Thursday, November 24, 2011

My sons dress like gangstas, and it's my bad

My sons are wearing gangsta jeans. And it's my fault. Not because I didn't hold them enough when they were babies or screwed-up their potty training or anything. It was a shopping error, a miscalculation that led to a wardrobe malfunction to the Nth degree.
But this year, I played it smart, or so I thought. A couple of weeks before school started, I brought them to the store with me to get jeans. This was opposed to the usual trial and error system of buying a pair or two, taking them home and seeing if they fit, then going back to the store and either repeating the process or buying ten more pairs. I did this because, as we all know and as my friend and guest blogger, Rick Kaempfer, so eloquently states, "Taking a boy to a clothing store is the equivalent of poking him in the eye with a sharp stick."

At the store, they tried on every single pair of jeans. And they fit. Levi's 505, 32W 34L. In fact, on one son more so than on the other (no names here, please), the 32W was a bit snug and I contemplated going a size up, but finally decided against it, going home with 14 pairs of 32W 34L Levis jeans. Cha-ching.

What was the one egregious oversight in my planning, when I for once, finally, had planned ahead?


Practice started three weeks before school, about the time we bought the jeans. They ran, and still run, every day. For miles. Following a comparatively sedentary summer, after six weeks of Cross-Country my sons' jeans were hanging off their hips. Their boxers were showing.

"Oh my God," I thought. "They're gangstas."

And while I know the only weapon I might find in one of their baggy pants pockets would be a number two pencil or stale granola bar wrapper, I still worry at the message these jeans send, because my sons walk the city streets and take public transportation; I don't want any real gangstas messing with them.

Kyle begged me to go back to the store, to get new pants. From the other room my husband heard the "Cha-ching" of this solution and came into the kitchen with his own. "We call them belts."

"You really do want us to get beat up."

Usually my sons grow out of jeans by growing taller. In the past few years, I've been to the store for longer jeans so frequently they know me at Kohl's now.

"Back for the 30-Longs Mrs. Strickland?"

"Back for the 32-Longs Mrs. Strickland?"

Repeat every three months.

Going back to the store for smaller jeans? They might take away my Kohl's super-savings coupons!
I'm hoping this gangsta jeans issue will go away in the way it should; my sons will grow into their new jeans. In the meantime, I've come up with my own solution, to help the situation along. "Just eat more," I said.

I know, Honey.  Cha-ching.

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