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Don’t you just hate pants”

Brad Blomstrom | Tuesday, January 27, 2009

By the time I’d opened my eyes I was wide awake. I leapt out of bed and bounded down the stairs, skipping steps without noticing. For weeks I’d dreamt of this moment, the glorious opportunity to unwrap the wonders of another Christmas morning. As I wildly tore into Santa’s delivery my mind raced with predictions of what precious gift waited for me beneath the ribbons, bows and wrapping paper. A Luke Zeller Fathead? Sadly no; that wouldn’t fit on my wall. 4,000 plastic balls to make a ball pit in my apartment? Disappointingly no; the package was too small. A beer tree? Understandably no; people tell me those don’t really exist. I was still struggling to come up with a suitable guess when I lifted the lid on the box and looked down at my reward for being an exceptionally good boy in 2008. I wish I could tell you that I was satisfied with what I discovered, but the sight that met my eyes left me shocked, disheartened, and thoroughly embittered.

There they were, staring back up at me with their cold, steely, button eyes and their gnarled, zippered grin. Pants. Thanks a lot, Santa. I got a pair last year, too. Do you know how many times I’ve worn them? Zero. You really phoned this one in, didn’t you? My Christmas list this year was just a post-it note with “ANYTHING BUT PANTS” scribbled on it in Sharpie. I hate pants and I hate you for being jolly while wearing them.

Before you get upset with me for yelling at Santa Claus, perhaps I should explain the rationale behind my loathing for legged clothing. Pants, like ResLife, The Berlin Wall and the bouncer at Fever, were created to keep us down. They restrict our movement and crush the human spirit, preventing us from ever fully experiencing the freedom we cherish. Take a second right now and think of the times in your life when you were truly happy. Now think of the times in your life when you were wearing pants. Not much overlap, right? History’s greatest heroes were usually barelegged, its greatest villains excessively clad. Did Gandhi wear pants when he led the Indian nation to freedom? No, but Hitler wore a crisp pair when he goose-stepped into Poland in 1939. Did Usain Bolt wear pants when he set the world record in the 100-meter dash in Beijing? No, but the 2.3 million people in prison in the United States were each given a fresh pair upon incarceration. Each morning when I see some poor soul in jeans out on the quad I whisper, “Welcome to Shawshank,” and head to the Grotto to light a candle.

At home in Virginia, my friends and I can skirt (or short) the issue for much of the year thanks to the mild climate, but in the depths of winter it’s all pants, all the time. I can only imagine the eternal nightmare that unfolds year-round in Alaska. Do you want to know why I voted for Barack Obama? Because he’s from Hawaii, a land free from the tyranny of trousers. That, America, is change I can believe in.

Political considerations aside, I’m proud to say that the pants-wearing plague is noticeably less rampant at Notre Dame than it is at other cold weather locales. It’s taken a lot of creativity and courage, but we at Notre Dame have finally figured out how to really stick it to the man. The answer: sweatpants. They’re technically still “pants” for accounting purposes, but everyone knows pajamas-in-disguise when they see them. I can move like a cat in those things. They’re durable, comfortable and suitable for every occasion. Last night I went to sleep in a pair of sweatpants. Today I went to class, met with a professor, and went out on a date in them. Come to think of it, I haven’t taken this pair off in over a week. Showering and changing? Yeah, right! Thanks to sweatpants I’m able to simply hop out of bed and amble on over to DeBartolo every morning in no time.

One might expect the functionality of sweatpants to come at the expense of style, but this is simply not the case. I’ve been at Notre Dame for three and a half years now and I know high fashion when I see it. Nothing says sexy like the supple softness of sweatpants. They sure go great with a North Face, too. I wish I had a new pair of Uggs into which I could snugly tuck them; then I’d look g-o-o-d…

My advice to you? Wear your sweatpants proudly, Notre Dame. In the war against the oppressive pants regime, they make us frontline freedom fighters.

Brad Blomstrom is a senior majoring in Finance, Economics and Leisure Studies. He can be contacted atbblomstr@nd.eduThe views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.