Ok… Maybe not THIS baggy. 🙂

I really like to wear baggy clothes.

Yes.  I hid in them as a fat woman. Positive extra material would totally camouflage my obesity and no one could actually see just how big I was…

Yes.  As I was losing weight it was a cool reminder through the day that the clothes were big and getting bigger. Positive re-enforcement of a sort.

Yes.  I still have a bit of a distortion about what my body really looks like. I was a size 26/28 or 4X.  I’m now about a size 8 or 10 or Large.  Left on my own, I will happily buy size 12 and XL. 🙂

But all of the above means I frequently buy things too big.

As I was losing weight, I would wait for things to be 2 sizes too big, and make it work as long as I could…  Maybe 3 sizes if they had a drawstring or belt loops…  I don’t have an unlimited clothing budget.  And I like wearing baggy clothes.  I was in no hurry.

At work one time I had to bunch up the waistband of my pants and use an office binder clip to hold them up for the day. Even I could tell they were too big for me. (In my defense; I had NOT tried them on before throwing them in my gym bag, for the day, they were ALL I had…  Tacky. I know. But you do what you have to do. 🙂 )

Then one day, recently, I discovered a strong preference for pants with drawstrings.

And a stark reminder that maybe finding clothes that actually fit might be a good idea…

Let me explain.

My friend Hannah kept telling me ‘Bets, your pants are too loose. They look like they’re going to fall off…’

(Cue music….)

I would insist they fit JUST FINE thankyouverymuch and continued to wear them for weeks.

Man.  I was about to find out how right Hannah was.  And how wrong I was.

I was talking to one of our male senior administrators one day at work, in the halls of our building.

And suddenly felt a draft…

A draft where there really should not have been air during the work hours.  Or maybe there shouldn’t be a draft there at any point… Anyway….


Holy smokes.

With NO WARNING whatsoever those suckers fell straight to my ankles.


MERCIFULLY a few things happened at the same time….

This senior level administrator, while having a great sense of humor, also has fairly poor eyesight and happened to be looking down at a printed email I had just handed him…

I was wearing a long shirt. (And underwear!)

And in a normally busy classroom building on a college campus — there was oddly, NO ONE else in the halls.

I suddenly developed catlike reflexes and retrieved my pants from around my ankles and then proceeded to pretend like NOTHING unusual had just happened.

He never said anything. He never indicated he saw anything beyond the email in his hands.

I kept the conversation going and then walked away.  Cheeks burning with embarrassment.  Hand clutching my waistband of the stupid pants. I actually thought I had maybe, JUST maybe gotten away with it and he hadn’t seen what had happened.


A few days later were were in a large meeting and we were talking about managing the well-intentioned impatience of one of our stakeholders.  The senior administrator looked right at me, in the room full of people, and said ‘maybe we should just tell him to keep his pants on.’  And then gave a little chuckle.  He never missed a beat.  Just kept right on talking.

I turned about 10 shades of crimson.  And got a horrible case of the giggles.

I knew then that this was going to be the running joke for the rest of our professional working lives together.  He is witty and funny and sharp and KIND.  When I think it’s forgotten he’ll make a subtle and funny joke about pants. I know that he is reminding me that he understands that LIFE happens and you have to be able to laugh at yourself; and it’s a BONUS if your friends can laugh with you…

I have since then — with Hannah’s advice and guidance (and patience!) — bought some new pants.

They fit.

Almost every pair I now own has a drawstring. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Drawstrings.

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