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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

A Hard Day’s Pants

Getting older is hard. Even putting on clothes is becoming a pain in the ass.

When I was younger, getting dressed in the morning took no thought at all. Slap on a tee shirt, maybe a pair of shorts, maybe jeans, grab a pair of shoes and go. That was it.

Now, things are more complicated. Picking an outfit these days is like planning an Olympic dive. There are degrees of difficulty to consider. Panels of judges to impress. And of course, trying to minimize the splash when your ass touches the ground. Always important.

It’s the measure of difficulty I think about the most. Life is strenuous enough already; the last thing I want is to be unduly challenged by my wardrobe. Which is why I wind up spending twenty minutes some mornings staring into my closet, mulling over the options.

“I am to the world of high fashion what one of the Kardashians is to the field of particle physics.”

Now, I’m no clothes hound. I am to the world of high fashion what one of the Kardashians is to the field of particle physics.

(I don’t care which one. You pick — I can’t even tell them apart. One poofy-haired puffy-lipped yap hound is as good as the next.)

But what stops me in my tracks is managing the hassle factor the clothes are going to pose that day. Each garment comes with a certain degree of difficulty. If I’m not careful, I’ll pick out an outfit that’s too hard, and I’ll spend all day fighting with my clothes.

(And that’s not good, because they always win. Naturally. They have me surrounded.)

It all starts with the pants. On a workday, I always check the current state of blue jeans in the closet before starting to dress. It’s not that I’m choosy, especially. I pick out pants the way people ought to pick out dates: take whatever looks clean, is on top and knows how to stay zipped until you get to the bathroom.

(Oh, KIDDING. Sor-ry. Gosh!)

That said, some pants are harder than others. So every morning, I spin the wheel of laundered Levis and see what I get. Is it the comfy pair with lots of room? Or the smaller pair that feels like I’m sheathing my thighs in sausage casings? Is it the pair with holes that demands “strategic” sitting techniques in public places? Or the ones that feel two inches too short, though the tag steadfastly disagrees?

Each of these pairs of pants has a degree of difficulty — some degree of distracting hassle that makes it harder to focus on anything but discomfort and chafing and wondering whether that’s one of my testicles I’m feeling near my back pocket.

So I get what I get. Whatever’s on top. And then I have to work around it. That requires a certain amount of strategy.

Let’s say the jeans are particularly difficult — a safer and safer bet, every day I fail to make it back to the gym. Well, that has implications for the entire rest of the wardrobe. If I’m already going to be cursing my pants all day, I can’t very well have other bits of clothing ganging up on me, too.

So those rugbies with the sleeves too short, or where the collar won’t stay down? Out of play on a “tough pants” day. Ditto the socks with the aggressive elastic, or that godforsaken pair that won’t stay up and bunch up under my heels. God, do I hate that pair of socks. I’m pretty sure it’s socks like those that drove Hitler off the deep end.

Also, those boxers with the “tight-stitched hem”? Oh, hell no.

I suppose what I’m saying is: With difficult pants come difficult wardrobe choices. Spiderman said that, I think. And as a guy who wears tights and shoots silk out his ass, he oughta know. I’m just saying.

Anyway, that’s my morning, more often than not. Faced with a 8.2-rated pair of pants, I search frantically for easy clothes. Relaxed clothes. Comfy clothes. Anything to offset the degree of dungaree difficulty and balance the wardrobe again.

The bad news is, none of the pants is getting any easier. And I’m running out of comfortable accessories, fast. If I ever show up at your house wearing flip-flops and a muumuu, you’ll know that somewhere in between, I’m also sporting a particularly challenging pair of pants.

Either that, or I’ve finally gone completely bug-eyed batshit crazy. In which case?

Blame the socks. Those awful, awful socks.

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