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The Man in Coral

Hubs has always had a hankering for a pair of red pants.

His reasoning is sound: we have a Christmas party every year and he thinks the red pants would be festive. I can’t argue with that.

The problem is he doesn’t want to pay for a pair of pants he’d wear once a year. He has this philosophy, you see, that everything he owns should be worn until it has attained the look of, well, rags. And I’m sure it’s disturbing to him that with that kind of thinking, the red pants he buys now and wears once a year could very well outlast him.

Of course, all of these thoughts went out the window when he found a pair of red pants on sale at Lands' End online last summer for a mere ten dollars.

“I don’t know,” I said, squinting at the computer monitor. “They look a little bright. I was thinking of more of a cranberry red.”

“But they’re only ten dollars,” he said, unable to tear his eyes from the screen as visions of being the, uh, best pants wearer at the Christmas party danced in his head.

“You’re right,” I said. “Get them. You can’t go wrong with ten dollar pants.”

As it turns out, though? You can.

“Look,” Hubs said, frowning, as he held the pants up to the light after they’d arrived.

“They’re … coral!” I said.

“I know,” he said glumly.

“You can’t wear those to the Christmas party! Send them back!”

“But they were only ten dollars,” he said. “That’s more trouble than it’s worth. I’ll find a use for them,” he said over his shoulder as he carried the pants upstairs. “I’ll wear them to work.” I stared at him, aghast.

“Ha ha!” I shouted futilely. “Very funny!” He didn’t answer, but I hoped he got the message.

He didn’t.

A few weeks later, he came downstairs dressed for work in the coral pants and a Cookie Monster–blue shirt. Hubs has what I would term an “interesting” fashion sense and normally I try to leave him alone. But this, this, was too much. People at work would know that I let him leave the house looking like that. My reputation would be shot.


“You can’t wear that outfit,” I said seriously.

“Why not?”

“Because. It’s. Hideous.

“It’s not that bad.”

“Look,” I tried to reason with him. “You can wear the pants, okay? But for God’s sake, at least put a white shirt on with them.” It took some convincing, but Hubs finally went back upstairs and changed his shirt.

That night, he came home from work, pleased. “Everyone was talking about my pants,” he said.

“I’m sure they were,” I replied dryly.

“They said I looked like Darien Trotter,” he added.

“I can see that,” I said.

“I sort of like these pants now,” Hubs said.

I gritted my teeth and kept peeling potatoes.

“I said I think I like them.”

“I heard you.”

“What’s wrong?”

I put down the peeler. “Look, Hubs, those pants have got to go. They are fugly.”

“Well, I don’t think so,” Hubs said defiantly and went upstairs. When he came down, though, the pants had been replaced by another pair. The battle had been tough, but victory, at last, was mine.

At least, it was until a few months ago. Back down the stairs Hubs came one morning, dressed in the pants and, once again, that ridiculous blue shirt. This time, I sighed and shook my head. If he was determined to be ridiculed, how could I stop him?

And that is how a pair of pants came between us.

“Hubs,” I said when he walked through the den a minute ago. “How many times have you worn those coral pants to work now?”

He stopped and thought for a moment. “Maybe four,” he said.

“And do people say stuff about them when you wear them?”

“Every time.”

“What do they say?”

“They say stuff like, ‘Are you a metrosexual now?’”

“What would you do if I burned those pants?”

“Burned them?! Why would you do that?”

“Because they’re butt ugly.”

“No they’re not,” he laughed. Then he paused and grew serious. “Yes, they are,” he said quietly. “But I don’t like to waste things.”

And so, readers, we won’t waste these pants. Instead, we’ll put them to good use. And I’ll leave it to you to help me. Give me your best idea on what to do with the pants in the comments and I’ll choose my favorite and follow its advice. With pictures! And maybe video!

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