Time for statistics:
Roughly 24% of my time over the last 19 years has been spent dressed in scrubs. Approximately 33% has been lived in pajamas. The other 43% of my hours have mostly been spent in jeans or shorts.
Why is this significant? It is the reason my fly is open so often. Let me explain.
Scrub pants are tied on, tightly if you are an inverted cone shape such as myself. Pajamas likewise. Jeans? One button and a fly. Shorts? Ditto. All very simple, straightforward and man-friendly ways to dress.
Dress pants, though, are clearly the work of a woman. Let me illuminate.
Seventeen years into my career I finally landed a management position, thank you. With the position came a change in attire; gone are the care-free days of scrubs. Now dress pants, shirt and tie are the norm, and I am quite ill-at-ease with the change. I have for years refused to wear a tie to functions with the explanation that I was born with my umbilical cord around my neck (true story) and thereby felt wholly uncomfortable with anything encircling my cervical spine. I’m not sure there is any validity to that at all but it worked with my dear mother, who still recounts the whole ordeal with horror. Even now I wear a tie with rarity, though my time-worn explanation doesn’t work with my superiors. The whole “ER-violence-don’t-want- to-be-choked-to-death-by-a-psychopathic-patient-finding-out-he-has-gonnorhea” explanation seems to be sufficient.
On to the dress pants and my frequently open fly.
Dress pants, as I have indicated, are unlike the simple apparel I am so comfortable with. First, they must be pressed. My wife is a maven in so many things, but the iron and she are unacquainted. Thus it is my duty to press them. Most mornings are far too tumultuous as the brood fights over shower time, and often I am at the losing end of the battle and have to go to work looking as though I wore the pants throughout the night in a cardboard box…but even this is not the problem.
The culprit is the elaborate and time-consuming method in which a man of my ilk and girth must strap on the slacks to prevent their untimely slippage and subsequent gluteal exposition. First, one must button the inner button. Then, the clasp. Finally, the belt-line button. If one remembers, and the key word is if, there is a fly to be zippered. After the mandatory shackling it’s no wonder the fly is so often forgotten. There are just too many damn steps.
Earlier I made the unabashed chauvinistic statement that dress pants are the work of a woman. I stand by that statement after years of watching my wife clasp, snap, zip, tie and button her clothing and am completely convinced that women like to wear clothing that feels like an apartment door in Queens. Dress pants have that air about them. I want a button and a zipper. I got Fort Knox. I might as well apply make-up and spray my hair with Aqua-Net. Okay, that’s taking it a little far. Although I do like the hold.
Some managers I have known are fairly full of themselves, and I am sure you know one or two yourself. Me? Not a chance. No one can look all that important sporting an open fly.
It keeps me humble.