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I can hide a beer can in one hand. Extra-large gloves tend to be a little too small. I wear size 13 shoes. Don’t even get me started on hats that are one-size-fits-most. I’m 6’1’’ and rock a sweet dad-bod that practically screams “he’s comfy to snuggle with and easy to fall asleep on.” I don’t fall into the category of “big dude” but I am gifted in certain areas.

While I don’t need to go to the super tall/super fat dude stores, I do have an incredibly difficult time finding pants that fit.

Euphoria. Unbridled joy. Ecstasy. This is what I feel when I find a pair of pants that actually fit. Don’t get me wrong, I hate pants and they seam to hate me right back.

Well, I don’t necessarily hate the actual pants. I hate shopping for pants.

Last year alone, I suffered from five random, unforeseeable denim explosions. The jeans split along my right butt cheek, left thigh, and in a spot that made me grateful for boxers.

I wear a size that is either extremely common or extremely rare. The options surrounding my size are bountiful, but my actual size is almost never in stock. One time, when I saw my size at a store, I grabbed the pants without further investigation, only to fail at pulling them halfway up my thighs and realize they were skinny jeans. I need a cut called the “relaxed fit” to comfortably accommodate my girth.

I can’t go to a tailor anymore. It’s embarrassing. While they make their measurements and markings along the fabric, my ass jiggles with a rhythm to which you could set a metronome. More than once it was referred to as a “Beyoncé booty.”

You get the idea: thicc thighs and a butt that can sell lemonade.

But that’s not the problem.

The real issue is that I have a tremendous … well, let’s say just this: one time a TSA agent asked if I had anything in my pocket after going through the full body scanner since there was an odd, cylindrical protrusion along my thigh. To be fair, it did look like I was smuggling a cucumber. I informed him that my pockets were empty, and after exchanging a look that said, “Dude, c’mon, we both know what that is,” he proceeded with a quick pat-down before learning of my curse, the reason I usually only ever wear jeans and the reason I may have landed my new job.

On any given day, I carry my phone in my right pocket and keys in the left pocket, and yet my pants appear to store a third object between pockets.

Or there is an optical illusion that makes one pocket look like it is capable of significantly more storage than the other. Wearing dark jeans helps mask the issue, even sometimes creating a decoy I call the fauxner. But I needed to wear something more formal to a job interview, so I undertook the hours-long sidequest that is buying pants.

I wore tan pants to an interview. I was running slightly behind schedule and had no time to perfect my look before heading out the door. When I checked my appearance in the reflection of a fancy SUV, I saw them. Three distinct bulges. One was clearly a rectangular phone. Another was a bundle of keys. The last one was clearly a source of energy that would cause Ariana Grande to tweet. In spite of my fear of having something terribly distracting happen during a period of nervous tension, it was too late to change, so I marched into the office with a big … smile.

The interview went well. It lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes when it should have only taken half an hour. At the end, I was informed that there were other candidates to be interviewed over the next couple of days. I was offered the job that day, not two hours after leaving the office.

I couldn’t help but wonder what made them cancel the other interviews.

My résumé? Wit? Charm? Intense eye contact? Was it the firm handshake wherein my hand was significantly larger to the point of being slightly awkward? Or was it the tan pants that had won me a steady paycheck?

I thought back to my reflection as I approached the building’s glass door. It was definitely my thunderous bulge. Maybe pants aren’t so bad after all. I wonder what the pay offer would have been if I’d worn shorts.

Ryan Fay

Ryan is an editor and semi-pro author with life goal of having enough money to buy the cool things people make in DIY videos.

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