I am not one to dole out advice to my girls about who they should and should not marry. First, because they’re 7, 5, and 3. Second, because who am I to say who they should marry. They should marry who they fall in love with. But this last weekend, I just had to warn them of the pitfalls of men wearing cargo shorts.
You see, my husband wears cargo shorts. A lot. All the time when he’s home. Even in the winter. When we first met, we were in our 20’s and I didn’t think much of it. He was a guy from L.A., of course they wore shorts and flip flops all the time. Then the years passed but the cargo short phase did not. I now find myself married to a 40 year old who wears cargo shorts.
The fashion statement is not the reason, however, that I warn my girls away from men who choose to wear these lovely things. Oh no. These shorts are an abomination of pockets that never end. There are the four pockets in the regular places, 2 on the seat, 1 on each side, but that is not enough pockets for a man, apparently. Because then there are also the two gigantic pockets that span the entire side of each thigh. Within each of these pockets are two smaller pockets, and frequently a little flap of a pocket as well.
They are a bottomless pit where things get lost and forgotten. Take kleenex, for example. A man with allergies and cargo shorts is a bad mixture. Inevitably, even though prior to doing laundry, I check the pockets, having learned early on to do so, kleenex will be missed. When I go to take the laundry out, I am often unpleasantly surprised by the presence of little shredded white bits of kleenex clinging to every single piece of laundry. It is impossible to pick off. It will not wash off. Your only hope is the dryer will pull it off into the lint trap. However, you can be guaranteed your favorite black top will hold onto the kleenex bits and fade from repeated washings before giving up its little white parasites.
Cargo shorts are the place where things hide that I get blamed for moving, only for them to be found in one of the many pocket traps. The incident this weekend led me to feel it is my duty as a mother to make sure my girls stay well clear of the billowing pockets of cargo shorts and the men who wear them.
We made a family trip to CostCo on Sunday. Rarely do we brave CostCo on the weekend due to the heavy traffic and the horrible parking, but we were out of toilet paper, so there was no other choice. Once we finally made it through the maze of samples and jumbo packs of everything (Did you know they sell packs of 9 two pound spaghetti noodles? I like spaghetti as much as the next guy, but 9?) and got to the checkout it became apparent that Ella had once again lost something vital. A shoe. How someone loses a shoe sitting in a shopping cart is beyond me, but Ella has shown an aptitude for shoe loss.
As we’re checking out, Sean starts to wander off with Ella to search the entire store for a size 10 child’s flip flop. I tell him to give me the car keys so I can take the stuff to the car. He tells me to wait at the check stand because he’ll just be a minute and we have two carts. The cashier manages to put it all in one cart, so I say give me the keys. He says wait. I say I don’t want to just stand here with the other girls, I’d rather wait in the car. I turn to push the cart away and as I turn back I see Sean’s head disappearing behind an aisle. Penny and Ella are running after. I do not have the car keys.
I’m annoyed. I have better things to do than wait around while he circles the store looking for a shoe. Samantha gets bored. She has to go to the restroom. I have a giant, overflowing cart. I have to send her by herself into the CostCo bathroom. Not happy. She returns. She’s still bored. She starts running circles around the cart, running her hand across my skirt making it swish annoyingly each time she passes.
More time passes. I have now scolded Samantha for the annoying skirt thing. She’s not doing it anymore, but she’s still running and sometimes skipping around the cart. More time passes. I see Sean pass by the check out lines, finally. Ella and Penny wave as he continues for another tour of the store.
I believe there was smoke coming out of my ears at this point. We wait and wait and wait. I make remarks about Sean to Samantha. Not all were kind. Finally, Sean comes stomping through the exit, clearly angry.
“Where have you been? You said you were going to the car. I’ve been waiting there for you,” said he.
“Why would I stand in the parking lot?” say I.
“Because I gave you the keys to load the car.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes I did.”
“No, you did not.”
Pause. Pocket digging. Keys.
“Well, I thought I gave them to you because you asked for them so much.” He said this with annoyance, as though somehow it was my fault he didn’t give me the keys.
I pointed out if he had on normal shorts that weren’t so baggy with a normal number of pockets, he would have been able to feel the keys in his pocket and not have so many choices as to where they could be. And so I advised the girls, never, ever, marry a man who wears cargo shorts.
Cut to two days later.
“Sean, do you have the truck keys. They’re not here.” (Hanging on the key rack by the back door.)
“No, why would I have them, I haven’t moved the truck today.”
“Yes you did. It’s in the driveway and I need to put something in it.”
“Well, I don’t have them. What did you do with them?” said he, again in an annoyed voice.
I gave him a look.
Pause. Checking pockets. Keys.