Today I retired a my khaki colored pair of cargo pants. It was slightly more emotion filled than I expected, assuming most people would just throw their pants in the trash can and move on with their lives. I don’t want to sound stupid and claim to be attached to any specific items of my wardrobe, but they do help trigger memories for me that I’ve long since forgotten.
I can’t say I remember the first time I wore them, but I can assure you they were definitely Monday or Tuesday pants at first. The fact that they were size 30×32 implied they were from the older collection of trousers I have, at least dating their debut back to Freshman year of college. Since they weren’t white or another awkward color there’s a very high probability I wore them at least once, if not twice, a week during pants-wearing season, with the exception of the two summers I worked at jobs that required me to dress in non-cargo pants (but summer isn’t really pants wearing season anyways).
I haven’t enjoyed them as much over the past year or so, they were definitely getting short on me and their texture started to degrade. Last year I remember transitioning them from Tuesdays into Wednesdays as I lost a few good shirts in the war, that was probably a good sign the end was near for them. Unlike my primary pair of dark cargo pants, they didn’t seem to wear as much on the bottoms (in retrospect that may have been because of their limited length) and they also did a decent job holding their color for being washed with the frequency that comes with any pant that holds early-day-of-the-week slot in my wardrobe. The pockets held up remarkable well too, I don’t recall doing any repair jobs to close holes and whatnot.
I won’t miss the lackluster texture or the limited length at all, I look forward to a crisper and long pair. I certainly will miss the feeling of all the things I did in those pants, particularly the things that I’ve long since forgotten. I filmed many a Senate Meeting in them during my early days at RPI, they’ve traveled with me back and forth from school to home over breaks, held my pencils and pens walking into tests / exams, and been there for holidays and visits with seldom seen friends. I don’t have many specific memories of any of those things, but when I’d put those pants on I know they were there with me, one of the very small physical things that hasn’t changed in all these years.
My parents bought me some cargo pants for the holidays, so I didn’t go around pant-less today. I actually had a very similar colored pair waiting in the reserve clothing drawer ready to go today when the final button broke. Yes, I could have sowed it on if I really wanted to, but the buttons had become sharp with age and I’d already relegated them Sundays due to their vertical challenges. The new pair is too tight in the waist (or I’m fat at the moment) and seem much more like the recent khaki pants that someone glued big pockets on than actually purposefully designed cargo pants.
I need to start the hunt for a new pair of primaries; with this pair gone it feels like only a matter of time before the other one of my older pairs finally gives out on me. The loss of that pair will be much more significant I suspect unless they go out in an act of glory somehow, but really I’d like them to just keep working as they currently do. I find it comforting and kind of trusting to dawn a pair of pants in the morning that’s consistently been there when you’ve needed them or just been along for the ride.
Good night moon.