Library Rambler: Fashion emergencies, or pop rivets for tuxedos
For my stepson’s wedding, I ordered waist size 38 (inseam 31) pants for my tuxedo. The night before the wedding, I received a pair of pants with waist size 83 (inseam 42.) I could have fit three very tall versions of myself in those pants.
In the hotel room that night, I tried using the few resources I had to make the pants fit, but could only find two small safety pins. Using these, I attached the waist of the pants to just under the armpits on the inside of the tuxedo jacket.
I tested the safety pins by walking up and down in my hotel room. Yes, the tux did sway this way and that quite a bit, but the pins held.
I had forgotten that, as best man, I would have to twist my body nearly 90 degrees to hand the ring to the minister. When I did this during the ceremony, the starboard safety pin popped open, and the pointy end of the pin sunk into a spot near the top of my ribcage.
The sharp pain that followed caused my hand with ring in it to shake uncontrollably, and I nearly dropped the ring. The minister gave be a slight frown.
The safety pin was unable to stick securely in my ribcage and fell down, making a pile of pants leg on top of my right shoe. Despite carrying twice the weight, the port side safety pin stayed locked in place.
Ignoring the ceremony for a moment, I assessed the severity of the situation. I would have to find some way of holding up the right side of my pants as we walked out of the church during the recessional. Since I would be walking arm-in-arm with my wife on my right arm, I decided to ask her to reach out for my arm rather than my reaching for her arm so I would not have to let go of my pants.
At the start of the recessional, I turned toward my wife to offer a hurried plea for help but, instead of my wife, I saw the bridesmaid. She was an attractive young woman, and was waiting for me to take her arm to begin our majestic walk down the aisle.
The moment I let go of my pants to take her arm, the right side waistband slumped past my hip. Pants leg fabric again piled up on top of my shoe, and I prepared to take my first step off the alter. Lifting up my foot caused the pants leg to fall past my shoe and onto the floor. When I put my foot down, I was walking on the inside of my pants leg.
I simultaneously looped my right arm through her left arm and quickly brought my hand back to grab my pants. In doing that, I was a too hasty and pulled her toward me. She struggled to stay on top of her high heels and gave me a very serious look.
Walking down the aisle, I was careful not to drag my right pants leg for fear of putting too much strain on the port side safety pin. By taking large goose-steps with my right foot, I kept it from dragging. I worried how we looked as a couple, but I need not have. I only made the bridesmaid look more beautiful. Here was a living instance of Beauty and the Beast.
I have since learned to use a pop rivet tool. A piece of sheet metal on the inside of the pants and piece outside the Tuxedo jacket is all that is required to make an unbreakable connection. Sheet metal and pop rivets are now a permanent part of my fashion accessories.
Rhinelander District Library Director Ed Hughes is available at (715) 365-1070.