April 30, 2012


i have 167 unpublished posts sitting in my draft box. i have a lot of thoughts that tumble on to page and stories to tell but never quite enough time to edit them or finish them...and some i somehow just end up forgetting to publish.  i was sifting thru them this week and came across this one - it was nearly finished so i don't know why it never got published. after all, it's a pretty good story. and it's funny. and fun, funny and lighthearted have been a bit remiss here on my blog as of late...so i thought i'd switch gears and bring back some humor. this one's for you, JL :)

one of my favorite movies is 'sisterhood of the travelling pants'. i have my very own travelling pants. unlike the movie, my travelling pants are not shared among a group of women, they are not magical (alto' it is arguable that finding the "perfect" pair of pants is miraculous)...but  the origins of my travelling pants had an entire hotel staff buzzing with scandalous speculation...

my travelling pants story transpired way back in february of 2011.

heading to SF

the setting?  san fran.
the dilemma? i did not pack extra pants.
the heroine?  the travelling pants

the hero? my husband
the (UN)supportive characters? my boys
the antagonist? me
the protagonist? fluffy-fluffy

fluffy fluffy - remember fluffy fluffy? 
(re-acquaint yourself with fluffy-fluffy here)

at the time, our story begins, fluffy-fluffy had been on a bit of a hiatus...i still struggled with fluid shifts, water retention and puffiness but it had been minimal since fluffy-fluffy had undergone a series of colonics (dare to read about that here). the fluid shifts (which resulted in up to an 8lb gain within mere hours) necessitated the need for stretch pants. after all, 8lbs in a day meant pants that fit the day before did not always fit the day after. i am totally serious. no exageration. i always packed stretch pants...or if not, at the very least i'd pack pants in 2 different sizes. 

but in the months leading about to this particular ill fated trip to SF, i'd lost a substanial amount of weight - 10lbs- due to a revolving door of flu/herx/barf/cycle. so even my regular size pants were a size too big...and even, in the unlikely event that i had a huge fluid shift while we were away - i figured the 10lb loss should keep me well within the normal pant zone and so i dared to boldly do what had not been done before...i did not pack extra pants. 
this is what iv supplies for 2 people for 5 days looks like

as much as i'd like to pin a ribbon of courage on for this brazenly brave move, i must admit, the lack of pant packing was more a matter of necessity - after all, suitcase space was at a premium. we were having to cart around and pack IV supplies for 2 as back then, both parker and i were on IV treatment. there really was little room to pack much of anything else...let alone, "fat" pants. my word, i did not even pack stretchy pants. in fact, the only pants i packed were pajama pants. i picked a pair of jeans to travel in and wear while we were away. they were roomy and comfy and a size too big considering i was down 10lbs.


i really didn't want to spend my every sleeping and waking hour in my pajama pants. and yes, most of the time we are there, we are either at DR H's or in the hotel room anyway however, occassionally we try to venture out...and then it's only to target. so what does it matter anyway? it just mattered is all i can say.

"about the only thing that makes me feel better when i feel that bad is to hear, 
good evening, k-mart shoppers" 
                                                                                               ~(quote from movie secretariat)

(scratch kmart and replace with target or ross...and that may be about the most awesome quote ever.)

so graham took me and my ever burgeoning body to ross

i was expanding by the minute
no lie

i was desperate to find pants that fit but because i am cheap, i made a bee line right for the clearance rack
i may be cheap but that doesn't mean that i'm not picky and particular.
i would not settle for any old pair of roomy pants; the kind that would be disdainfully discarded after temporal usage
no, these pants must serve a purpose greater than being just "here and now" pants
then it dawned on me, 
i needed travelling pants
does such a thing even exist outside of movies?

i set forth with new resolve, despite my mounting discomfort, i persevered through racks of pants, stiffly shuffling down the isle, my rapidly swelling legs now ensconced like encased sausages in my offending pants

just as all hope was fading, i heard the fluttering of angel's wings and behold, there they hung in grandeur before me
super cool
super chic
super stretchy but not stretch pants
only 11 bucks

they made me feel like a million bucks

i wanted to wear them out of the store. i nearly had to - as getting my original pants back on prooved quite the ardous task. i huffed and i puffed. i strained and i tugged and tugged and tugged to get my original pants back on. by the time i left the fitting room, i was sweating and breathless and exhausted...but oh so giddy and triumphant.

i had pants
not just any pants
i had found the most glorious pair of travelling pants. 

this is where the story should fade to black...but not in my world.

in the 20 minute drive it took to get back to the hotel, my swelling continued. i could literally feel my body expanding.

a terrifying thought flashed thru my mind, what if my travelling pants no longer fit?
i broke out in a cold sweat. but told myself i was being ridiculous.
my travelling pants fit perfectly 20 minutes ago
as a matter of fact, they had even been roomy

i did the stiff legged shuffle to our hotel room

mentally preparing myself for the workout ahead i expected it would be to pry my body out of my offending pants
i was dizzy and my arms ached by the time, i'd wrestled my offending pants down to my ankles...as i bent down to pick them up and fling them across the room, to my horror i discovered i no longer had ankles.
i had cankles!
yes! there was no discernable division between my calves and my ankles.
i gulped hard and with trembling hands reached for my travelling pants
i could not get them up over my cankles
how could this be?

