Finding the perfect pair of pants can be a long, lonely life’s work. In his memoir “Attempting Normal,” Marc Maron talks about his desire to find a pair of pants that mimic the perfect pair he wore as a kid. He wrote, “When I was a kid and my mom bought me Levi’s, they were stiff and uncomfortable for weeks. Then over time and multiple washings, they’d fade the way you wanted them to and start to contour themselves to your body. They became more than your pants. They were your skin. They grew with you.” Marc excerpted that chapter for the New York Times, because the pursuit of perfect pants is universal. Why? Because in Marc’s words, “It’s going to be worth the purchase of that two-legged vessel to a simpler time.”
Not only do great jeans reconnect you with your youth, but they are comfortable too, and if we all have to suffer through this mortal coil, we may as well do it in comfortable pants. In his pursuit, though, Marc found something else, “As I was lying in the tub with my new gray Levi’s shrink-to-fit pants on, my natural feelings of desperation and stupidity were mixed with another emotion: Hope. My life had narrowed in this moment to one small, attainable purpose, the pursuit of perfect jeans, and I felt excited.” But this being Marc, that moment of hope was just a pit stop on an emotional rollercoaster that quickly plummeted. Marc added, “I also felt empty. Was this what my life had become? Didn’t I have better things to do? I was a 48-year-old man in a bathtub wearing pants, thinking I would be a better person for owning a pair of highly personalized jeans.”
Once Marc recognized his state, he was on a roll. Don’t tell the guys over at “Whisker Wars,” but Marc has some strong feelings about mustaches: “I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous. If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache.” And that whole Dream of the 1890s look that’s alive in Portland? Marc has some thoughts about that, too:” I saw a guy in Brooklyn once with a handlebar mustache, pierced ears, a fedora hat and jodhpurs. He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself. It looked as if he were interrupted during a shave in the mid-1850s and had to grab some clothes and dress quickly while being chased through a time tunnel.”
Take a break from your own relentless pursuit of perfect pants and head over to the New York Times site and read the whole thing.
“Maron” airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c