Monday, May 10, 2010

Sweatpants gratification

My college boyfriend used to say, "If you wear sweatpants, you've given up on life." He said it not just as a general comment about the world, but rather to me when I was wearing sweatpants around the house. I'm pretty sure that at least once, he said it to my mom (when she was wearing sweatpants). This was not the only problem with that relationship, but it ranks up there.

Flash-forward 10+ years to last Friday. I met a friend of a friend at a happy hour, and he was wearing a suit, and green cotton socks. My friend and I were pointing out the folly of this, and I said, "There's nothing wrong with those socks, but you should wear them with sweatpants, not a suit." He said, "If you wear sweatpants, you've given up on life."

OMFG! My entire ill-fated college relationship flashed before my eyes. If more than one person held this view, was it possible my X was RIGHT? I do not currently own any sweatpants--they have been replaced by flannel PJs with Ralph Wiggum on them--but the thought still haunts.

Luckily, my friend J is much smarter than me, and when I told her this story she immediately said that they must both have gotten it from the same source. "It was probably a Seinfeld line or something," were her words. A quick Google showed she was exactly correct: in the pilot of Seinfeld, George wears sweatpants, and Jerry says:
You know the message you're sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You're telling the world, "I give up. I can't compete in normal society. I'm miserable, so I might as well be comfortable."
So not only are my ex and this other dude both just repeating a very old line that they probably don't even know is a line, but the sweatpants thing is referring specifically to wearing sweatpants outside the house. It's totally irrelevant to my life. I feel pretty awesome about this.


Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with sweatpants (or yoga pants) so long as you are sweating (or yoga'ing) in them.

Christina said...

Carolyn Hax wrote a column about this, and she is pretty much always right:

TA said...

Carolyn Hax is INDEED always right--thanks for reminding me of that column!