Last week I lost my pants.
That might not seem like such a big deal. After all, who doesn’t own a second pair of pants or even a third or a fourth?
In this case, this particular pair of pants were the only ones that could get the job done.
My wife Kim and I were at a hotel. It was the day of the big event, the marriage of my niece.
This wasn’t just a simple backyard wedding, but one of those grand affairs that was in the planning stages for over a year. There was the church with about two hundred guests in attendance and then a truly magnificent reception that followed.
This was one of those occasions that suits were created for. We were even to be seated in the third row and at the first table. All eyes would be upon us. This was no time for a mere pair of slacks and a matching sports coat. It was time to bring out the big guns.
I hadn’t worn my suit in a while. I’m pretty sure the last time was when we were married in 2013. I found it in the closet with the tags from the dry cleaner still attached. Had it really been that long, would it still recognize me? More concerning, would it still fit? There had been more than a few pizzas, beers and other delicious carbohydrates consumed in the years in between.
It was a bit snug, nothing that a couple of mornings on the treadmill and a few less pieces of bread over the next couple of weeks wouldn’t cure. After all, it only had to be worn this one time and then back in the closet for a few years. Plus, the bread had a long shelf life and would be there when I came back for it.
There were only a few other minor inconveniences like finding a tie that would match the suit and my wife’s tastes.
I packed up the suit and put it away, not to be thought about again until the time for the wedding.
The wedding took place in Middletown, New York, 260 miles away. It was a beautiful and traffic free Labor Day ride across Keene, NH into Vermont, over Albany, New York and down to Middletown. It was a great start.
After we arrived and all of the clothes, sundries, gifts, etc, etc, were brought in from the car to the hotel, it was time to relax. The wedding was the next evening and it was time to catch up with family.
After a comforting night’s sleep and a day of relaxing, the afternoon called us to the task. It was time to get ready for the wedding.
Of course, I waited until the last minute to prepare and finally went to get my suit from the closet.
That is when panic set in.
There were no suit pants. There were no pants on the hangar, none in the closet, none on the floor of the closet. I went outside to check the car. No pants.
Times was down to minutes. We decided I would just have to wear my jeans. There were no other options.
I put them on. It didn’t look all that bad. I had seen this look before with a suit jacket and a tie at a wedding. All I would need was a clip on ponytail, an unlit pipe and a hardcover copy of the works of William Makepeace Thackery that I could pretend to read during the cocktail hour, and I could pull it off.
After all, I could tell people truthfully with a straight face that I am a writer and they wouldn’t think twice about my attire. They’d expect nothing less.
Now that I was in this frame of mind I even considered the suit jacket, tie and shorts look to go with the ponytail, etc, but I was afraid people would assume then that I had my doctorate and it might lead to embarrassing conversations.
Anyway, there was no time to buy such accessories.
In the meantime, Kim had gone off on what I thought was a fruitless search to the front desk to see if by some crazy miracle my pants might be there.
I had accepted my fate, was even starting to get into the role of a snobby writer and practiced looking down my nose and trying to recall some unfamiliar quotes from Shakespeare.
Most importantly, I was trying to figure out how to explain this to my mother, who would not be happy to see me at the wedding in jeans.
Then a knock on the door. It was the front desk clerk. In his hands my missing pants.
The housekeepers had found them. Apparently they had slipped off the hangar somewhere en route from car to hotel room.
A wave of disappointment crossed my mind for just a second when I realized that now I’d really just be another guy at the wedding in a suit.
I got over it.
The wedding was a blast and my mother never knew what might have been.