Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Cross-Dressing Hobo

There's "mom jeans."

And then there's mom's jeans.

They can be the same thing, or two different things. But in my house, they're both mine.

Also belonging to me is one Hobo, a.k.a. my son, nicknamed as such because he mostly dresses himself like a homeless crackhead -- and that's when he bothers to wear clothes. He's a stranger to fashion, an avoider of shirts, and an avid fan of farts.

But recently he's made some strides -- at least in the personal hygiene department. Why, just a few weeks ago, I caught him showering voluntarily. With Axe products, no less. He's growing up and becoming a teenager, and I thought we were easing our way out of the abyss of pre-teen awkwardness.

I thought so, that is, until the husband texted me at work the other day.

"Why is your son wearing Jordache jeans?"

Well. That's not a text you get every day. What the hell was he talking about?  The kid doesn't have Jordache jeans -- what boy does? -- he only wears Old Navy and Levi's. I am very familiar with his bottoms, as he grows about three inches a week these days. I constantly have to buy him new pants.

The only Jordache jeans I knew of in the house were a throwback 80s pair I bought for myself a few years ago. They are snug and have the signature orange stitching and super cute retro horse on the pocket and . . .

Oh. No. Say it ain't so.

What in the name of Gloria Vanderbilt was that boy thinking? How did he make it through the school-day in one piece? Middle-schoolers are not known for their tolerance and kindness, especially to those who wear mom's slacks to school.

I knew immediately what happened; none of it his fault. His sister, a.k.a. the Princess, folds the laundry and puts it away each week. This is the only chore she has to do in order for us to pay her iPhone bill every month.

She has one job.

In typical teenage fashion, she cares not at all about doing it right, and stuffs any old clothes into any old drawers. Today, for example, I am sporting my husband's socks. I can't tell you the number of times I've reached in my underwear drawer for panties, only to produce a pair of raggedy size 36-38 Jockey shorts.

So the scene went like this: the boy rolled out of bed at 6:20 a.m., opened his pants drawer, and cluelessly pulled out my designer jeans, thrown in there by my daughter. He put them on, and then he wore them. All day long.

I wanted to see how the Hobo looked in my sweet threads, but my husband wouldn't take a picture, figuring -- and rightfully so -- that I'd post it on Facebook and/or the Twitter. I had an hour commute, and there was no way he'd still have them on when I got home. Surely, I thought, he was mortified, and he'd take them off and put on his evening crackhead attire of ratty pajama bottoms and no shirt.

But, lo -- I was wrong.

I walked in the door and found him lounging in his usual spot, playing his usual video games, and wearing his mama's clothes.

"Son," I said, "are you aware that you are still wearing my pants?"

He didn't even glance up from his laptop. "Yep."

I stood staring at my size 6P mom jeans, puffing out around his waist and riding up the calves of his long, lanky frame.

"Those are way too short for you," I said. "Didn't you notice? Didn't your friends make fun of you?"

"Nope," he replied, still tapping at  his keyboard. "Or if they did, they didn't say anything."

I regarded my son, the accidental cross-dresser.

"Listen," I said. "I just want to thank you. I have had nothing to blog about lately. But this will pretty much write itself."

He swiveled toward me in the desk chair. "That's why I'm here, Mom," he shrugged, "to give you stuff to write about."

And with that, nattily dressed in my pants, he wheeled back around to the computer.

You know, I thought, that's exactly what I love about this kid.

It doesn't matter to him if I write about him.

It doesn't matter to him if he screws up.

It doesn't matter if he walked around 600 middle-schoolers all day in his mom's designer jeans.

Absolutely zero fucks given.

Really, why should it bother him? He'll be back to his regularly scheduled Levi's tomorrow. Anyway, pants is pants.

And a hobo cares not what he wears.