CarNO Pants. Yes, You Read This Correctly. CarNO

May 13, 2010

Sometimes my feelings are so hot that I have to take the pen and put them out on paper to keep them from setting me afire inside; then all that ink and labor are wasted because I can’t print the result.
• Mark Twain

I promised myself I would not rant again for at least two weeks. June 1 was my target date. I’d planned to be patient with life and let its petty irritations and irksome moments roll right on by, leaving me relaxed and calm in their wake. There’s so much I need to get done that I don’t want to get swept away by annoyance.

But I can only take so much.

Robert Service, a poet whose work includes “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and “The Shooting of Dan McGrew,” wrote, “Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” I appreciate his wisdom, but I’m incapable of following it. Sometimes the rant must be released.

I’ll soon be taking a train trip from Portland, Oregon, to Washington, D.C., and back. It’s a long trip and I don’t want to be saddled (literally) with a purse. I want cargo pants with pockets large enough to hold my wallet and my phone. And they must be pants, not shorts, not those almost long pants that women’s stores are full of. I’m short and their abbreviated length never looks deliberate. I’m just high-watering it. The search for suitable leg-covering is futile. I have even been to the mall, the final destination of a desperate woman.

I get my clothes mostly at thrift stores. If I go looking for new clothes, everything looks alike and nothing looks like anything I would actually want to wear. This time every pair of women’s cargo pants I see has pockets too small to even hold an iPhone. These are not cargo pants. Cargo pants should hold cargo. Otherwise they’re just pants, even if they do have extra so-called pockets.

A pocket that is three inches by three inches or one that has a large decorative button in the center of it buttoning it closed so that there’s room for little more than a pencil on either side (just in case someone wants to risk lead poisoning by sticking pencils in pockets on their legs) or another that is a little square that does not have a flap or a zipper or a snap or Velcro® so that anything that might be put into it is in danger of falling out, all these are the kinds of pockets I saw this evening. (Note to the curious–how can I be writing about evening of today when it hasn’t happened? Easy. It’s the middle of the night and is now today, but since I’m still operating on the day I’ve yet to end, I was shopping this evening and not yesterday.) What I did not see was a pocket in which I could store cargo. These were carNO pants.

A saleswoman commiserates. She wants pockets too. I’m going shopping in the men’s section. I can pack my lunch in their pockets.

How about you? What’s griping you?

I have some road rage inside of me. Traffic, especially in L.A., is a pet peeve of mine.
• Katie Holmes



  1. In “Three Cups of Tea,” by and about Greg Mortenson, he resorts to a fishing vest to carry all the things he needs to keep handy. Not terribly fashionable, I guess, but functional! Tip for short women like us: Shop for Capris in the Petite section. They are proportioned better.

  2. Excellent tip re: petites. Thanks. I sadly suspect they will still be carNO, though! W-OZ

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