Pull your pants up Oldhead
I’D BEEN UNDER the weather for the past week, coughing and wheezing with a sore throat that just wouldn’t quit. For the first time in days, I felt like leaving the house, so I went to the supermarket to grab some apples.
[blocktext align=”right”] When you’ve got a decades-old gut, and hair reminiscent of Frederick Douglass in his later years, I should not see your boxers. Not only because you should know better, but also because your boxers are probably as old as me.[/blocktext]
I thought it would be a routine trip. I thought I wouldn’t see anything that would make me feel worse. I was wrong—terribly, terribly wrong.
I pulled into the parking lot at my neighborhood Shoprite, parked my car and turned off the ignition. I was about to get out when I looked up and saw something I’d hoped to never witness—a man in his mid-50s with his pants hanging below his dingy drawers.
I wanted to yell out, “Pull your pants up, Oldhead!” But I was too shocked to speak.
Pop Pop, I see your drawers
It’s bad enough to see teens with their pants hanging down to their thighs. I don’t want to see somebody’s Pop Pop doing it, too. When you’ve got a decades-old gut, and hair reminiscent of Frederick Douglass in his later years, I should not see your boxers. Not only because you should know better, but also because your boxers are probably as old as me.
Yet there he was, a man about a decade older than myself, standing there on the passenger side of the car in front of me, with his old, saggy drawers hanging out.
Everything within me told me to scream, “Pull your pants up!” But I was taught to respect my elders, so I sat silently in my car, watching him fiddling with a cell phone as the woman who was driving him around sat patiently waiting for him. I tried to imagine what he was reading.
Stop Dad. You’re embarrassing me.
Was it a text from his 25-year-old daughter?
“Dad, Angie said she saw you walking around with your pants hanging down again. Please stop. #youtoooldforthat”
Was he on WorldStarHipHop looking for more fashion ideas?
Maybe the phone was just an excuse for him to stand there and pose. Perhaps he was hoping we’d all marvel at his dirty drawers, and smile because Pop Pop is down.
[blocktext align=”left”]As I watched him put the phone away (he had to reach below his knees to find a pocket) and saw him fold himself into the car, he confirmed my suspicions. He moved as if arthritis was a constant companion. I could almost hear the snap, crackle and pop of his Rice Krispies-like knees. [/blocktext]
I wasn’t smiling, though. I was wondering the same thing I do when I see teens walking around with their pants down. What will you do if something happens and you have to choose between fight and flight? Will you be able to keep your hands up with your pants down? Will you be able to run with your pants around your knees? That’s all the more reason to pull your pants up.
As I watched him put the phone away (he had to reach below his knees to find a pocket) and saw him fold himself into the car, he confirmed my suspicions. He moved as if arthritis was a constant companion. I could almost hear the snap, crackle and pop of his Rice Krispies-like knees.
After a series of grunts, he managed to fold himself into the car, and as he reached past his white Tee to cock his baseball cap on an even sharper angle, I felt sorry for him. He looked like the kind of cat who’s refused to let go of the gangwar days, and still wants his friends to call him “Mad Dog.”
The oldhead look only works if your clothes are reflective of your era. Maybe if he had on a cool cap and some Chuck Taylors I could’ve dealt with it. Even if he would’ve dressed it up a little with some platform shoes and bellbottoms I could’ve understood his unwillingness to let go.
But to see a man that old with his nasty dingy drawers exposed? Well, that was just sad.
I hate to see a brother with his drawers on display. It’s even worse when that brother is someone’s dad. Please Oldhead, do us all a favor. Pull your pants up.
Photo by Solomon Jones III
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com. Click here to learn more about Solomon