this is not happening to me!
i would not, could not, will not let this be
and so
i tugged and yanked and swore under my breath, and i wiped my brow and yanked some more

and then i noticed IT
there IT was, as plain as day, 

a security tag attached  to my travelling pants!

you've got to be kidding me?! how could i have missed that? how did the store clerk miss that?
if it were not for my cankles,
my travelling pants might have gotten me arrested! 

i defeatedly wore my pajama pants to dinner that nite
who cares, who really cares anyway?!
i should just kick my ticketed travelling pants to the curb

i did not want to part with them

they were just way too cool
surely, the security tag issue could be easily remedied
after all, i rationalized, the cankle thing was truly just a freakish event of nature - it may have even been a God designed plan to keep me outta pants that could have got me arrested! 
no, no, no, my travelling pants are a hot commodity and i shall not part with them!

so the next day, i insisted graham take me back to ross so "we" could have the security tag issue handled
"we?" said graham, "how is this my problem?"

"my dearest husband, let me spell this out for you. it's either come in with me now and we can handle this together or you could end up having to bail me out of jail."

one look at me and he knew i had a point. 
i was freaking out.
i have tremors in my hands (thank you neuro-lyme) and when i am stressed, they become extremely pronounced...they shake so bad that someone could easily assume i must be super, duper nervous - 
i was convinced staff at the store would think i had somehow shoplifted the pants.

graham and the boys come into the store with me
we all converged on the guy at the returns counter
i explained what happened and trying in vain to keep my hand steady, i presented him with my reciept.

"these are not our pants." he boredly replied
"what do you mean these are not your pants?" i gasped "of course, these are your pants. i bought them here yesterday." 

he rolled his eyes and pointing at the offending security tag, casually muttered, "we get inventory from other stores. that tag is from the store those pants originally came from. you might have bought the pants here but that security tag is not ours. sorry, can't help you...unless you want to return them. you can do that."
"i don't want to return them! " i scooped up MY pants and held them protectively in my arms. "i just need the security tag removed. surely you can remove the tag." i stated incredulously
"nah. won't fit our machine."
i was steamed.
he was so non-commital and not remotely interested in helping me with the pants.

graham and the boys were losing their patience too...but for a different reason...they could not understand why i just would not let the pants go.

"mom, just RETURN the pants! seriously, who cares?" they grumbled


guys just don't understand how rare it is for a woman to find pants that fit (ok so they didn't fit but they had and i knew they would again. and yes, i was being irrational) but when a woman finds a pair of pants in a style she loves and she likes the way she looks in them and they only cost 11 bucks? men cannot appreciate just how rare...how miraculous...that is.

i'm not giving up on the pants.
that is not an option.

so we left the store with the travelling pants in tow, security tag still attached, alarms blaring behind us, and me still stuck in my pajama pants

i sat around our hotel room in my pajama pants and stewed about it the the rest of the day.
concerned that he could spend the rest of the trip in pant purgatory, graham went into macgyver mode

he studied the offending security tag from several angles

after a few minutes, he grandly asserted that all he needed was a hammer and a screw driver
however, when one requests a hammer and a screwdriver from the front desk of a hotel, it raises a few eyebrows...and includes a call to maintenance and a polite inquiry as to what the items are needed for.
just my luck.

so there we stood in the lobby of a hotel, explaining the whole sordid tail of my pant issues to the staff behind the check in desk.
at least they were women.
of course, the story sounded totally sketchy....how could it not? 

i bought pants with the security tag still attached and the store i bought them from can't remove the tag. ummm, yeah, sounds a little far fetched...i was pretty sure they weren't buying it anymore than they were thinking i had probably not really bought the pants.
however, we procured the hammer and screwdriver and back in our room, graham freed my pants from their security detail and sprung himself from pants purgatory.

i leapt for joy. 
and now we are nearing the end of the story about the travelling pants

as you can well imagine, the story created quite a stir among the hotel staff

when we checked out of our hotel the last day, the front desk clerk asked me,
"so, are those the pants?"
"huh?" i blankly questioned. (ok. i know! i still had fairly significant short term memory issues back then.)
"you know, 'the pants?'" she said, "are those the pants you stole?"

only i would end up with infamous pants.
one day i may even frame them!

here we are now 15 months later and i still have the pants! in fact, i'm wearing them as i type this story...

i wear them. a lot. i've gotten a whole lotta mileage outta them.

they are my infamous travelling pants
i never leave home without them.


Gillian said...

That's classic Shannon! I have seen you wear these pants, and I must say - they are indeed fabulous!! In fact, next time you're at Ross...

Gillian said...

That is truly hilarious - and very much a Goertzen story! I must say, I've seen those pants on you several times, and they are indeed fabulous. In fact, next time you're in Ross... maybe they'll have some in my size?

Jessica said...

Thank you for that laugh. Your writing style in this story is what originally got me hooked on your blog. Your sense of humor during all your trials is something special. I'm glad you took a break to share something funny. Hope you have more moments like this in the future.