Tuesday, June 5, 2018

IWSG: The Motherhood of The Traveling Pants


It's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh and the rest of the talented writers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

                                        The Motherhood of The Traveling Pants


When my mom moved into a nursing home a few years ago, I decided that I wasn't going to take any chances. After many falls, she had been in and out of nursing homes for rehab throughout the years and I had noticed that some of her clothes went missing. So every week I brought her clothes home to wash.

Then the calls started coming.

Mom: I have no pants.

Me: What do you mean you have no pants?

Mom: There are no pants in my closet.

Me: How can your pants be missing? They couldn't get mixed up in everyone else's  laundry, because I wash them myself.

Mom: If you don't believe me come and see for yourself. I'm hanging up now, because I have to get ready for dinner.

Me: But Mom it's only 3 p.m.

This happened several times and I searched high and low in her room, but couldn't find any sign of her missing pants. So I went to her favorite department store that she retired from years ago, with her cherished employee discount card in hand, to buy her new pants. 

But then the new pants started to disappear.

At one point I suggested that my brother install a camera in her closet to see who was taking her pants, but her favorite child was too busy bringing her groceries, taking her to bingo, rearranging her room and doting on her other needs.

It really cheered me up when my mom introduced me to a resident's daughter who thought my brother was an only child.

Then one day, as I was hanging up my mom's wash, I noticed a pair of pants that I had never seen before. I checked the label and they were a women's 'tall.'

In my mom's prime she was a statuesque five foot five, so I knew trouble was afoot.

When I asked my mom, she explained that one of the staff gave them to her after she told them that her pants kept disappearing.

Me: So she stole an old pair of pants from someone else and gave them to you to replace a nice new pair of pants that I bought you? 

Mom: Well I needed black pants and they fit when I'm sitting down. I have no problem with that.

Suddenly, I had an urge to watch Robin Hood.

Recently, my mom's favorite department store announced that it was going out of business. The store holds many special memories for all of us. Though my mom worked in women's better sportswear, she knew every inch of the store and always found our family the most beautiful clothes for every occasion.

When we got married, she bought us lovely china that we still use, as well as other household items. She even helped us pick out furniture that has lasted for years.

But when I offered to take her to the store before it closes, she told me that she has a new favorite store with a great selection and even better deals.

Then she said to take a look inside her closet where there was a nice selection of pants that I hadn't seen before in several different colors.

I couldn't imagine where she had possibly gone shopping without me.

Then she explained that she got them just an elevator ride away at the Lost & Found.

When my resourceful mom told the woman who worked there that many of her pants went missing, she gave her the pick of the litter. She now has some great spring/summer jeans and casual pants.

Me: But what if you're wearing other people's pants who still need them?

Mom: Then they should have checked with the Lost & Found.

Me: So an eye for an eye?

Mom: More like pants for pants. 


  1. What a wonderful post about your mother, such a pleasure and an eye opener to read. Thank you.


  2. Funny! Well, if hers kept vanishing... Sounds like residents in the place exchanged pants often.

  3. Funny story about your mom. Really enjoyed it since my mom just moved to independent living. And I just did her laundry for her because she fell. She's just a little bruised, Thank God.

  4. Oh my goodness. Seriously? My brother was in a care facility for the last few years of his life, and I know things went missing. Very frustrating to me that people are like that, but it's a truth.

  5. As always, you put a nice humorous spin on something that probably wasn't exactly a knee-slapper when it was happening. You're an awesome daughter. :)

  6. I loved every word of this post. Expect it made me miss my mom.

  7. From my experiences with my parents when they were in nursing homes, glasses disappear first, teeth soon follow and finally the clothes. The staff of this expensive, well regarded care facility seldom cared. I got very upset especially when my dad’s teeth were gone, and a CN took me to the office and opened up a drawer full of teeth and asked me to find his.

    Your mom stories are always the best, Julie.

  8. The case of the missing pants. lol

  9. Hi Julie - your way of telling the stories is so great ... and your mother looks amazing! Honestly ... so true what you say here ... my Ma didn't need any clothes ... so I had some night dresses made for her - that were simple to wear as she was bedridden ... and as they were totally unique - no-one could wander off with them ... or in them: the police or squaddies would be after them like a bolt of lightening - if they were worn without underclothes! Cheers to you ... such a fun read - Hilary

  10. So funny as always. I cracked up about the resident's daughter who thought your brother was an only child LOL.

  11. I love the way you tell a story, although I do have to wonder what is actually happening to your mom's pants - and why only the pants? How odd. The good news is, your mom always sounds like she is in good spirits.

