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Nov 27th
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Who wears the pants in your family?

jeans_optBY PAM LOBLEY

It's late October, and my children have finally stopped wearing shorts to school.  It's chilly enough that their legs are cold in the mornings, and they want long pants.

My kids are unusual, because most boys I see keep wearing their shorts well into December, unless there's early snow.

There is a benefit to this, because shorts miraculously fit no matter how long the kid has had them.  Pants, however, are outgrown in six months.

I took all the hand-me-downs and last year's pants down from the attic. I wasn't quite sure what size the boys have grown to be, and after two weeks of trying on pants and one shopping trip to Sears, I still have no idea.

My younger son can still fit into one pair of his size 10 jeans, but another size 12 was too small. He has a nice pair of sweat pants, size 8, that fit great. Most of his other pants are a 12, except for the occasional pair of tens. Getting him dressed in the morning is Russian roulette. I keep a bag in his room in which to toss the ones that don't fit.  It's almost full.

My older son should be about a size 18, but some 16s are still long enough. Other size 16s are way too short, but that doesn't bother him at all, so he flies off cheerfully to eighth grade, ankles flashing in the sunlight.

I took him shopping at Sears and we tried on different styles of jeans in sizes 16, 18, and 20. We ended up with one in each size, all of which fit him nicely.

There is an eight-inch height difference between my boys, yet they wear the same size Boy Scout pants and the length seems fine on both of them. I can't explain the physics that allows this to occur.

Don't even get me started on MY size. Not only do I not know what size I am, I don't WANT to know. I just want some jeans that slide over my rear-end, fasten snugly at the waist without gapping, and are the appropriate length for whatever the style is this season.

Last year I went to Macys with a coupon, prepared to spend whatever it took to get a comfortable pair of jeans that looked good. After trying on more than 20 pairs, I ended up with something pretty good, but I still had to have them altered in the waist so they didn't gap in the back.

A month ago, I got a bag of hand-me-down jeans from a neighborhood boy, size 16.  They were intended for my son, but when I took them out of the bag, they looked like they might fit me. It seemed unlikely, because they were boys Levis, but what the heck, I tried them on anyway.

They fit me better than any jeans I ever bought myself. They are roomy in the rear-end, they fasten perfectly at the waist, and they don't show my underwear when I squat down to tie a shoe.  I am wearing them as I type this, and I will never give them up.

This morning, my younger son started to put on the size 12 jeans he wore yesterday, but they were dirty, so I gave him a different pair of size 12 jeans. They proved too small.

I looked outside.  "It's going to be pretty sunny today," I said.  "Want to just wear shorts?"

Pam Lobley writes the "Now That's Funny" column.  Sign up for her mailing list at www.pamlobley.com.


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