Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shopping for Ladypants

I think this is a place we have all been; in need of pants. Well, most of us. Not me. I don't believe in the things. Pants are just another way the government and the liberal media control us, and I have no truck with that.

The girlfriend, though. She still wears them, sadly. But that's okay. To each their own and all that rubbish.

It was a Thursday evening that found me in a little girly store no bigger than a hallway at Rivertown Crossings mall. I surveyed the place with a gimlet eye.

"What're you doing?" the Girlfriend asked. "Put that away."

"No," I said, but complied anyway. "This place has a lot of sparkly shirts in it."

She started poking through racks of jeans. "I promise this won't take long."

"That's okay," I said, edging back towards the entrance. "I'll just go wander off this way then."

She turned and regarded me with her little pouty face. "But I wanted you here for your opinion."

Oh! The pouty face! The Nice Guy's kryptonite! All the male neurotransmitters in my head fired at once, and I became duty-bound to help the damsel in distress.

"Girl jeans are usually tight, too," the neurotransmitters pointed out. Good point, guys. That's why I keep you around.

"Of course," I boomed, putting my hand over my heart and lifting the visor of my helmet so that she might gaze into my eyes. "I'll wait while you try them on."

She thanked me and scooted happily into the changing room.

This, of course, is when my troubles began. An agoraphobe by nature, I immediately became hyperconscious of the fact that I was the only male in the store. In the entire mall. In the entire county, as far as my brain was concerned.

If I hang out too close to the changing room, the locals will get spooked, and I'll look like a pervert, my brain reasoned. But if I take my post at the other end of the store, I'll look like I'm actually shopping in here and I'll look like a pervert.

"Sigh! Women sure do like to shop and take us menfolk along with them, therefore giving them a totally valid reason for being in stores like this!" I said very loudly and non-threateningly. I dug my cell phone out of my pocket so I had something to look at.

What the hell are you doing?! my brain yelled. Everybody knows cell phones have cameras in them now! They'll think you're one of those sweaty men they talk on the news about! my brain roared, giving me the mental equivalent of a smack upside the head.

"Oh hell!" I squeaked, dropping the phone like it was made of red-hot, acidic cat barf.

"Honey? What do you think?"

I whirled to see the Girlfriend modeling a new pair of jeans in the changing-room foyer. "I think they're swell!" I gasped. "A little long, though, heh."

"Yeah, I like these. Okay! Two more pairs." She ducked back into her changing stall. I turned exactly 180 degrees and stared precisely into the middle distance.

Shuffle through them clothes, my brain suggested. It'll look like you're helping her pick out jeans.

I surveyed the room; 6 or so women, customers and sales staff, were moving around and paying me absolutely no attention at all.

I reached out and touched some clothing as casually as possible. It didn't feel like denim. I applied the other hand for more detailed haptic feedback. Definitely not denim. It was smooth and almost plasticky. I looked down.

"Oh hell!" I squeaked, dropping a bathing suit top.

Nice one. I bet those women who weren't looking at you a second ago all saw you get to second base with that boob sling. What was taking her so--

"How about these?"

"Eeep!" I pin-balled around some clothing displays like a startled squirrel.

"Yeah," the Girlfriend sighed. "They carried the distressed look a little too far with these. I could just fall down in a cheaper pair and get the same effect. One more!"

"No, wait!"

It was too late. She may as well have been orbiting Alpha Centauri as far as making contact with her was concerned. Hurling a conversation at a group of ladies' changing rooms is a good way to get yourself pepper-sprayed.

Just stand still and don't touch anything, my brain ordered.

"But I'll look like a moron if I just stand stock-still and stare at the floor! What kind of Very Special Person does that?" I retorted.

The Very Special Person who talks to himself, that's what kind. You wanna get us killed? Shut up. If you want to make yourself useful, see if you can find your phone.

It was under a rack of skirts, horribly, so I decided to cut my losses and abandon it there. I could always get another one.

By now, I was feeling pretty haggard. I had grown some stubble and lost a shoe. I tried to check my cell phone to see what time it was, but of course I couldn't, so I just ended up patting my pockets a whole bunch. That couldn't have helped my image any.

"Alright, hon! I narrowed it down to the first pair. You liked those---are you okay?"

"Fine!" I blurted. "Super!"

"You look like you've been lost at sea for two days. Your shirt's all ripped up!"

"Nothing I can't handle, darling," I said, my suavity returning along with my girlfriend; my lovely tour guide through the Land of Lace. "I'm with her!" I announced, pointing. Then, in a whisper, I asked if she wouldn't mind leaving her purse with me next time. To serve as a sort of backstage pass.

"Promise not to eat all my mints?"

"I promise to try," I said, sealing the deal with a handshake.


  1. foodaddy's foodaddyAugust 23, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    Cool! Are those the actual boughted pants?

  2. Good post. My favorite line: "By now, I was feeling pretty haggard. I had grown some stubble and lost a shoe."

    I've been in exactly this same situation. Next time, go with her when she decides to buy new...uh, you know...those things they wear up top. Try waiting outside THOSE fitting rooms. That's even more awkward.

  3. I would not be that mean to him. I have put him through enough.

    The Post is great.

    We will get you a new shirt and cell phone.

  4. Ah, you say that now. But just wait...

  5. Whut? *you* warshed your cellphone *too*?

  6. Actually, I believe bra-shopping would actually go so far across the globe of awkwardness, it would come 'round to the starting point again. If anybody (chances are slim) happened to confront me, I could just shrug and say,

    "Boobs! Can't just let 'em hang there!" and exchange with the stranger a knowing nod, and then go back to staring into the middle distance.

  7. FD's FD:

    Nawp. Didn't warsh this cellfone. I did have to rinse my old one off in the sink after my rollover accident, and it worked fine 'til I replaced it with that one you found in the lost'n'found.

  8. foodaddy's foodaddyAugust 25, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Study up. If you know your boobs mechanics and dynamics and can ramble intelligently about the subject, why, you can run around the store touching just about anything you want.

  9. Oh, this was fabulous. I avoid pants myself so don't submit the hubby to this, but pantsless men shopping for women's clothing definitely tickled my funny bone. Thanks!

    Confessions of a Watery Tart

  10. You realize I shall now be even more neurotic when waiting for my husband and sons to try new clothes.

  11. Brilliant.
    Pantless is the way to go.


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