#234 In which our hero unexpectedly attends a party wearing pants of a most unusual nature.
Mom came up to visit last weekend. Since we went to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving, she asked if she could come up this weekend because it will have been so long since she saw the girls. Being that we had nothing planned, I said sure.
Little did I know that I was walking into a trap.
Mom came up Friday and it was nice. The girls are always insanely happy to see grammy, due in part to the gifts she always brings. Generally speaking, I’m happy to see mom for the same reason. No! I’m kidding. I love my mother. And her gifts.
So Saturday comes and The Scientist has to work, which is a pain in the ass. But I’ve got nothing to do all day, so it’s play with the girls, run to the store for stuff to make dinner, and just hang out. The Scientist comes home, we eat and all is well. Around 6 o’clock The Scientist tells me that her friend is coming over to pick up some food we have stored for her in our chest freezer. But when M. gets here, she has a sheet cake.
ME: Why’s M. have a cake with her?So yeah… my wife, who is a terrible liar and absolutely can’t be trusted to keep a secret from me… threw me a surprise birthday party over the weekend.
THE SCIENTIST: Because we’re having a party.
ME: Who’s having a party?
TS: We are.
ME: What, now?
TS: Yes, now. Go upstairs and get changed.
My birthday isn’t until next Monday but, wisely, she threw it this past weekend so I wouldn’t expect it. And man, I did not expect it. Frankly, I’ll still a little taken aback that she pulled it off. I mean, my wife is really bad about keeping secrets, and folds like a cheap table when under examination. But she not only arranged food, games and activities, she got my mother into the action, too! Behind my back! And she invited a dozen or so of my friends over! And everybody even played along with the theme.
Theme, you ask? Oh yeah. Hell, yeah.
A little background first. About a year ago I discovered the music of Jonathan Coulton. He’s a geeky guitar guy, and his songs are really fun dorky stuff. I have three of them on my iPod right now. One of the songs that caught my ear was “Mr. Fancy Pants” (scroll down the list, you can hear the entire song for free).
It’s a funny, catchy little ditty. Sometime after hearing it, I told The Scientist that I thought we should have a fancy pants party. With a trophy for fanciest pants (not unlike the song). This idea percolated in both of minds for awhile, before we both agreed that it just wasn’t going to happen this year. Too much going on before the end of the year. Then it would be too snowy to have a party. So, maybe we could do this in the Spring. We were both onboard for this timeline.
Or so I thought.
Little did I know that shortly after I said something, my wife began planning a surprise fancy pants-themed party for my birthday. And she did it this year (I’m turning 39 next week) because she knew I’m be expecting something for my 40th. Which I totally would be; especially considering how much I bitched and moaned when she planned a surprise party for her friend’s 40th (the same friend who delivered the cake--wearing some seriously fancy pants, I should add) and I had never had a surprise party, even though I’ve always really, really wanted one.
Something else you need to know.
On the way back from Thanksgiving, we again started talking about a fancy pants party (we had eight hours to kill, afterall). I’m all geeked about the idea. I’m thinking about what kind of fancy pants people would wear… what kind of fancy pants I’d wear. I’m thinking it has to be something outrageous, something no-one else would think of. “You know what would be awesome,” I said, off-handedly; “A pair of transparent pants. And I’d wear a thong under them! Ha!”
Lesson #1: be very careful of what you ask for.
So, M., my mom and The Scientist start dashing around the house, getting everything ready for people to arrive in less than an hour. But first, my wife takes me upstairs and says, “Here. Put these on.”
In one hand she has a pair of transparent pants. In the other, a tiger stripped thong.
ME: Where the hell do you even get transparent pants?!Transparent pants. Well, in all honestly, mostly translucent pants. Unless I bent over and really stretched the material. Then there was no hiding nuthin’. I was a little hesitant about the thong--it’s not my normal mode of underwear. Actually, I’m a boxer guy, so even tighty-whities are a little constricting. But, good Lord, she went to all the trouble to make me see-through pants… and I did sort of ask for it. So I put them on.
TS: I made them.
ME: You did not.
TS: I did.
ME: What’s this material?
TS: It’s a shower curtain. And let me tell you, my sewing machine did not like it.
Unfortunately, these are the only photos we took. Because there were some fancy fancy pants at the party. Everyone made an effort, which was very cool. Other people had cameras, so I’m hoping some of those pics come my way. I’ll post them when they do.
After eating, drinking and general mingling, there was pants trivia (written by The Scientist. Again, how cool is my wife?) M. won with a total of 9 out of 11 possible points. Actually, she tied with the lovely Miss Kate. I asked them both to pick a number between one and five for a tie-breaker: M said one, Miss Kate said seven. So, M. won!
By the way, Miss Kate came all the way from the frozen north to attend. She’s also awesome (albeit slightly less so than my wife--sorry Kate). It was fantastic to see her, and a wonderful surprise. Her flight home was cancelled, and she was stuck in Cleveland an extra night, which sucks. I feel responsible. But, she blames it on the general suck-assiness of Chicago, and not me. But she might just be saying that because it’s my birthday.
Thanks again for coming, Kate!
Lesson #2: pants made of shower curtains do not breathe. At all.
Even though I loved my see-through pants, they started to get a little swampy after a couple hours. fortunately, my friend B. brought me an alternative pair of fancy pants. Blue with fur cuffs. And suspenders (and we all remember my unfortunate past flirtation with suspenders).
Then, there were also several categories of pants to judge. I wasn’t expecting to have to judge other people’s pants and, frankly, I was ill-prepared after several piña coladas. But, the winners broke down like this:
- Pants with the most things on them: K., a co-worker of The Scientists for green pants with a bunch of gold buttons sewed on.
- Sexiest pants: L., The Scientist’s horse trainer for her tight leather pants (I actually wanted to pick my wife for the skin-tight plaid bell-buttons she found at Goodwill; but she wouldn’t let me vote for her).
- Most colorful pants: My friend J., for multi-colored clam-diggers (this award probably should have gone to M. for her Napoleon Dynamite-inspired jeans, but she had already won the trivia contest).
- Grand Master of Pants: My friend S., for his authentic lederhosen. It’s just though to beat lederhosen, y’know?
Also in attendance that night were a beautiful kilt, flasher pants (i.e., pants that only extended from ankle to knee), clown pants, an especially esoteric graffitied pair of jeans (I got most of the jokes, Kate), girl jeans (on a boy) and others I’m forgetting. Like I said, everyone wore something (even L’s husband, who I think really would rather not have bothered) and it was super cool.
I’m lucky to have good friends. And a cool mother who completely went along with the joke. Thanks mom.
But I’m mostly lucky to have a great wife to plan and execute all of this… even though keeping her mouth shut all this time nearly gave her an ulcer. I really appreciate it, sweetheart. You’re the best.
And I’m already planning my pants for next year’s party.