By Steve Galea
I try to shop locally, believe me I do. But there comes a point when I have no choice but to shop online. Buying pants immediately comes to mind. You see, when it comes to pants, I have very particular needs.
I’m not going to say I have extremely short legs, but I will say that in some Nordic countries, pants with my inseam are considered shorts.
That makes them hard to find.
As far as I am aware, there is only one local store that stocks pants with inseams that are even close to being short enough for me. And they only keep a few in stock at any given time.
As a result, just going to that store is traumatic for us short-legged types. As soon as you enter the store you squint and look around like a gunfighter entering a strange saloon. Then, should you see another fellow who looks like he has trouble reaching the top shelf, you immediately size up his inseam. All the while he is doing the same thing to you. This makes everyone nervous and often clears the room.
After that, it’s a just matter of waiting for someone to make the first move. And you are either quick or facing an empty rack where the pants with the short inseams used to be.
I am not as fast as I used to be.
That’s why I resort to online shopping these days.
This might surprise you, but I am very savvy when it comes to online shopping. Yes, savvy enough to ask Jenn to do it for me.
So, last week I said, “Can you go online and find pants with my inseam, buy three pairs in any colour you’d like to embarrass me with, and tell me how much I owe you?”
“What is your inseam?” she asked.
“Sixty-six,” I said.
“How about in inches?” she replied.
A little later she told me that she finally found pants with my inseam, but they were literally the smallest inseam found on Amazon for adult men’s pants with my waistline. Worse still, when we got them, they were still actually about an inch too long too.
This leads me to believe that our local stores and Amazon are in cahoots with the multi-national seamstress conglomerates. They are actually forcing men of my slightly-below-average height to either roll up our pants an inch or two, or spend money getting them hemmed, which with the quality of pants I buy, means tripling their price.
“Which Amazon did you shop on?” I asked.
“Amazon.ca,” she replied.
And therein lied our problem.
I quickly looked up the shortest nations in the world and discovered that the Timorese have an average height of five-foot-one and a quarter, which would make me a shoe-in for their national basketball team.
“Is there such a thing as Amazon.Timor?” I asked Jenn.
Apparently, there is not.
Jenn said that I just buy pants with my waist size and hem them myself.
“It’s not that difficult,” she said. Which is easy for someone who shops off the rack – the top rack, I might add – to say.
Plus, I have made my living as a writer, which means I have no discernible skills.
“There has to be a better way,” I thought.
Then it hit me.
“Next time,” I said, “let’s try a website that sells shorts in Nordic countries.”