  12. Yvonne - Thank you so much! Hope you are doing well.

    Alex - You make it sound like a much more swinging place! I don't think any of the women exchanged pants willingly. Now I'm wondering if any of the men had the same problem. Thanks for hosting another wonderful IWSG, Alex!

    Natalie - Sorry that your mom fell, but I'm glad it's nothing more than bruises. Hope things go well in her new residence. She's lucky to have you looking out for her. Thanks Natalie!

    Crystal - Sorry about your brother. It's understandable that laundry would get mixed up in large facilities, but it's still a mystery how it happened when I was washing my mom's clothes. Thanks Crystal!


  13. Susan - You are absolutely right, but the knee-slapping did begin when my mom found her new favorite store at the Lost & Found! My mom was a competitive clothes shopper for many years, so this came as quite a surprise. Still loving "Explosive Beginnings!" Thanks Susan!

    LD - I'm sorry you lost your mom. I know how incredibly lucky I am. Thank you LD!

    Arlene - Well a drawer full of teeth certainly tops this! Fortunately, my mom still has most of her original teeth, though one day I almost tripped on a tooth on her bathroom floor. At least it saved us a trip to the dentist. Thank you so much, Arlene!

    Chrys - I almost used that as my title. Great minds! Thanks Chrys!


  14. Hilary - I'm sorry that your mom was bedridden, but it sounds like you went above and beyond to make her feel special and as comfortable as possible. I'm sure she loved her custom night dresses! Funny about how the police would be after any night dress thieves! I'll tell my mom that you said how "amazing" my mom looks, as I know it will make her day! Thank you, Hilary!

    Julie - My brother has been visiting her more often than I have and he's also been visiting me quite frequently too. Now I understand why he's the favorite child! Thank you, Julie!

    Rhonda - It is strange that only her pants were targeted. Now if someone messed with her hairspray all hell would break loose! Yes, remarkably my mom has remained in good spirits. Thank you, Rhonda!


  15. Love this story, Empty Nest Insider. Just my sort of thing!

  16. It's a pants-eat-pants kind of world.

  17. Rosemary - Thank you so much Rosemary! Glad you appreciate our silly humor!

    Debra - Where were you when I needed you? I love it! Thanks Debra!


  18. {*I tried to post the following comment this morning but my work computer would not allow me to. But, you know, if at first you don't succeed... try again from your own home computer!*}

    I loved the title of your story, and this...

    "...they fit when I'm sitting down"

    ...literally made me laugh-out-loud.

    I think of you often and hope you're keeping your spirits up, my friend. If this story was any indication, then it sounds as if you are.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  19. You do such a good job of finding the humor in every situation. This sort of thing happened to my mom when she was in the nursing home too. They did put the residents' names on a tag in all the clothes, but things still came up missing.

  20. Stephen - Sorry you had to spend so much time posting your comment, but the extra effort was well worth it, as once again you've made my day! I also want to apologize for not seeing this yesterday, as I was trying to make a deadline.

    My husband helped me with the title, so I will pass your kind words on to him.

    Thanks for thinking of me, and it's friends like you who keep my spirits up! Thank you so much, Stephen!

    Connie - I'm sorry that your mom was also in a nursing home, as I know how difficult it can be.

    Thanks for the wonderful compliment! Our family has always tried to find the humor even in the most unlikely situations. It really has helped us through some tough times.

    I think you do the same thing and more in your poetry. Though you have the talent to touch on so many emotions. Thank you, Connie!


  21. Hehehe well there's that.

    Something really weird is going on there. I mean it does seem that the staff are redistributing clothes as they see fit. :-/

  22. Misha - Many of the clothing either lost their name tags or never had them in the first place. I don't think we'll ever be able to solve this mystery, but at least it gives my mom the opportunity to participate in her favorite pastime -- shopping! Thanks Misha!


  23. This post put a smile on my face. Thank you for the humor and the positive perspective. Wonderful storytelling. Thanks for the post, and happy writing to you. :)

  24. Wow, what a situation! Good storytelling. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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