Birdie had never taken a physics class, but as near as she could remember, the law of gravity was still supposed to be in effect. So what was the explanation for how young men kept their pants from falling down around their ankles when they wore the waistband just below their buttocks? Was that area on a young man’s body some kind of fashionista Bermuda Triangle that suspended physical laws?
It was out in front of that shop where one could buy t-shirts that had a picture of the Statue of Liberty holding a revolver instead of a torch. Birdie and Gerald couldn’t help but notice him. Seymour Butts was draped over the newspaper machine studying his smart phone, presenting his backside to anyone passing by.
Birdie had seen this style before, but never this completely. Up until now, she had only concluded that the jeans sat way below the waist because the back pockets were situated on the backs of their knees. But now, Birdie saw the facts. There was the waist band and belt circling the top of Seymour’s thighs right under his Hanes covered rump. Birdie immediately had questions.
Was leaning against the newspaper machine keeping the jeans in place, and would Seymour have to grab them to keep them from plummeting to the floor if he had to move suddenly? She’d seen guys like Seymour doing the penguin walk to keep their pants in place. What if they had to run? Birdie thought they pictured themselves as part of the “gangster” subculture, but didn’t gangsters need to be able to make fast get-aways?
Back when Birdie wore panty hose, having the crotch at knee level set off the alarm system in her comfort zone. Did Seymour not have that built-in alarm system? Or was his comfort level just calibrated differently? She knew for a fact that waists were not situated where they used to be. They used to be right about belly button level, but now, for most young girls, waists hovered around the hip bones and contributed to plumber’s-crack chic.
Another question Birdie had was who was the first guy? Who was the original Seymour? She had read that this style had originated in prison with oversized uniforms issued without belts. Birdie preferred to imagine that the original Seymour’s jeans slid down because he had lost weight, and he hadn’t been able to get any new jeans in his new slim size, and he hadn’t had time to punch a new hole in his belt and, LaFonda, the girl he had a crush on, said, “Looking good, Daddy!”, so he decided sagging was going to be his new look, and the style spread from there. But that was probably just because she had a preoccupation with fantasies about losing weight.
“As long as I can get my jeans up over my hips and fastened around my version of a waistline,” thought Birdie, ” I’m sticking with that.”