Pants for Dad

February 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

This story comes a month late, but I think it’s still worth sharing! I like to write a blog post every year when I’m home for the holidays, so here’s mine from Christmas 2015:

On the evening of Tuesday, December 22, my parents and I spent almost an hour and a half at Macy’s…just to buy a pair of $39 pants.

We had already gone to a number of stores (Whole Foods, Ulta, Target), and Macy’s was our last stop. Mom was trying to spend $40 in Macy’s Money she had gotten for spending $200 online. Before we left the house, she tried to print the coupon from her iPad, but whenever we tried to enter the captcha to print, the popup disappeared. We figured the cashier could just look it up in her Macy’s account. Macy’s customer service is always obliging as long as you’re a cardholder!

We didn’t really have anything in mind to buy, but I brought up to mom that dad really needed some new pants. Since coming home, the only pants I had seen him wear were baggy, light-wash jeans that would fit someone 40 pounds heavier than him. His belt cinched so much extra material that at first glance I thought he was wearing jeans with an elasic waistband. They’re not just dad jeans, they’re dad jeans for the formerly fat dad.

The thing is, my dad has never been fat. And right now, he’s quite trim at 160 pounds. But he likes his pants loose and cheap — he’s proud of buying them for $7 from whatever clearance department he trolls on his business trips.

So at Macy’s, I grabbed a pair of black Levi’s (regular fit, slightly relaxed in the thigh) and made him try them on. He came out complaining that they were too tight but mom and I both agreed they fit him perfectly! Plus they were on sale.


While he looked at himself in the mirror, I could tell he wasn’t comfortable with objectifying himself in any way. Dad works so hard to support the family and rarely pampers himself, so he had to be coerced into being vain once in a while.

I told him he’d be required to wear them to all our holiday parties that week — no more grandpa pants for nice occasions. He protested all the way to the register.

We waited in line for more than 20 minutes even though there were only three people ahead of us. I guess suburban pace is just unhurried?! When we finally got to the front, the cashier told us we wouldn’t be able to use the Macy’s Money unless we printed it out, because she was unable to access the code from her end. Good grief.

She directed us downstairs to HR. The basement level (bedding and kitchenware) was virtually empty of customers or staff, but fortunately we found someone still working in the back office. She kindly vacated her desk so mom could log in to her online account and print the coupon.

For whatever reason, mom thought the lady wanted her to log into her email, so she sat there trying to type out her Yahoo password to no avail.
“I don’t remember my password,” she kept saying.
I rolled my eyes. “How many passwords do you have??”

Eventually, locked her out of her account for too many failed attempts, and she finally realized she was supposed to be inputting her Macy’s password and not her Yahoo one. WTF??? Apparently she could remember the former but not the latter?? But it was too late.

So she sat there and called customer service to regain access to her account. This whole ordeal took at least 30 more minutes. It was a good thing dad was waiting out by the bedding or he probably would’ve lost his patience and just ran away!

If this had been a purchase for anyone else in the family, we’d likely had just given up and left. But my dad really needed those pants!!! And mom wouldn’t have let me just go pay for them. So I endured.

More than an hour after we set foot into the store, mom finally managed to print the Macy’s Money, and we waited in another incomprehensibly slow line to purchase the pants. I told dad that after all this effort, now he REALLY needed to wear them.


And he did. Not without complaint, but he looked so much more put together. It was quite a victory; I had bought pants for him one or two Christmases ago and the fit was definitely a wee bit too tight and probably scarred him from buying anything resembling slim-fit pants again. (They looked good on him though! If he were 20 years younger maybe.)

The photo above is of him Christmas day trying on a North Face jacket my mom got for him.
“It’s too tight!” he protested. “And so expensive!”
It was pretty tight, but it fit! Haha. Mom exchanged it for a medium and made him stop wearing his ratty $5 Columbia fleece. And I told dad he could dress himself however he liked after he turned 70. He’s too young to be wearing dumpy grandpa clothes already!


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