Reader beware, this column is going to talk about a sensitive subject — pants. I don’t know if it’s appropriate or not, but I need to get this off my chest. Also, please don’t infer from that last statement that I’m wearing pants on my chest, because I know how to wear them. I’m not an idiot.

However, I don’t know how to shop for them. In fact, there are very few things that are as horrible as having to shop for pants. 

The Holocaust, chemical warfare, Katherine Heigle are all worse than pants shopping, but not by much. 

Pants shopping shouldn’t be so terrible. After all, we all wear pants. Those who don’t are considered social pariahs, and rightly so. How hard is it to wear pants like a normal person?

Well, if you have to shop for them first, it might be pretty hard. 

The thing with pants is you can’t just pick a pair off the shelf and go on your way. No, you have to try them on, and that’s just the worst. 

Socks are great, you just pick a bag that fits sizes 6 through 13 and you’re done. I’ll try jackets on all day if you want me to. A shirt, OK, I’ll do that, but pants? Oh man …

When you try pants on, you have to take the pair you’re wearing off. I know they have the little door with the big mirror on it, but it still feels wrong taking your jeans off in a public place. In fact if you did that in any setting other than a dressing room, it would be considered a social faux pas. 

“What’s Uncle Ralph doing?”

“Taking off his pants.”

“Does he always do that?”

“Well, we are at the Olive Garden.”

I know the stupid mirror is supposed to help, but really all it does is give you a view of how ridiculous you look while taking off and putting on your pants. The last time I had to try on pants, I remember looking at my reflection mid-pants change and thinking, when did I become a cartoon character?

Plus the mirror is useless anyway. I have to exit the dressing room and show my wife what the pants look like, because as a man, I am incapable of selecting my own clothes. If left to my own devices, I’d still be wearing Metallica T-shirts, combat boots and tattered, stained jeans to work, because I hate pants shopping — so it’s a good thing.

However, the last time I was buying pants there was a lady who had almost completely blocked off the entrance to the men’s dressing rooms with a shopping cart. Her four children who were apparently trying to reenact the Battle of the Bulge as she obliviously chatted on her iPhone.

So not only do I have to suffer the indignity of knowing I am incapable of buying pants on my own, but I had to model them in front of this annoying woman and her hanger-throwing children.

She was waiting for her teenaged son to show off the pants he was trying on. At one point we passed each other. The kid looked forlorn and defeated as he tried on pair number 73. I just looked at him and shrugged. 

Get used to it kid.

Of course pants shopping will never change. You can’t order pants online. 

In fact during the 2004 fiscal year, some 64 percent of all U.S. Postal packages consisted of pants being returned because they didn’t fit, the color was wrong or they “made me look fat.”

The good thing is now I at least have some pants to wear, which is better than the alternative.

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