It’s All About the Pants – Again

If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you may remember last week’s battle of the pants. Not Battle of the Planets. That was one of my all-time favorite cartoons as a kid. No, the Pants Situation was huge in our house. In fact, that post actually generated some interesting comments and almost started a debate on parenting in general. I’m pretty darn proud of that. But I’m realizing that the Pants Situation has spilled over into other areas of our family life.

And it’s not about pants. It’s about control. Who has it, who keeps it and who doesn’t.

One of our family things is our weekly Saturday night dinner. We don’t eat out during the week, so Saturday is our one time to head out for a meal. If you’re like me, you’re thinking – score! Diverse Big City equals unlimited dining options!

Wrong. That was before we had kids. Now, in an effort to be fair, we rotate each week on who gets to choose the restaurant. That plan has totally backfired. Why? Well, in a city where you can literally get anything from Colombian to Indian to Moroccan to Mongolian to Sardinian (all in a four-block radius), the picky-eating minions have sentenced us to The Cursed C’s.

Chili’s, Carinos and Chuy’s. Blegh. Mediocre chain restaurants on a good day. (Although I will go to Chuy’s just for the jalapeno ranch. Seriously, it’s that good. Try it.)

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. We opened that can of worms, we’re the adults and we created the monster. We should just put our feet down and put on the pants, right? Sure. And every Saturday night – scratch that, Saturday from noon on – would turn into a poutfest, whinorama, drama-king performance. No thanks. So on those occasions we turn over the pants to the minions with the (slim) hope that we can get them to at least try a few grains of fried rice, pho or kebab one of these days.

But speaking of pants, the control situation doesn’t end there. The Spouse and I had this debate early on in our relationship and again in the first weeks of our marriage. Bottom line – I grew up in a household where the Alpha Female wore the pants. Unequivocally. And, just to be clear, I was most definitely not the Alpha. I didn’t like it, but I decided early on that I wasn’t cut out to be the kind of wifey who never wore pants and hung on Hubby’s every word with bated breath for the next command. I saw that in action more than once. When a male friend sat down at the table to a fully cooked meal, then turned to his wife (who was trying to get the kid’s plate ready and fill a bottle for the baby at the same time) to say, ‘Babe, how am I supposed to eat this without a fork,’ I threw up in my mouth a little. Took all my self control not to scream ‘Dude, turn around, reach six inches to the drawer and get it yourself. She’s freaking busy right now!!’

I kept my filter on and didn’t say it. Luckily.

Now the Spouse’s take on this has always been that we should share the pants. As he says, it’s more fun that way. Haha. Insert innuendo here. And for the most part, that works out well, except in certain situations.

  1. If I try to comment on his driving. He actually hogged the pants one time and shot back that comments on his driving “would not be tolerated.” That’s a quote. I love you honey, but that one threw me for a loop.
  2. And on the flip side – if little things get left out around the house – I’ve been known to steal the pants and issue commands and ultimatums about cleaning up after yourself.

Either way, it works for us. But my question is – how are some people able to completely manipulate their kids/significant others/coworkers into just letting them wear the pants 24/7?? We’re talking major life and work decisions here. Things like ‘I refuse to work because I don’t want to, and you will support me in this,’ or ‘Starla and Magnus must go to the private school whose minimum tuition is $50K.’ Seriously. I’ve heard it. And, being exposed to the Stepford Wives’ club the way that I have, all of that and more happens.

WTHeck??! Like I said, sharing the pants works for us, but really? Part of me wonders what these others have that I don’t – if I even tried that level of manipulation the Spouse would just laugh and then school me on how miserable I would be if I got away with it.

Hmph. Guess I’ve got too much conscience for that.

DISCLAIMER: ALL REFERENCES TO ACTUAL PEOPLE AND/OR EVENTS IN THE LATTER PART OF THIS POST HAVE BEEN ALTERED AND FICTIONALIZED. SITUATIONS DESCRIBED ARE NOT ACTUAL EVENTS, BUT RATHER A MIX OF OBSERVATIONS OVER THE YEARS. THIS POST IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANY ONE PERSON OR INDIVIDUAL.

IF YOU FEEL YOUR UNDIES GETTING IN A TWIST, MAYBE YOUR PANTS ARE ON WRONG!! FIND WHAT FITS BEST FOR YOU!

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Filed under Alpha person, kids, Parenting, Relationships, School, Working

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