The Parable of the Pants

For sure I was going to do it one day when I got around to it. Of course, it was my fault for bringing it up in the first place. Surely, my husband now had time for all of those projects that he hadn’t gotten done. With the pandemic and all, and being stuck in the house, he had plenty of time. I kindly pointed out what a great wife I had been, always doing what he needed. Even difficult or annoying tasks I eventually finished for him, like didn’t I hem those really annoying pants?

Now, ladies and gentlemen, let me pause for a moment to tell you this was not your typical hemming project. Sewing is not hard for me, and hemming is normally an easy job, although not a favorite. My husband, bless his heart, tries to buy clothes that come fitting correctly, but it is a challenge because he is built all wrong. He has a big, long body, but not much for legs. Clothes buying is always a problem; there is never enough fabric on the top, and way too much on the bottom. Not to be deterred by his clothing-challenged body, my husband is always looking for what the cool kids are wearing. When he found these fantastic cargo pants with all kinds of cool pockets he, of course, had to have them.

When the pants arrived, they were about 6 inches too long. Normally, to hem pants, you can just wack off a few inches of fabric and turn up the bottom, but that wouldn’t work with these gems. You see, all of the cool pockets and accessories on these pants came to the wrong places on the legs so instead of hemming the bottom I had to move up the middle of the leg. It was quite the job figuring out exactly how long they had to be, finding the right spot with no pockets in the way, and easing in the width to fit correctly.

Now back to the story, as I was sweetly pointed out to my husband all that I had done for him he got that look. You know, that look of recognition when you realize your story is not adding up, but you aren’t quite sure why yet. “Oh, yeah,” he replied, “didn’t I have one more pair of those pants that never got altered?” Okay, wait, this was supposed to be about jobs I needed done, not something else I had to do. But, being the loving, dutiful wife I agreed to check out the possibility, and sure enough. The second pair sat on my sewing machine just waiting for when I had the time for another lengthy project. Ouch.

Reluctantly I decided there was no time like the present. Heck we were all locked inside so I might as well delve into this time-consuming project. Besides, if I did what he needed maybe he would feel more of a need to complete the tasks I wanted done.

“Go try them on,” I commanded, with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.

Five minutes later my husband came back wearing perfectly fitting pants. How was this even possible? Had I altered them without remembering? Was he able to order the correct size without realizing it?

My husband and I both examined the pants. The tag was still on them and they had never been worn. We searched the legs for any evidence that they could have been altered, but found nothing. We looked at the tag and verified that the legs should have been several inches taller than my husband’s short inseam. And yet, they fit perfectly. No need for altering, and they were ready to be worn.

Why we humans put off the hard, the labor intensive, the difficult or unsavory tasks is unclear. Maybe we think that the passage of time will make it easier or more interesting. Maybe we think if we wait long enough it will just go away. In my experience those things are seldom true, and sometimes waiting even makes things worse, or harder or more unsavory. I have also found that sometimes when we stare that big, bad task in the face it is not nearly as big, as scary or as difficult as we made it out to be in our mind. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting up, walking over to that sewing machine, taking a look at what really needs to be done, staring it in the face and realizing the job really is doable. And maybe, just maybe there is just no job at all and it is just waiting for you to call it good..