Et tu, black safety pants?

It finally happened. Even my fat black pants have betrayed me.

I bought these pants in a “just in case” mode about a year ago. They were a half size too big, only 15 bucks at TJ Maxx, and I had just lost two or three pounds, so I figured I’d never really have to wear them. But – just in case…

They were my safety pants. Every Fattie has at least one pair. Mine hung merrily at the back of my closet, not unlike a secret stash of cash hidden under a mattress for a fat, rainy day, so to speak. 

And they were perfect as safety pants, too. Stretchy fabric, wide leg, and utterly non-descript. And of course, BLACK, a Fat Chick’s favorite hue. They were everything you need in a safety pant – from a slider clip reinforcing the double-button waist fastener, to faux front pockets. Comfortable, flexible, black, and at the ready. Just in case.

As it happens, “just in case” came three times last year: Once at a funeral, once at a business workshop, and once at an evening open house for a newly opened educational institution.

When duty called, those trusted black safety pants charged into action! They know their cue all too well. If I look at my bed and see no fewer than 14 outfit combinations strewn and dismissed, they know their time has arrived. A nice crease up the front, a longish shirt or sweater to hide my side bulges and buttocks, and away we go.

This has worked perfectly for the last year. Until this morning.

I’ve got fabulous dinner plans tonight at a nice restaurant with three of my oldest and dearest friends. All of us have our own lives these days, with work, husbands, boyfriends, kids, and distance keeping us apart longer than we’d like.

Every woman wants to feel pretty in front of her oldest friends – at least in a public setting. So I took my shower and began my ceremonial jaunt through the tired outfits in my closet.

White shirt with black blazer and cords? Uh, no. Not unless I plan on working for the waitstaff, or time machining it back to 1986.

Jeans with a dressy top? LAME.

Do I go with a skirt, tights, and black boots? There goes the comfort factor, right out the window. Especially since I hobbled myself earlier this year stomping my foot down in an all out tantrum. But I digress…

I went through 13 more trials like this until I finally succumbed to the Reach Back.

There they were, my trusted black slacks, limp on the hanger in all their excessive fabric glory.


Except…when I shimmy-shimmy-shimmied them up my legs, past my thighs and hips, something horrible happened.

They pulled.

At first I thought I grabbed the wrong pair of black pants. My hand flew up, shoving clothes to the left and right, searching to correct the error.

Alas, there was no mistake. My fat black safety pants are snug. Not impossible to wear, but not exactly comfortable, either. I have no other options in my wardrobe, so I’m going to have to go with them.

To compensate, I’ve got a loud, happy, purple top with a plunging neckline. I’ve put my power hoop earrings on. I’ve even donned a thong, for good measure.

But while I laugh and reminisce with these women I love, these women who love me as I am, have seen me in the buff hundreds of times at all stages of plumpness, these gals who know of my struggles almost as much as anybody does, I’ll feel the strain. The pull. The fabric shackles, if you will.

No matter how happy I am or how much fun I’m having, I won’t be able to dismiss the physical sensation – and thus the omnipresent reminder – that even my fat black safety pants are screaming for help.

All I’ll be able to do is hope they don’t split on me. Cuz thongs are not the undergarments you want to be wearing in that scenario.

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