The other morning I put on a pair of pants to go to a meeting. Before I walked out the door, the meeting was canceled. The pants were still clean, so I took them off and put them in the closest place that made any sense to me: the kitchen table.
I realize maybe not everyone puts clean clothes on the kitchen table, but it’s summer, and in our house – with all three of our sons home all day long – the rules are out the window. So I put my pants on the kitchen table because it was easier than walking up stairs to put my pants in the closet.
I assume that I had a pair of shorts on the kitchen table to put on when I took my pants off. I don’t remember. I suppose it’s possible I spent the day in my underwear.
The next day, when I was getting dressed, I knew my pants were downstairs on the kitchen table, so I put on a shirt and socks and went downstairs to put on my pants. But my pants were not there.
I didn’t want to have to walk back upstairs to look for my pants, and Jean was already outside in her studio making stained glass, so I did the only thing that seemed reasonable to me. I went to Facebook and posted on Jean’s Facebook wall, asking her what happened to the pants I’d left on the kitchen table.
Immediately, all of Jean’s female friends who are married began to commiserate with her on Facebook about what it’s like being married to a man who leaves his pants on the kitchen table. So maybe this is something everyone does.
But none of that helped me. I needed my pants.
Finally, Jean posted on Facebook that I should consult our 16-year-old son.
I responded: “That can’t be the correct answer. Nathan has never known where anything was in his entire 16 years. I need a better answer than this.”
Receiving no help from Facebook, and running out of time to get to a meeting, I finally went upstairs in a vain search for my pants. I searched the dirty clothes. I searched the clean clothes. I looked in the washer and the dryer. Not finding them, I remembered that I have more than one pair of pants, so I got another pair out of the closet and put those on.
When I got home from my meeting Jean came inside from her studio.
“Why would you tell me to ask Nate where my pants are?” I asked Jean.
“Because I picked them up off the kitchen table and handed them to Nate and asked him to take them upstairs and put them in the dirty clothes,” Jean responded.
“But they weren’t dirty,” I said.
“Then maybe they shouldn’t have been on the kitchen table,” she said.
“I put them on the kitchen table because they weren’t dirty,” I said.
Jean was starting to get angry, but fortunately Nathan was coming downstairs.
“Nate, where are my pants?” I asked.
“I put them in the dirty clothes,” Nathan answered.
“They’re not there,” I told him.
“Maybe I put them on the washer,” he said.
Jean, fed up with the circular conversation, stormed upstairs.
A while later, she came down with my pants.
“Where were they?” I asked, full of excitement that my pants were found.
“They were in Robert’s room,” Jean said.
“Why did you put them in Robert’s room?” I asked Nathan.
“I don’t know,” Nate said, as confused as any of us why my pants were in his brother’s room.
“I think the lesson we’ve learned today is that never give a 16-year-old your pants if you want to find them later,” I said, proud that I’d found the moral of the story.
But Jean had her own moral to the story: “I think the lesson we’ve learned is to not leave your pants on the kitchen table,” she said.
Rob Peecher, who tries to leave his pants in conspicuous places, is author of the book Four Things My Wife Hates About Mornings, available at Amazon.com.