Pants are tricky things.
You can't even purchase identically marked pairs from the same manufacturer with any assurance each will fit you as well as the other. Hanging in my closet at this very moment are two pairs of Levi's, both marked thirty-six (shut up) by thirty-two and aquired on the very same day at the very same store, yet one pair fits perfectly and the other pair causes any of a variety of medical conditions, including diminished circulation, acid reflux, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and depression.
My prime time for wearing skin tight jeans was a brief window that lasted from 9:57am to 3:42pm on March 12, 1986. When that window closed, and increasingly so as the years have progressed, it became morally irresponsible of me to don tight-fitting pants. The more my natural form is left to the imagination, the better a place the world becomes. Therefore, the slimmer of the supposedly identical pants remains hidden away in the closet to be saved for those days on which I can button them without experiencing light-headedness.
The Italian does not subscribe to this theory when it comes to his own form. After all, being in the fifth grade, he has the luxury of existing primarily in a world of oblivious 11-year-olds. The girls have not yet transformed into the style-conscious butterflies middle school will make of them, and the boys are more focused on ultra cool things like dirt and origami ninja stars than they are on what clothes their friends are wearing. This creates an awareness vacuum in which children are able to wear their favorite clothes, regardless of how bizarre or poorly fitting they are, with little fear of mockery.
Which is why the Italian frequently must be rescued, against his will, from certain articles of clothing in his wardrobe. Being a typical American child, his closet is stocked with far too many choices for him to wear, even if he decided to wear a different outfit each day of the year. Despite the expansive selection available to him, he regularly chooses the same shirts over and over again. One shirt, in particular, has survived several recent purges led by My Lovely Wife. It is a gray t-shirt with a screenprint image of a drum set. If he could, he would glue the shirt to his body.
One recent wardrobe casualty was a pair of jeans that had hung around a few months longer than necessary. To label them "flood pants" would be an insult to flood pants, but showing off his ankles was not their biggest failing.
The Italian, you must understand, is a bone-skinny kid. He's so skinny, zombies wouldn't waste time trying to eat him if they ran him down during the apocalypse. If anything, they'd probably offer him a spare limb to eat. Because he is so darned skinny, not only do we need to buy slim-cut pants for his emaciated frame, the pants also need to have elastic built into the waistline so he can draw them to fit his five-and-a-half-inch circumference.
But skinny pants are not outgrown gradually. One day they fit perfectly, the next day the Italian looks like he's been shrink-wrapped in too little denim.
He vocally protested the expulsion of the skinny pants and made several futile efforts to model them for us in the hope we would change our minds and agree they did not make him look like a disco-era reject or a Christmas ornament with blue pipe cleaners for legs. His argument fell on deaf ears and the pants were added to the donation pile in the basement.
On a positive note, it does seem like his appetite has improved now that he's wearing pants that allow food to settle into his digestive system.
© 2012 Mark Feggeler