Columns

2013.05.08 Just who wears the pants here?

on . Posted in By The Way

There’s a visitor in town. It’s my brother Dan from Seattle. I knew I would have no time to write a column when we were about to drive north and visit my sister, so I dug this one up from a short 20 years ago.

And for those of you who are wondering, sister Diane is doing quite well these days.

By DAVID GREEN

It’s Sunday morning. I’ve finished reading the Sunday paper. I’ve reassembled it into a neat stack and placed it on a table next to the over-easy chair. (Don’t lean back too far or you’ll easily go over backwards.)

My wife will come downstairs later, see the paper, and wonder why I never read it. She’s amazed that I can read a multi-section newspaper and return it to its original condition as though it was just dropped off on the sidewalk or somewhere out in the yard.

In years gone by I would have said “just dropped off on the porch” because that’s how George and Carl Nachtrieb always did it when they delivered the Free Press by bicycle back in the 60s.

Now it’s done by car sometime early in the morning. I almost got clobbered on Cawley Road early one morning coming home from the late night at work. I was right in front of Schmidt’s house when the delivery car was coming by. Either the guy never saw me or I looked like an easy target.

There just isn’t enough room in the front seat of a moving car to wind up and send a Free Press onto a porch. Some editions make it onto the lower step, but all too often it’s out on the main sidewalk or off to the side in the yard. It’s another casualty of modern America, but at least they’ll never send a paper onto a porch roof like I used to do occasionally when delivering by bicycle.

My wife considers my paper refolding a man vs. woman thing. She thinks men would tend to put the paper back in an orderly collection, but I have my doubts about that. It’s probably just me. I spent so many years reading other people’s newspapers that I’m still treating my own as though it’s somebody else’s property. My wife ordered it, so it really belongs to her, and I’m sure she enjoys the feeling of being the first one to open it up in the morning.

All this talk about property and man vs. woman brings to mind a recent incident at our house. I was complaining about a pair of jeans that my Wauseon clothier sold me. They were a little small but I was told they would stretch out. They never did and I’m ready to find a new, slightly smaller owner for them.

Colleen said perhaps they would fit her and I scoffed at the suggestion. It was only a couple of weeks ago she wrote a column about her weight gain. I’m still the same bruising 145-pound fullback from high school, give or take 10 pounds. There’s no way that woman—better yet, that mother of three children—can wear these tight jeans.

She knew she could and she took the challenge a step further, suggesting we trade pants. I accepted the challenge and there in the dining room in broad daylight we made the switch.

Colleen had mine on and zipped and was concerned only about how low-slung they were on her hips. At the top they resembled a pair of 1970s hip-huggers.

I was plenty surprised that she had them on—and that they fit her better than me—but I was also concerned with my own plight; trying to get my foot through the end of her pant leg. How do cross-dressers do it?

I got my feet through with some effort, pulled them up and they suddenly came to a halt long before they should have. Talk about low-slung. I’d be arrested.

I’m not sure what the important lesson was from this incident, and I won’t even try coming up with a humorous conclusion. My only hope is that all over our circulation area, men and women will trade pants for a minute today, and they will gain knowledge heretofore unknown.

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