The Case of the Missing Pants

Last night, I dreamed I was in college again, walking around the halls of one of the main buildings, when I realized I was not wearing pants.

Not this again.

Luckily, I was wearing an oversized jacket that I could awkwardly pull it down to cover my nethers, allowing me to act perfectly natural while I was interacting with friends and professors.

Then I met up with some friends and noticed something — none of them were wearing pants, either. Like me, they were relying on their jackets, hoodies, backpacks and books to obscure this fact and allow them to act perfectly natural. I felt less stupid when I realized I wasn’t the only pants-free person on campus.

When we finished our conversation and parted ways, I noticed something else — no one on campus was wearing pants. Every single person I saw was awkwardly hiding their junk and trying to pretend like everything was normal.

At some point, everyone else noticed the overall lack of pants and silently agreed to pretend like nothing was up, immediately cutting the tension that had previously filled the air.


I’m sure there’s a way to spin this as a deep meditation on the human condition — how all of us are vulnerable and exposed, merely pretending everything is fine and hoping that no one else notices. Perhaps the world would be a better place if we were more open about our flaws and more willing to give others a pass for harmless mistakes.

But I think the real takeaway here is that pants are oppressive.