Unreasonably Good Pants

30 October 2001

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. It wasn't on our roof -- we don't have a roof, we have upstairs neighbors. But it was on our awning, and that was good enough for me, for the time being. It sounded like genuine rain. It sounded like real live make-you-wet-if-you-walk-in-it rain. It sounded not at all like a typical California drizzle, although it was not up to prairie gullywasher standards, of course.


I found a subplot lurking in the first scene of the Not the Moose Book yesterday. I knew it was there, I just didn't know what it was. So then it was, "Ah, there you are! I knew you were there for a reason." Also a nice feeling.

Did the edits on "The Handmade's Tale" and sent them back to Mr. Nice Editor. We'll see.

Ahem. While I was writing the rest of the entry, I got the e-mail that I just sold "The Handmade's Tale" to Future Orbits for their December issue. Woohoo! Sale! I like Future Orbits a lot. They're an e-book magazine with very many different formats available -- for your computer or your Palm Pilot or whatever. You can read their first issue for free, or you can subscribe to 8 or 9 issues, I forget which, for $8. It looks like a good deal to me, and not just because they bought my story. I didn't stop reading any of the stories in their first issue. And I stop reading stories in just about everything; I get picky. So. Yay, "The Handmade's Tale!"

Yesterday was just not my favorite day. I felt like the middle of a Circle of Misery, where many (or even most) of the people I love were unhappy about something. But I did wear the inordinately good shorts, so that's something.

Maybe you don't have this; maybe it's just me. But I have some pants that get more affection and respect from me than their mere garment status would warrant. They are the Unreasonably Good Pants. I don't have this with shirts -- I have favorite shirts, like the red sweater shown in these pictures. But they're not the same thing as the Unreasonably Good Pants. I think it's that shirts don't have to fit like pants do. The new shorts that are in this category are shown here. They were a total impulse buy, and as you can see, they wrinkle like mad. Do I care? I do not. They are so comfortable. They don't pull funny anywhere. They are Unreasonably Good Pants.

I have a pair of khakis like this -- if you've seen me wearing khakis, it's a good chance that they're The Good Khakis, because my newer pairs just don't measure up. I try to remember to wear them. But in a pinch, I grab for The Good Khakis.

And, oh. I miss the Good Jeans. The Good Jeans were purchased by my godfathers for my eleventh birthday. My mom said, "She's a size 5/6, and you wouldn't believe how tall she's gotten." She meant that I'd grown six inches in the last six months (since they'd seen me), but they just assumed that this meant a size 5 Tall was the appropriate size of jeans. They didn't fit absolutely perfectly at the time, but after my body made its last few adjustments to my general adult shape that year, the jeans became The Jeans.

Unfortunately, in the interim, the jeans manufacturers woke up and looked at each other and said, "Tall? 5'6" isn't tall!" And they changed the cut of their jeans, so I can no longer buy those jeans. This is good, in a sense, because Sarah can now buy jeans. But I still wish I'd stocked up on The Jeans.

So I wore the heck out of them. I wore them until they got holes in the knees. Then my mother didn't want me to wear them any more. ("People will think we can't afford to buy you new jeans. And they look tatty.") So we compromised: she didn't throw them out, and I only wore them at college. Often with tights or long underwear underneath, since the last thing you want in January in Minnesota is air-conditioned pants. (Long underwear, holey jeans, flannel and T-shirt...this was the early-mid nineties, remember...I think I'm going to put in the Live album Timprov left sitting by the CD player.)

But! The Jeans started to get holes in the crotch and the butt. And after an unpleasant surprise with a friend who was going regimental in jeans with a hole in the crotch, I decided that some parts of pants are just necessary. So I converted The Jeans to paint jeans for my painting class. Which used oil paints. And I am the world's messiest oil painter. So there was nothing for it but to throw the jeans out after nine years of service. Sigh.

The only other Unreasonably Good Pants I have are sage-colored shorts my godfathers gave to me for my twelfth birthday -- yeah, I know, the godfathers again. Their presents are always at least good, and sometimes Unreasonably Good. Anyway. I will wear the sage-colored shorts until the twill wears through, because they're such good shorts. I was wearing them when my dog died, but somehow instead of thinking of them as The Shorts Booboo Died On, I think of them as The Shorts I Was Wearing When I Held Her Last. Which is somewhat more positive.

I just miss that Booboo dog. When anyone was sick, she was the Nurse Puppy. She would sit next to you and look up periodically, sniffing or licking at you: "Are you okay?" Or else she would sit on you, to make sure you didn't wander around and tire yourself out. With personalities like my mother's and mine, you can see why this would be a good service for a sick or injured Type A personality to have. I need me a Nurse Puppy now.

I want to get another dog. But I don't know that I'll ever get over missing Booboo. If you're not Pet People, I don't know how to get you to understand.

Anyway. I'm kind of giddy about making this sale. Tom, the editor, has been really, really nice, and he seems to like all the right stuff in my stories, even the ones he rejects. I do feel like I'm doing it backwards, in a way -- pro sales first, then submitting to the semipros -- but I just didn't see any point to submitting to semipros until I'd tried the pros with a given story first. So...yeah. Woo. Perhaps I won't feel all Circle of Misery any more. Even though the Unreasonably Good Pants are all in the wash now.

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