I was going to write some fiction tonight, perhaps see if the thirsty man could get up off the tile, but it turns out the fiction takes more effort than just spouting whatever nonsense comes to mind. So, instead, I’ve decided to break out a new, hopefully recurring feature here at Puddintopia: Questions I Want Answers To. The premise is simple: there are many, many things in the world that just don’t make any sense to me, and dammit, I would like some answers.
Several things have plagued me since my youth, but there’s only question that I can recall having all the back in first or second grade: could they not come up with anything better than the term “husky” for boys’ jeans with, um, a little extra room? I mean, really, when you’re a little dude kickin’ it up in the early elementary grades, life is rough enough without having to carry a label that’s simultaneously synonymous with dogs and pudginess. Your formative school days are spent trying to figure out why anyone needs to understand the “schwa” sound and then later having to dodge little “Jenny” on the playground (because she’ll kiss you, in the most embarrassing way possible, if she catches you), so clearly, no one needs to have to the carry the additional burden of a label that basically means “rotund”.
I know, I know. There are moms out there squealing delightedly about how their little busters are all burly and growed up now, and denim manufacturers cling to the idea that well, hell, it’s better than just smacking one of many other, potentially more derogatory, words on the label of those jeans. But really, isnt’ there a better way to address this, some method to avoid having shy 10 year-olds everywhere looking in late August at their respective new fall wardrobes and muttering to themselves, “stupid huskies”.
For adult ladies, we reward the little people with terms like “petite”, or “junior” but there’s no shame in shopping in “ladies” or “women’s”. For adult men, it’s simply S-M-L-XL plus as many X’s as you can fit on the tag. “X” is cool, it’s just a letter; if you look it up on thesaurus.com, it doesn’t carry any synonyms, let alone “big”, “whopping”, or “thick-set”. Sadly, though, for children, for some reason, we have to have words to describe the sizes: “slim”, “regular”, “husky”, or for girls, horrifying phrases like “pretty-plus”.
At this point, I know you’re wondering, so, yes, I, myself, bore the shame of wearing the dreaded label. Hello, my name is Puddin, and I wore “Husky” jeans. Was it really all that bad, though? Was I fearful, at the tender age of 10, that I might someday be relegated to life as a circus-freak novelty like those twins on the motorcycles from the Guinness Book of World’s Records?
Honestly, no. Little boys couldn’t care two ways what the back of their pants say. But, man, husky jeans did have stupid little kid snaps and big boy jeans had pull-though buttons, like Dad’s. I hated those stupid snaps and every time I read the label, the snap was all I thought about. When you’re a little dude, let’s face it, life is about attitude, and nothing gives your attitude a foundation like having clothes just like Dad’s.