I think I spent nearly an hour at a local department store trying on pants. I worked up a sweat, with all that changing and hauling in various sizes of jeans. There are so many different kinds of jeans. Skinny, slim, relaxed, boot cut, slim relaxed, skinny boot cut, non-relaxed. OK maybe I made a few of those up. Or did I?
Sometimes during my free time I think about pants. Why does one pair of jeans in a 34-inch waist feel like it's choking the appendix out of me while another 34 waist falls down even with a belt? I have some 36 waist pants that feel a lot tighter than a 34 I own. Sometimes what I really think I need is a 35 waist, but those don't exist. One of the reasons for the pants discrepancies is I recently learned about vanity sizing, where the actual measurement of jeans is larger than the size printed on the label. And it various by manufacturer.
I found what I thought were a nice-fitting pair of 36-inch pants just before Christmas. But I was able to remove them without undoing the button, zipper or belt. I asked a friend if that was normal.
"Yea, probably not," she said.
Once last summer while enjoying lunch in the patio of a downtown Indianapolis restaurant a gentleman walked by about my size and I found his pants admirable.
"Hey man, where'd you get those pants," I asked. He kept walking.
Maybe I'll just wear cargo sweats. A combination of cargo pants and sweats. Sweatpants with pockets on the side between the waist and knees. I saw a dude wearing them on campus at Valparaiso University the other day. Leisurely walking around without a care in the world. Clearly enjoying his cargo sweats.
A lot of the kids today are wearing something now called jogger pants, or "joggers." You've probably seen them. Every department store has a section devoted to them. They look comfortable. But I don't think you can wear them unless you're under 22.
Maybe in a few years they'll be scorned by youth. "Hey look at that guy," they'll say at a party. "He's wearing jogger pants."
We used to say that about Cavaracci Man. Cavaracci pants were high-waisted with folds and loops. An 80s thing. But a decade later we'd see the same guy at parties strutting around in them. It's just Cavaracci man.
Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh doesn't worry about pants. About a year ago it was news that the million-dollar coach prefers $8 khaki pants from Walmart.
"If I wear them every day then you don't have to spend time thinking about what to wear," he told HBO's "Real Sports."
I'll continue to think about pants.