The New Legit?

July 21, 2010

When the shine of traveling begins to fade, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the reality of each given moment. A common task like eating dinner, for example, is quickly normalized as another daily action. However, upon regaining full consciousness and taking stock of the situation, the utter absurdity of a backpacker’s life sets in. What was, at first, an ordinary meal translates to: “I am eating pig brains with chop sticks in a Chinese restaurant in the Moroccan district of Barcelona next to three drunk Germans.” Exaggeration aside, I am finding constant amusement in breaking down the reality of what has become my day-to-day life.

With that in mind, let me set the current scene:

I am sitting in a vegetarian cafe in Granada, Spain, and I am wearing hammer pants.

Now, if left unexplained, any individual with knowledge of the many stereotypes of “lesbian culture” will recognize that the above statement dangerously flirts with two lethal clichés: vegetarianism and poor fashion. After reading Eating Animals and dating an attractive non-meat-eating woman, I must plead guilty to my growing vegetarian tendencies. The latter claim, however, I will attempt to deny. Admittedly, I have made some poor purchases in my day: ill-fitting corduroy capri overalls, knock-off ugg boots with Eve lyrics handwritten along the ankle, and elastic waist jeans to name a few. This time, however, I have the majority of the European continent on my side.

In Madrid, I took pity on the first woman I mistook for a back-up dancer from the 1990 jam, “U Can’t Touch This.” But then I saw another…and another…and what seemed like an entire army of hammer-panted ladies. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for my curiosity to develop. The heat here is hot, and those billowing pant legs appeared to strategically double as a self-generating cooling devices. Later that afternoon, Jeremy informed me that my back sweat had taken the shape of a giant smiley face. Later that night, I bought hammer pants.

To those of you wincing at the thought of a parachute-like garment worn on the lower half of a five-foot-two-er: rest easy. I purchased a knee-length variety with minimal volume and maximum normalcy. To the disappointment of Vanilla Ice fans, I chose black as opposed to hot pink or gold.

As someone who has consistently sported a fanny pack since the early 2000s, I am not encouraging you to be the first to expose the United States to the reemergence of this once legendary fashion. Instead, I merely ask you to put away your pointer fingers if this phenomenon happens to come to runways or sidewalks near you. In the meantime, when you feel a slight breeze back in the States, think of it as my hammer pants fanning you with love from afar.

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