems as if I live in the “catch-all” bedroom because all the random hand-me-downs end up in my pile. It’s almost as if there is a downward slope in our hallway and the ill-fitting clothing from my mother’s room slides down the hall and lands in mine. Often I look at these obscure outfits and get a distinct nauseous feeling in the lower left quadrant of my abdomen, but on occasion I get a pleasant surprise by obtaining remarkably retro attire.

One day I received a pair of what I thought were khaki capris. They looked a little “mommy” because they had pleats in the front and a small elastic gather on the back of the waistband, but I decided to try them on anyway. I always have to remind myself that I find gems hidden among the obscurities from time to time. With this in mind, I decided to give the little things a chance. After all, trying on a pair of capris couldn’t hurt.

I started pulling the capris up and soon found that they were practically pint-size. A normal person would stop himself from trying to squeeze into such a little pair pants the moment he realized they were too small. But driven by that stubborn determination that runs through every fiber of my young body, I continued to yank the pants up. As the miniature “mommy” capris reached my upper thighs and hips, I was certain that they would never fit me, but my conviction kicked into high gear and I painstakingly wriggled the itty-bity britches onto my waist.

Once there, the stubborn slacks wouldn’t button. In fact, the button was a good two to three inches away from the hole, but after worming them up this far, I wouldn’t back down. I proceeded to suck in my stomach as far as I possibly could and forced the zipper up as I shoved the button into the hole. I took a second to stare at myself in the mirror and see how ridiculous I looked in my new pair of “mommy” capris. It was a truly hysterical sight. They had squeezed every ounce of excess skin on my legs up and out the top of them, forming the most amazing muffin tops to grace the planet. The muffin top was second only to the painted-on effect the pants had on my legs. They were so tight on me that I could hardly bend my knee without pinching myself. But as soon as I let my stomach slacken, I had the notion that these tiny trousers were going to burst if I didn’t get them off in an instant.

So I started pulling them off, but as much as I wriggled and danced, squirmed and wormed, I just couldn’t seem to get the capris to budge. A series of questions danced through my mind as I was hopping around my bedroom trying to find an escape from the capris that held me bound. At first the questions were more along the lines of, “When was my mom ever small enough to wear these?” or “What ever motivated her to buy such a wretched pair of capris?” But then panic set in once I couldn’t get them off and my questions became. “How am I going to get out?” and “What if someone sees me?!” I was worried that my brother or sisters would stumble upon me, waddling around in my room in tiny pants. This was a valid concern because one of my family’s favorite pastimes is to ridicule each other. We get a strange sense of family unity from never letting those embarrassing moments die, and I knew that this dilemma would be one for the books.

I tried to pull down on the front pockets, but the darn dungarees were so tightly stretched around my middle that I couldn’t fit even one finger into the pockets. I opted for plan B: I continued to tug but this time used the belt loops on the pants as tiny handles and tried to shimmy them off. To no avail. The pants were planted. I began to wonder if I would have to walk downstairs, humiliated, head hung, and find my mom who would laugh her head off at the predicament these planted pants had produced. But I refused. There was no way that shame could get hold of my determination and twist it into dependence on another person to undress me. So I continued to labor over getting my legs free. Worry set in after another five minutes and destructive thoughts raced through my head. “Rip ‘em off!” “There are scissors in the bathroom!” “Slice em! Cut ‘em! They’re ugly anyway!” With my stomach sucked and eyes on the lookout, I started to waddle towards the bathroom when I suddenly stopped. I was too proud and stubborn to leave the room. No way would I leave until the foe that held me bound was conquered and I was set free as a new, stronger woman. I had a firmness of mind that wouldn’t let me back down. I worked on the pants for another ten minutes or so when suddenly they shifted. Somehow in a fit of rage I had gotten them past the widest spot and they practically fell to the floor. Finally.

I took a second look at the horrid pants that had held me prisoner in my room for over twenty minutes, and the feeling of freedom and satisfaction that had come from defeating my captor vanished. To my horror and utter dismay I realized that what I had assumed were capris were actually my nine-year-old brother’s church pants. I felt my face flush as the reality of the situation settled in. I was thoroughly embarrassed for myself. There wasn’t even another person in the room but I was blushing. I folded the pants and took them to where they belonged in my brother’s room. “Nothing ever happened,” I tried to convince myself, but the lingering color in my cheeks proved otherwise. Leaving the pants that were too small with my will that was too large in his room, I walked out feeling almost as small as the pants.


Millas said...

We've all worn our little brother's pants at one time or another. I was really tired one morning, grabbed a pair of jeans off the floor, put them on y drove to school.
I looked down when I was walking into the building when I realized that they were Taylor's jeans y not mine. I was to lazy to drive home y change!!!!

Jenny said...

I can't stop laughing...wish I had seen this event in real life.

caro said...

this entry made it really hard for me to explain my laughs - at work (where i am at the moment), to my colleagues. i remember myself being in a similar situation - but i tried putting on pants i wore in year 6 or so. and i knew they wouldn't fit me. hilarious.
hope you are fine.

Hosander said...

I had heard this story before and so while I was reading about your consternation, I was laughing hysterically. insomuch that husben took the computer away from me and made me go to bed.

Erica said...

laughed out loud. we've all been there, man.

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