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Trouble with Pants

The beginnings of one’s life are pretty odd. See, they are usually the years that decide your path (your parents discover whether their child is as fast in the brain as an obese man is at running or if they, by chance, have a baby genius on their hands). The young years also are ones of first speech and other fantastic signs of actually being a human. But they are also pretty dumb because once we reach the age of nine we don’t remember anything that happened when we were infants besides making a mess in our diapers.
But yes, anyways, those years of my life are very vivid but certain events that occurred have stayed with me to this day. One that particularly sticks out is the day that my mother let me dress myself in the morning before kindergarten. That morning she just didn’t care for my well-being and made a mistake in saying, “Just go upstairs and pick out some clothes Ben. (My parents either call me Ben or Benjamin. There is no Benny or Bennykins otherwise I would have run off to join the circus by now).
The routine in the mornings before Kindergarten was: Get up, trip over toys on the floor and crack skull, go to the toilet (Those were the days I was experimenting with the “big boy” toilet. I considered myself to be an expert already and practiced aiming from various distances across the bathroom. I sometimes still attempt this nowadays with not so clean results), and lastly my routine ended with me seeing what kind of wonderful outfit my mother had laid out for me to wear that day.
Being given the freedom to choose my own clothing that day was almost too much to handle. I vividly remember dancing naked around the room in celebration of my fantastic opportunity. I kept my articles of clothing in nice little drawers. I also kept various other things in these drawers such as money, baseball cards, and even the occasional piece of chewed vegetable that I had cleverly hidden in a napkin at the dinner table and had carefully placed in the underwear drawer. I would sometimes forget that I did this and would almost have a heart attack when I would find little pieces of carrots in whatever pair of underwear I was sporting that day.
I carefully selected my pants, shirt, and socks for the school day. The pants were one of those pairs of black swishy pants that make it very difficult to sneak up on anybody because they seem to amplify your movements by one hundred decibels. The shirt I believe was of the color bright red. I was going through my color phase. It would be red this day, and then blue the next, probably followed by green, etc. I carefully pulled on each garment and made sure that my shirt was facing the right way (I had to do this because I seemed to always end up putting on shirts backwards, I don’t know why) and that my pants were ok too. After checking myself in the mirror multiple times I went to display to my mother my capabilities as a human being. She was very pleased that I had not come out with shorts on my head, sporting a winter coat and fuzzy boots as I had once before in the middle of summer. I was ready for school.
Let me just take a moment here to bring up another quick story having to do with pants. In 5th grade I was attending a school that was half regular elementary school and half GT (It stood for Gifted and Talented but all the regular kids proclaimed it stood for Goofy Tools or various other hurtful names). Anyways, this school was pretty far away from my home so I had to take a school bus. The bus would pick me up at around 7:15 every morning, which meant I had to wake up at ungodly hours. On one of these days my alarm clock refused to go off and I woke up at 7:05, I consequently began to freak out and rush around the room throwing clothes on and gathering my stuff together.
In my darkened haze I must have not noticed the fact that I had put my pants on backwards that day. The weird thing was, I could have noticed my mistake at the bus stop or on the bus itself and would have avoided any type of humiliation. But nope, I had to be walking to my classroom with a buddy of mine who said, “Dude, are your pants on backwards?” I peered down slowly and realized with horror that he was correct. Most people have the ability to handle situations like that with calmness. They would laugh it off and say, “Oh shucks you’re right buddy, silly me!” and then precede to find a quiet place to correct their mistake and have a good laugh of it over juice boxes and pretzels later at lunch.
But alas, I am not most people and I reacted to the situation quite badly. It shouldn’t have been that big of a deal, those particular pair of pants were pretty plain and actually didn’t look that different in the back from the front but this mistake still scared the hell out of me. I ditched my friend and sprinted down the hallways to the nearest bathroom while covering my pants with my hands. Now that I think about it I probably looked like a child who was about to A. Throw up or B. Urinate or even C. Throw up while urinating (sorry).
When I reached the bathroom I sprinted to the nearest stall and made the change while also trying to avoid falling into the toilet. For some stupid reason I decided to take all of my clothes off and put them on again, making sure I did it right this time. I was finally ready. I opened the door and walked back to the classroom, relieved and very sweaty from all of the running I had done (I was pretty fat back then; that was probably the only exercise I got that day). When I made it to the room I walked in smiling and ready to learn. I went up to the teacher and apologized for my tardiness and told her I had to deal with a little situation earlier but I’m all set for receiving my education for the day. She looked at me, leaned in close, and whispered, “Ben, why aren’t you wearing any shoes?”
Anyways, back to the Kindergarten days. I made it to school without a hitch, for this was a very important day. I explained to my stuffed animal bear before I left about how I was a man now because of the whole dressing myself act and might not need him to hang around anymore if I was going to start growing chest hair and kissing chicks (For that was every young boy’s view on adulthood for a male). I strode into my classroom, handing my jacket to the child who happened to be standing near the closet where the kids put their coats in. I think I must have expected him to put it away for me because I was big time now and didn’t need to do such trivial things myself anymore.
I took my seat at my table and gazed upon the faces of my fellow classmates. I was starting to get too old for these kids. At one point in the day I had to use the facilities (In those days we had one bathroom in the back of the classroom. One of my pastimes with my friends was to sit outside the door and bang on it to scare fellow students while they were doing their business. One time we even heard a young boy singing to himself while he peed. Weird). I went to go do business of my own and realized with great surprise and horror that I had forgotten one key part of clothing that morning. The reason why my pants felt extra swishy that day was because I had forgotten to wear good old underwear. My life clearly sucked even back then.





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the_Horsegirl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm
You are really, really talented. Keep writing, PLEASE!!!!
 
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