My husband and I share a pair of sweatpants. On me they are big and roomy; on him they are tight as 70s gym clothes. For me they are sleeping sweatpants and eating sweatpants, and every fourth Monday or so they are my half-assed yoga DVD-doing sweatpants. For him, they are his playing-my-nerdy-war-game-on-the-internet sweatpants and also his I-don’t-feel-like-putting-on-underwear sweatpants. Sometimes they are my I-don’t-feel-like-putting-on-underwear sweatpants, too. We both go commando in these sweatpants, often without washing in between. And yes, since you asked, the magic is gone.
I don’t think there is a more perfect item of clothing than sweatpants. They are stretchy and comfy and perfect for all occasions. Or at least, they will be once the genius who popularized formal shorts finds a way to blow up formal sweats (come on, asshole, you owe us).
My very first pair of sweatpants made me so happy that I wore them for 1st grade picture day:
My next pair of sweatpants were my so-called “warm-up” sweats for high school track, but long after I quit track I kept my sweatpants. They came with me to college. They absorbed the smoke from my first joint and did not judge me when I gained ten pounds in my first semester (probably a direct result of the pot-smoking, and the entire blocks of cheddar cheese I would consume while stoned). They became my study sweatpants and then, senior year, my mourning sweatpants when I first got my heart broken for real.
The summer after college I changed things up and cropped them, because nothing is sexier than saggy capri sweats. I wore them to the corner bodega, and as I stood at the register clutching my toilet paper and Cheez Doodles, I noticed that not even the old men sitting outside on milk crates with their 10 am beers were looking at me. They became my invisibility sweatpants. My freedom sweatpants, if you will (like freedom fries, only more covered in ketchup).
I don’t have any photos of these magical sweatpants, because they were too awesome. Their beauty could not be captured on film. When a hole began to form in the crotch circa 2007 I thought Yesssss, now I don’t even have to take them off to pee! What I didn’t realize is that it also meant I couldn’t wear them to greet the Thai delivery man anymore–that is, without showing him my Pad See Ew. Eventually, and with great sadness, I got rid of them. Which brings me to my new marriage sweatpants.
Jeff bought them a few years ago, for himself, foolishly thinking that I would not fall in love with them. They’re not much to look at–gray, bulky, nondescript but for an Old Navy logo on the left hip and some bleach stains from what was definitely NOT my topical acne medication, ahem–but they are lined with cozy, fleece-like cotton and when I put them on they sink down to the floor, pooling around my feet so that it looks like I’m melting a la the Wicked Witch of the West. The baggy hips conceal even the most egregious PMS bloat, and I could probably walk out of a grocery store with an entire ham hidden in the soft, elephant-like folds of the ass. They are perfect, and I’ve grown not to mind the joint custody arrangement.
After all, it’s pretty fucking sweet that after almost ten years together, we still want to get in each other’s pants.
Note: A version of this post first appeared on The Sassy Curmudgeon.