“The Importance of Changing Pants”

Ive never owned a pair of True Religion or similarly expensive jeans. I was always a Levi’s man. but I’ve just invested the prison equivalent on some state-issued blue scrubs. Originally, they were cardboard starchy and way too big, like the huge parachute pants you’d see teens wear in Hot Topic.

In the yard’s best tailor in my cube so I paid two yellow bags of coffee ($8) to hem and sew some deep-set pockets into them, perfectly fitted to move food across the yard. (That’s the annoying thing about state-issued clothes in prison–none have pockets.) Usually, it only costs about half that for pockets, but his work is so good it resembles store-bought pants. Then, I paid another two bags to get them trimmed to be more slim fitting, so theyre like something Id wear in the world.

The reason Ive put so much money into a free pair of prison blues is a deep seated psychological need Ive recently become cognizant of, which is the satisfaction I derive from being able to change into a pair of more comfortable sweats at the end of a long day of work. Even though I dont have anything like a real world job, there are a few things I expect out of myself each day that could easily be construed as ‘work’ and I wear my blues for all those tasks. I try to put off the point at which I change into my sweats as late into the day as possible.

Even though Im in prison, there’s something about sweatpants, that if I wore them during the day, all my motivation and testosterone gets sapped away, and I feel like a bum. No matter where you are, sweatpants are the uniform of the defeated, the lazy, the slacker, the whiner. It’s good for your psyche NOT to be perfectly comfortable all day long.

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