A series of exploding pants

The first one happened about 2 weeks ago. I was doing morning chores, carrying half a bale of hay in my arms to feed the horses, mini cows, goats and sheep, when I suddenly felt it — a breeze. A breeze in a spot where there shouldn’t be one — on my left butt cheek. Huh? How did the breeze manage to get past the layer of denim that ensconced my buttocks?

I put down the hay and reached to my backside. Where my fingers expected to encounter soft denim, they found instead warm, slightly squishy flesh. Damn, my pants ripped! I quickly finished the morning feed before hurrying back inside the house to inspect the damage.

Do you remember Kylie Jenner’s butt jeans? I now owned a pair, and I didn’t even have to pay an exorbitant amount of money for it! While my rip was not below the butt cheek like on hers, but went down vertically just left of the seam, I figured a ripped butt is a ripped butt. Tomatoes, tomah-toes, right?

I briefly wondered if I should continue wearing them as a fashion statement, but knew in the end that I wasn’t brave enough. Off into the garbage they went.

All the while, I tried very hard not to think of the reason why they ripped in the first place. ‘They were old,’ I assured myself. ‘Old and cheap, and I’ve washed them approximately one gazillion times. That’s the reason, and nothing else.’

I suspected that this may not be the only reason, but in the name of preserving my self esteem, I figured a little white lie wouldn’t hurt anyone. I happily went on living my life, and forgot all about the ripped pants.

Until it happened again.

A week later, another ancient pair of pants ripped. They were Old Navy corduroy pants, at least 10 years old. I had worn and washed them so much that the corduroy part had worn off in many places, making them soft, infinitely comfy — and apparently quite fragile.

Different pants, same rip — a coincidence? Or a pattern? Once again, it was an old pair. It had worn thin in many places. But still — the fabric was just as thin in the front. It could have ripped around the knees, or on the thighs — but no, it was the butt. Again on the left cheek. What was that cheek up to? It needed a sharp eye on it to prevent further mischief, but nature and anatomy prevented me from doing so. I was doomed to keep my back permanently turned on the cheek, hoping for the best.

Alas, reality doesn’t care about our hopes. A few days ago, I was about to visit a friend. Eager to use this as an opportunity to dress up a little, I decided to wear my bright-orange happy pants. I call them my happy pants because it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when wearing them. They are summer in pants-form, representing everything that’s great about summer: They are bright and sunny, and they make you want to break out in a spontaneous dance party while sipping a colourful cocktail. With an umbrella in it.

Anyway, I put them on. They weren’t exactly lose-fitting, but I told myself that it’s because they were in the dryer. ‘They will give in a little while,’ I reassured myself.

Aahh, the old dryer excuse. It’s been a staple in my arsenal of self deceit since the late ‘90s.

Off I went, excited to see my friend, ignoring the tightness of the pants. I was filling up the gas tank in town when Rich called — he asked if I could turn around and come back, to pick up the billy goat we had borrowed from friends. I was coming by their house and could drop him off. Usually, a request like this would annoy me, or at least cause me to roll my eyes. But not that day! Thus is the power of the happy pants. I readily agreed, turned back and went home again.

Thank god for that.

Because, guess what? Yet another pair of pants had ripped, again in the same spot: Vertically down the left butt cheek. My happy pants had betrayed me.

This time, I was fresh out of excuses: While the pants were several years old, they hadn’t been worn or washed very often. There are only so many occasions that call for bright orange pants.

I had to face the truth: My butt had gotten bigger. Or maybe just my left butt cheek? The jury is still out on that.

While the old me would have been devastated, her day ruined, diet- and exercise-regimes planned, and lots of cursing and smack-talking been directed at her, the new me just shrugged. She could even laugh about it.

I gained some weight, so what? Instead of berating myself, I went to the mall, and bought myself 3 new fabulous pairs of pants. A size bigger. At a department store, instead of my old teeny bopper haunts.

And it was fine.

Will this be the end of the series of exploding pants? Only time will tell.