Day 158: I’ll Never Understand Black Pants
In 8th grade, our school band took a trip to Chicago. It was a very revelatory experience that had nothing to do with music. It was when I fell in love with deep dish pizza and the dirty ass city. I had never actually been in a “city” before, with the exception to when my dad would clutch my hand tightly and double step from the truck to Tiger Stadium [in hindsight, I don’t even recall looking up during these walks, as I was so focused on not tripping [although there was this one time that a pimp-looking dude walked towards us, pointed at my Dad and said “Ayyy, Breadman!”. I asked my Dad if he knew him. He denied it. I still kept a fantasy in my mind that he sold black market bread to pimps.]].
I learned a lot of things on that trip. I learned that I wanted to live in the city when I grew up. Also, anybody will tell a kid that they’re homeless if the kid has pizza. I discovered what happens when you try to dial out of a hotel phone by pressing 9, 1 and then 1 again. But most importantly, I learned that black pants suck.
We were told ahead of time to dress up for the last night. I was determined to wear my go-to khakis, but my Mom insisted that I wear black pants. I don’t know what she was so adamant about this. Especially when the plaid shirt that I had packed already was green and brown.
“It doesn’t match with my shirt!”
“Black matches with everything, Troy”
So black pants it was. As it turns out, we were booked to take over the bottom deck of a boat, effectively crashing some high school’s prom. Everyone was dressed to the nines and there I was, puke green, poop brown and black. I prayed that nobody would notice how terribly I clashed. Those prayers were answered for a whole 2 minutes.
Before we even got on the boat, my arch-nemesis, Nick, pointed out my terrible attire. “Nice pants, Trrroooooyyyyyy!”. Everyone within earshot laughed, even the girl I had a crush on [who was conveniently dating fuckin’ Nick because of course she was]. I was doomed. My whole world was collapsing and it was all because of those stupid pants. From that day, I was determined to never wear black pants again. I just couldn’t trust them.
And I was mildly successful with that. Aside from work uniforms that were designed to make me feel like a tool, black pants stayed out of my wardrobe. I developed a style of my own and took pride in always making jeans or khakis look good. If I never wore black pants again, it would be too soon.
But then I married Rachel.
Black pants is her religion. I don’t think I saw her in jeans until we moved in together. And I don’t understand how she does it. No matter what, she pulls it off. Every time I imagine wearing them, I think back to Chicago and recoil in horror. But a couple of years ago, I finally cracked. I bought black jeans and figured out one outfit that didn’t make me look like a clashing doofus. I wore them a few times and then completely forgot it ever happened.
After more unspoken pressure, I bought another pair last week. I was reluctant at first, but Rachel incessantly repeated my Mom’s false argument of “they go with everything”. Once again, they do not go with everything. I am extremely uncomfortable today.
They’re completely covered in cat hair because they existed in my apartment for more than 30 seconds. And they seemingly don’t match with anything I own. Gray shoes should match in theory, but it just doesn’t feel right. And the maroon hoodie only makes it worse. I could feel my clashiness radiating as I walked down the street. I was waiting for Nick to pop out of an alleyway to laugh at me. I probably look normal, but I just feel so…seen.
So why am I wearing black pants? Because it’s a challenge. I’ve already mastered my wardrobe and it bothers me that something so popular and innocuous fills me with dread. I am determined to figure out how these stupid pants work or I will die of embarrassment trying.
I’m doing it for me.
I’m doing it for all of the kids out there that are getting laughed at on a boat.
I’m doing it because fuck Nick.
I’m doing it because I have nothing better to do.