I never thought twice about wearing sweatpants in public until yesterday. (Nice way to start a blog post, huh?)
A few months back, two of my elder co-workers harshly criticized my preference for wearing sweatpants in public, a reprehensible act apparently invented by my generation. I don’t remember how we got on the topic, but they were repulsed by the concept of a fella walking through the grocery store in some beat up sweatpants, as if they were some how too revealing or carriers of stench and rot uncommon with other types of pant.
What’s not to like about sweatpants? They have elastic waistbands, drawstrings, pockets, warm sweatshirt lining and wide ankle cuts that fall over most footwear. A few days after Thanksgiving, hell yes I wore sweatpants in public. I wore them to REI. I wore them while trying on winter coats. But it was then — surrounded by a store full of wily flax-munching, meat-hating, tree-loving outdoorspeople — I thought, “What if I run in to someone I know? How can I explain why I’m wearing sweatpants?”
Like that, the allure of sweatpants was gone.
There are some things sweatpants don’t say, like, “I recently showered,” or, “I’m still employed,” or, “You should trust me to coach your fourth-graders basketball team.” The moment zippers and buttons are removed from your pants situation, you’re basically inviting your loved ones to ask, “Is everything OK?”
So, it’s with great sadness I’m saying goodbye to another small, enjoyable college habit you simply can’t continue as a responsible adult. Wearing sweatpants in public now goes the way of ordering pizza at 2:30 a.m., seven-hour video game marathons and napping.
No one said growing up was easy. Or comfortable.