The office of the Columbia Missourian at the University of Missouri is a serious newsroom. It is full of serious reporters and serious editors who take their work seriously. Not that they shouldn’t — the Missourian is, after all, the training ground for a future generation of serious journalists.
The newsroom hums, as any good newsroom is apt to do. It buzzes, it rumbles, it thrives. No one is stationary. People weave between desks, make calls, take notes, talk in low voices to editors over black coffees. Everyone is sharp, focused, clear-eyed and limber-minded. Everyone is wearing pants.
Everyone except me.
It’s late in the afternoon, and I’ve ducked into the newsroom to borrow a roll of tape and some scissors: necessary supplies to repair a slight spiral notebook mishap. I look around, notice that I’m sorely out of place. My outfit consists, as it does every day, of a large-ish T-shirt, chacos with raspberry-colored straps, and Nike shorts (read: not pants).
I despise pants.
Pants are a symbol of power. To say someone “wears the pants” is to give him or her the upper hand. Pants lend weight and importance to the wearer. When women first donned trousers it was revolutionary; a right formerly reserved for the male race. Then, pants were a symbol of liberation. Now, they are oppressive.
I survived the Argentinian winter in leggings and tights. For the past month I’ve existed in Nike shorts, skirts, and dresses. Come fall it will be leggings and tights again, sometimes thin and sometimes opaque. The day I’m forced to button a button and zip a zipper is the day contentment dies.
Pants are not freeing. They squeeze and squish and prohibit a breeze or a tan or the occasional high kick. They limit your creativity. They turn you into a real, working journalist — the serious kind.
One day I’ll join the ranks of the pants-wearers. I will buy a pair made with as much polyester as possible (mustn’t restrict those high kicks), I’ll suck it up and I’ll act like an adult.
For now, though, my childish desires to frolic in pantsless liberation knows no bounds. I run, I dance, I lounge, I dream, all with my thighs exposed. Adulthood is on the horizon, but it hasn’t engulfed me yet.