The check-pants of your past

DO you know what check-pants are?

I didn’t, and I have a pair. I thought it was my secret, but no… it appears everyone in the world has check pants. Everyone over 25 years, that is.

They have nothing to with checks, as in the pattern. They’re the trousers you had before you were 25, that you keep handy so you can drag them out and try them on, in the sad and forlorn hope that maybe, just maybe, they’ll fit again.

Of course, they never do.

I’ve had mine since 1972.

There was a day in 1983 when I almost managed to get the zip all the way up, but that’s all.

This is ridiculous. Why don’t I just throw them out and accept the new me!

And don’t smirk – this is your dilemma, too! I’m not sure if it’s false optimism, self-delusion or nostalgia… but if it was nostalgia I’d get them out and just look at them wouldn’t I?

Why do I — why do we — need to depress ourselves every few months by checking whether we’re thin again. Of course we’re not bloody thin again!

Yes, there are times when I’m thinner than I was last week, or maybe even last month or last year. But it is one of the natural laws of the world that you are never thin enough to get into your check-pants.

As I say… I thought my check-pants were my secret. Until I mentioned to a neighbour that she was looking well.

“I feel pretty fit,” she said. “Maybe I’ll get the check-pants out.”

She explained. She admitted she had check-pants! She thought it was very funny. Is that healthy?

Mine are hidden under a pile of old notebooks that are hidden under my socks. I lock the door before I drag out my check-pants. I ensure the curtains are closed. I’m sure my family must think it’s women’s dresses, not a pair of 35-year-old flares.

I can’t laugh about this! It’s pathetic! I’m not even fat; just fatter than I used to be.

I don’t think it’s anything to do with added weight. I think it’s do with lost youth. That’s what I really hanker after. If ever I did fit back into my check-pants I’d probably be so euphoric that I’d end up in a club for young people, saying things like “Fab” and “Far out”.

I want it back, you see… not the pants… but the times that went with it. God knows why. I seem to remember it involved a lot of throwing up and an almost continuous sense of complete worthlessness in the presence of girls ( who always seemed to prefer the bloke standing beside me – and I bet his check-pants don’t fit him any more, either).

In fact, that’s part of the definition. They’re not just “pants from your past”. they’re “pants from your past that no longer fit, haven’t for years and never will again no matter how much you diet or how long you live.”

I’ve thought about changing them for a pair from, say, 1995. At least I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen out in them (in the impossible event that one day they did fit me again).

But it would be cheating. I don’t hanker for 1995, when I had hair in my ears, and sun-burn on the top of my head. I hanker for a time when check-pants hadn’t been invented. Not by my generation anyway. Older people probably had them though, even back then.

Maybe we could get together and form a club. At least no one would laugh when we said things like “Fab” and “Far out”.