Those Who Get Too Big for Their Britches…

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Down in the Sunshine State a few years ago, a lawmaker tried to get legislation passed to outlaw the sagging britches fashion from public schools. In fact, there was even a statewide campaign underway that said, “Pull up your pants! Need help? Here’s a belt.” The goal was to collect new or used belts and distribute them to young men caught in public with droopy drawers. One thing for sure, those fellows couldn’t run away very fast with their waistlines at their knees.

The reason some folks wish to bring legislation against saggy britches is many believe it encourages delinquency. The fact is, there’s no found link between the lowboy jeans and delinquency – it’s a fashion that most of us with some gray hair and a whole lot different upbringing just really don’t like or understand.

I, for one, see them as something that has just got to be plain uncomfortable. I have reached the age where your waist either moves up under your arms or below your stomach, and I spend most of my time trying to keep mine from slipping below my stomach. If I’m not real careful, I could end up being part of the crowd the legislation is intended for.

Having grown up in the ’50s and ’60s, there haven’t been too many fashions of odd décor that I haven’t witnessed. I remember the jeans I used to wear as a grade-school student that had about three inches of cuff rolled up at the bottom. In the afternoon when I arrived home, you could pour a quart of dirt, grass and other items out of those cuffs.

Arriving in middle school, the jean look was the narrow-legged stovepipe variety being worn by my friends. You notice that I say “my friends” – because there was no way I could get a pair of those jeans over the calves of my legs. Maybe if they came in smokestack size I could get them to halfway fit.

I never liked those jeans that showed your waist and length size on the belt-loop patch on the outside of your pants. Mine always read “husky,” and that just doesn’t help one’s ego. I’ll never forget meeting adults as a kid for the first time, and they would say, “Aren’t you a husky fellow?” They should have known that anyway, because it was printed right there on my pants. I bet when I leave this world my tombstone will say, “He was a husky fellow because it said so right there on his jeans.”

In later years, the bell-bottom pants came into fashion, and once again I had to avoid those. On me, you couldn’t tell where the bell started and ended. The only good I got out of those things was that they protected my shoes and kept the floor swept.

Nowadays, we are seeing jeans that look worn out and dirty the day they are bought. The most embarrassing thing a kid had to go through back during my school years was when I would get a hole in my jeans and my mother would put a patch on them. Today, those same jeans would cost you $75, and every one of your peers would have to have a pair.

The fashion statements of teenagers really haven’t changed much when you think about it. It is starting to look like it will not be long before baggy pants will be out, and something else will take their place.

But, as they say, and it is written somewhere, “Those who get too big for their britches will soon be exposed in the end.”

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