April 25, 2024

Maybe I Was Wrong!

The average male is five feet eight inches tall. I reached that height more than forty years ago and haven’t grown an inch since, so I think I have to resign myself to the fact that I never will get any taller. But I pretty much thought that I would never get any shorter either. Maybe I was wrong.

The first ten of those forty-odd years, my waist size fluctuated between 28 and 30 inches. I could measure my own waist, but not my inseam and have never been real comfortable having someone else do it either. Therefore, by trial and error, I settled on 32 inches. For the next 25 years I wore pants that were 32-inch waist and 32-inch inseam. This was really easy to remember: 32×32. Unfortunately, being average, about fifty million other guys wore the same size, so I always had trouble finding pants. The clothing stores never seemed to catch on to this fact and stock a few extras in that size. If you’re average, you just about have to be in the store when they crack open a new shipment or else your size is gone faster than a chicken drumstick at a church picnic.

A few years ago, my waist size crept up to 33, but that didn’t help any, because they make fewer pants in 33×32 to begin with, and there’s a whole bunch of guys that are supposed to be wearing 32×32, but can’t find any, so they’re wearing my 33×32’s. I just couldn’t win.

So then I started buying 34×32, especially in denims, because they tend to shrink anyway. Everything went pretty smoothly for about five years, but something strange happened the other day.

My wife came home from shopping and said, “I happened across some pants in your size, so I grabbed a couple of pairs. Here, try them on.”

I took the pants, checked the size, 34×32, and tried them on. The pant legs dragged on the floor. I figured they were mismarked, so I tried on the other pair, but they were the same. I realize that it is currently quite popular to sweep the floor, sidewalks and streets with the bottoms of your pants legs, but I always assumed that those folks who wanted to do that simply bought longer pants or that gravity was disproportionately strong where they were located. It never occurred to me that the pants manufacturers would actually make the pants longer. And although my actual inseam measurement may vary depending on several factors, I doubt a two-inch variance would have gone unnoticed for forty years. Besides, the old pants still fit me.

If these new pants had been denims, I would have just rolled them up, but they were dress pants and I don’t think that I would make a favorable impression at work with my pants bunched up at the top of my shoes.

We returned the new pants and bought some 34×30. They fit perfectly. I can only assume that my legs are two inches shorter when wearing the new pants as compared to the old pants, the crotch hangs two inches lower, or that for all these years, the pants that I have been buying as a 32-inch length have actually been only 30 inches. If this is true, and I have been paying for 32-inch pants all this time and only getting 30-inch pants, somebody owes me about 15 or 20 feet of pants. Let’s just settle on 15 feet, so that means 90 pairs of pants. I’ll take 30 pairs each in black, brown and cadet blue. A button on the left rear pocket and no cuffs.

But, if someone did give me 90 pairs of pants, probably the first thing that I would do is gain ten pounds and then I would have to swallow my wallet in order to put it in my hip pocket. Or I’d lose ten pounds and the waist would have more puckers than a pleated skirt.

And I’d still be five feet eight inches tall.

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