This is a picture of a responsible model pants-wearer. She’s powerful, determined and in control – and no pants would ever dare escape from her.
It was late one night when my neighbours got to know me better.
I live in a rabbit warren neighbourhood. The streets are narrow, only wide enough for one car, so the neighbours without driveways have to park half off the road, their cars looking like big unwieldy dogs cocking their leg. It’s also an end of the line kind of neighbourhood. It doesn’t lead anywhere, you don’t go there unless you live there, you’re visiting or you’re lost.
This means hardly any traffic. There’s always kids playing in the streets, people jogging, walking their dogs. Three blocks away there’s a bowling club and a gym so after dark there are still people around.
On this particular night I went shopping wearing my daggiest clothes. My sweatpants were so old the elastic in the waistband had worn out. They were baggy and kept slipping. My shirt had holes in it.
The local supermarket is a very classy supermarket: amongst the shoplifters, drunks, the mentally unstable and sometimes a combination of all three, there’s always a select group wearing their holey clothes or pajamas or dressing gown over pajamas. Ugg boots are plentiful. I fit right into this colourful community.
I did my shopping, eying those dressed to the nines with horror. Do people actually dress like that while shopping?? How can they stand being seen like that in public?
I went home. I took my bags of shopping out of the backseat because my boot is literally acidic and anything that goes in doesn’t stand a chance of coming out in one piece.
As I leaned into the back seat, I felt my baggy, un-elasticky pants start to slip. I pulled them up again. With several bags of heavy shopping in both hands I started walking down the driveway.
And felt my pants start slipping again.
With both hands full, the weight of the bags weighing my arms down, I could only push them ineffectively up my hips.
With a sense that I was doomed, I continued walking.
And my pants continued slipping. It was a moment frozen in dread, anticipation and a resigned knowledge that what will be, will be.
It was happening so fast, I only had a few seconds to decide: Sacrifice my shopping or sacrifice my pants.
For reasons unknown, I sacrificed my pants. They were determined to come down and I was resigned to letting it happen.
So there I was, standing in the middle of my driveway, out for the neighbourhood to see, clutching in both hands bags of shopping, with my pants around my ankles.
I started giggling. The stupidity of the moment hit me: this bare-bummed woman, standing in the middle of her driveway, holding onto her shopping as though her life depended on it, pants crumpled on the ground.
A woman walked past with her dog and waved at me. Nobody expects to see someone pants-less. I smiled at her. I would have waved back, but you know… shopping…
Public nudity has always terrified me but at that moment I was okay with it. A humiliating thing had happened and I lived through it and it turned out it wasn’t as humiliating as I thought it would be. I think it’s how you choose to react to a situation that makes it truly good or truly bad or truly nothing-in-between. Out of everything that could have happened and has happened in my life, this was nothing.
It was definitely a new and amusing experience. I had fresh air on my bum and I liked it.
I can’t speak for my neighbours though…