Thursday, August 6, 2009

Excess Baggage

I used to wear baggy jeans. I’m not proud of it, but it’s who I was. I have skinny chicken legs compared to my oversized torso. And since the alternative was working out to get in shape, I preferred the baggy jeans. I thought if I did that I could at least look proportional. And I know the exact day that I decided to stop wearing them. It just happened to be the day I bought my wife’s engagement ring when we were in college. So August 31, 2004 will forever be stamped with “Life Changing Moment” and “Jeans Style-Changing Moment”. I was actually forced to buy a new pair of jeans that day. Because I headed out of class one day through a door I’d never used before and tripped on my pants on the way out.

Now there are some times when you fall down, that you can sort of play it off. You can trip a little and then turn it into a light jog. Everyone knows what just happened, but you don’t have to endure the laughter of strangers. Then there are other times when you eat it so bad that you just have to laugh along with everyone else. If you slip in the mud and fall flat on your butt, you can throw your hands up and say something funny like, “Don’t worry, folks. That’s what I was trying to do.” But the falls you can’t recover from or laugh about are the ones when your attempt to play it off only makes it worse. And that’s the kind of fall I had on that life-changing day.

As I said, I was leaving class through a door I hadn’t used before. I’d seen other people using it and realized that it was an exit that went straight into the parking lot, instead of around the front of the building. I figured it would save me a good 2 minutes and I could beat the rush of students leaving in their cars. What I didn’t figure was the fact that there were two steps down from the doorway into the parking lot. So I threw the door open, became temporarily blinded by the unexpected sunlight, and stepped straight out into nothingness. My leg went two feet lower than I expected it to, so I lost my balance. And I could have recovered had I been wearing a pair of jeans that was even close to the right size. But wearing carpenter’s jeans three sizes too big meant recovery was not in the books that day. I tried to shift my weight really quickly to my back leg and swing it around to catch my fall. So instead of finding my footing, I tripped on my pant leg, ripped a hole in my jeans on my thigh, and went flying headfirst into the parking lot. And then in my panicked state (with what felt like a thousand people watching) I tried to stand up too quickly and tripped again, landing on my hands this time. And the icing on the humiliation cake was the fact that the tiniest girl in the class tried to help me up. So there I was, facedown on the pavement, getting helped up by someone who was literally half my size. That’ll make you feel really cool.

So now I wear those new "skinny jeans" or men’s Capri pants (manpris?) all the time. I look like an oversized pear on stilts, but I never trip on my pant legs anymore.


ErinB said...

Oh wow! This was hilarious!!! I snorted at my cube in the office from trying to stifle my laugh. :)

AFWingMom said...

I just have to say....that's awesome. :)


Matt said...

too funny. where did you find a picture of a pear on stilts?

Taylor said..., of course. Just kidding. I just used Paint to add stilts to a pear picture from online.

Stacey said...

I just found your site and am really enjoying it.

I read this as I was eating lunch at my desk. I laughed out loud so hard my co-workers are wondering what is wrong with me.