Girl Pants

At a very young age girls develop the insatiable desire to dress up their men. We are their proverbial Ken doll. Ken, in the Barbie lineup, was never meant to be an object of desire for Barbie. No, he is the opportunity to experiment with outfits that don't work on women. Since I am a married man I allow my wife to fulfill her desire on me by buying me clothes.

Reflecting on my life I don't recall any time I ever bought clothes for myself. When I was young my mother clothed me in the recently outgrown clothes of my nearest cousin. When I became a teenager my mother took me shopping for "outfits" and I began to don my older brother's flannels. After I met Chrissy she took over and the circle was complete.

Being a nerd I always took a certain pride in the fact that I did not choose the clothes I wear. I felt my nerdiness completed in that I couldn't care less about the articles I use to keep my body warm and my modesty socially acceptable. I was a bastion, a fortress if you will of apparel apathy. Little did I know I was living in a world of self-deception.

Chrissy did not bring home clothes often, but when she did it was generally in line with my current wardrobe: plain, yet functional. Sure, she did not bring home as much plaid as I might have liked, but what did I care? Then, out of nowhere, like some unknown terror embodying all your unspoken fears came... the girl pants.

The girl pants are a pair of jeans that are pre-faded. They are blue and darker on my outer and inner thigh than in the front or back. They are made of a stretchier material than my other jeans which is necessary because they are too tight on me. Chrissy says they are not too tight, they just fit. I call them girl pants because I had never seen pants that faded or fit in this way on anyone of the male persuasion before becoming an owner. I only notice them on other guys now because I am trying to calm my embarrassment.

It was actually the embarrassment that got me thinking. I thought I didn't care what I wore and now here I am ashamed to go outside because of clothes. As I began to ponder this inner conflict I found the source of my discomfort. It was not that the pants were too tight, nor that they appeared feminine to any outsider, nor that they looked bad. No, it was much much worse. They were in style. Could it be? Had my desire for nerd perfection got the best of me. Had I actually become, anti-cool? Don't misunderstand, I am quite aware that no pair of pants can make me any less than what I am and no one in their right mind would mistake me for cool. What irritated me was that I had allowed the "cool factor" to rule me. All that time spent scoffing at the cool and their pretty shirts and stylish hair and girly pants, thinking to myself "they are ruled by 'the man'", it was all a ruse to protect myself from the truth; I had defined a part of my being, my non-style, by the same standards as everyone else. The only difference was that I had striven to be non-cool. Even if my life was a complete rejection of all that the hip and trendy stand for, they still define me. I am not my own person I am just the opposite of them, in clothes if nothing else. I could not stand for this conclusion so I did the only thing I could do. I took my rightful place as the Ken in my woman's life and wore the pants.

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  • Steven K

    My wardrobe was heavily influenced by that which my older cousins grew out of as well growing up. One learns to like hand-me-downs, and then after a while, they learn to depend on them. I, like yourself, did not pick out and/or buy most of my clothes. This attitude, I have seen in my life, can be a tremendous blessing. I find that I tend to be, more often than not, disappointed with the articles of clothing I pick out myself. Those clothes, the hats or shirts which others have given me as gifts or because they felt I needed them have seldom fallen into question in my mind. The backpack I continue to use to this day was given to me by my parents as a birthday present when I was a freshman in High School. The vest I picked out and bought myself, I grow weary of the zippers jamming. I can relate to all said.

    The nonconforming, I remember reading a book by Emerson in college, when I finished all I could think was something along the lines of, “if you’re ever in a room filled with other people and they’re all eating ham sandwiches and you happen to decide you want one, just eat the stupid ham sandwich, don’t get egg salad just to be different. No one likes those self made eccentricities, they’re actually just personality flaws that have been mislabeled.

    By the way, what are you doing wearing jeans, what happened to the Khakis?

  • Heh,
    I recently had to restock my wardrobe, and realized at 24 years of age, that this was the FIRST time I had to shop without a woman doing it for me or at least showing me what I should get. It was terrifying I stood alone for at least a half an hour in Target (stylish I know) just slowing turning around, completely lost. In the end though, I did what any good human does, adapt. I found clothes, most of which fit me, and purchased them. Luckily I have actually gotten some good comments about them.

    I just never want to have to do that again.

  • I totally feel what you are saying. I reveled in the fact that I did not care about what clothes I wear or how my hair looks or how scraggly my bear beard is. Until one day, my lovely wife attempted to fix my unkempt hair and I made her stop. It was in that moment that I cared so much about not caring. Now I am trapped in a weird middle place, where I should care, and sometime do, but sometimes don’t. Help!!!!!

  • Pictures of Adam in said pants are a must.

  • I also have come to find that my constant desire to not care of my appearence has led me to my carrying to uncare. However, I think that after a period of time, in which one does not care, he developes his own “style”. Well, Adam, I don’t think those jeans are quite your style.
    The Ninrai

  • My brother, we are of one mind on this. Style is certainly a worldly concern, and we must be above such lucre. Let us take John the Baptist as our prophet and example! One of my favorite books – or at least book titles – is “A Scruffy Husband is a Happy Husband.” (Not great literature, mind you.)

    I feel lost in a clothing store. Give me hardware any day – even the harder side of Sears. Actually, it’s not so much that I dislike being in the store, but if I actually have to shop there, it is terrifying. I need to take another Zoloft. Last week I conquered the fear, though, and actually bought – compared, picked out, tried on, and paid for – a pair of jeans for myself at Old Navy (one of the cooler stores, along with Eddie Bauer). Glory of glories, my wife approved! (Or does that mean I’m sinking into the pit of style?!)

    Now, for the converse: shopping for her. Oh, the horrors! Rarely have I been successful in this regard. Sizes alone are of the devil! Pick something too small and she’ll think I wish she were smaller, or she’ll just feel fat. Pick something too large and she’ll think I think she’s fat! Pick the right size and…well, that’s purely hypothetical!…and then I invariably got the wrong color, texture, fabric, or pattern. Or, worse, I picked out last month’s style. And what is style, anyway? Just something invented by Christian Dior (or am I supposed to now call him “Christ-follower” Dior?) to ensure that he’ll make more money, just like Microsoft always has to sell you an upgrade.

    Final thoughts, or at least last words for now: I have been duly warned that the pattern of having our clothes picked out for us continues even after marriage. My wife has confessed that she and her two sisters always dressed her dad, too (apparently her Mom either didn’t do it well or was merely training them for their inevitable role as wives). Thus, my two daughters – whose Barbies are invariably, seductively, anatomically-unrealistically naked – will one day be picking out my clothes, too.

    Come quickly, Lord!

  • Mary

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (whew!) it’s about time i read that one. 😉

    so anyway, that was some very good, insightful self-reflection. i admire your decision. it’s true: striving so hard to be the opposite of something can, in the end, make you be defined by that thing. on the opposite side of your position in this particular case, and married to a man with a similar belief system, i can relate on many levels. very good post. i’m still laughing.

    p.s. dare i say it: what about anti-myspace? it is very possible for intelligent exchange to be made in the myspace realm. you should try it. i heard a buddy of yours was on there… 😉