The pants in the family


When I was still in college, I worked on a little local paper in Michigan.  It was the sort of publication that has evaporated from the American scene – a weekly, countywide, cheerful and plain, serving a mostly rural audience and a few suburban outliers here and there. The nearby college and capitol city were so alien to this world that in all the time I worked there, I believe they were never mentioned even once. I remember covering things like VFW meetings and church rummage sales.  I wrote features about macrame and Victoriana and took a lot of terrible photos and once I got to interview one of the county commissioners.

The first or second day, I came to work wearing a nice pair of pants and a nice shirt.  I remember that I ironed the shirt. Part way into the morning, one of the women there quietly pulled me aside and whispered, “We’re not allowed to wear pants here.” I said, “I don’t have anything else,” and I didn’t – I was a poor college student, and my professional wardrobe was almost nonexistent.

The next day, Tuesday,  I wore my other pair of pants – buying those two pairs of pants had really set back my budget. I could see all the women who worked there eyeing me silently – not with disapproval, but like they were waiting for something.  But no one said anything – not the boss (who was the only man working there), not his daughter, not any of the ladies behind the counter or at the other desks.

On Wednesday, I wore the first pair of pants again.

On Thursday, everyone came to work wearing pants, including the owner’s daughter, and that was that.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The pants in the family

  1. Shauna says:

    It’s like the opposite of the story of, for the want of a shoe the war was lost. 🐴

    And in a good way! 👠 Ha!!!

Leave a Reply to Shauna Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s