The Flying Button-Fly

Posted: March 7, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , ,

I realize that I regularly come off as a suave, sophisticated today kind of guy.  I feel I dress fairly well, I shower regularly, I cut my nails enough to make a manicurist blush, I even floss on a daily basis…. all certain indicators that I’ve got it all together.  I’ve received compliments playing golf – NOT compliments of my golf game, mind you – but about my even-tempered manner.  To the outside world, I am a mixture of composure and culture that can’t be rivaled.

Which is why it is so amazing to me (and probably to others) that I can be such a total dork at times and completely awkward with simple life activities.  All of this goodness wrapped up in a wonderful me-package – and yet I can be such a complete idiot at times it would blow your mind.  To those of you who have only seen the glossy package previously – this will come as a rude awakening to you.

An example of this awkwardness?  Wish granted.  Read the following and be amazed at how anyone can actually be this goofy and ridiculous.  There is only one reason I tell you this embarrassing story – to make you feel infinitely better about yourselves so that you don’t deal with the same ‘issues’ of awkwardness that I do on a regular basis.  Because I’m a giver.  I give and I give.

It all started with a new pair of pants.  Doesn’t everything?  I had received a pair of jeans for Christmas that were absolutely wonderful.  Loved them.  So I needed another pair of jeans – this time in a charming gray color.  I went online to the same store, found the correct size and ordered them.  I did this with no inkling of the awkwardness to come.

They came a few days later and I went to try them on.  I went to zip them up and was met with a shocking discovery.  There was no zipper.  And no, ALEX, there was no elastic waistband (yet).  Instead of the extremely handy (and universally accepted) zipper, there were a series of four buttons.  That’s right, I had inadvertently ordered button-fly pants.  For those of you who aren’t aware of these types of things, they apparently are fairly common among some folks.  I’m not sure where they fall in the whole fastener evolution world.  Are they older than zippers?  Newer than Velcro?  Who knows – all I know is that I’ve always shied away from them because they seemed like WAY too much work for what they were worth.

But I loved the pants themselves – so they were keepers.  Flash forward to the other night when I was at Walmart in my fancy pants and had to go use the bathroom.  I walk in right behind this other fellow, and walk up to the urinal to take care of business.

Boom.  That’s the sound of a problem.  For you see, anytime I do this at home wearing these pants I have to undo the belt, and then unbutton #1 and #2 (of 4) to be able to take care of the situation.  I’ve drawn a helpful diagram to aid you here.


The problem with this (and it’s not an issue at home obviously) is that my pants will invariable fall down slightly doing this maneuver.  I certainly didn’t want THAT at a bathroom urinal at Walmart standing next to a guy I feel I bonded with slightly (walking into a Walmart bathroom is a communal experience).  So to avoid the pants falling down, I came up with a brilliant plan of unbuttoning #2 and #3 (of 4) and taking care of business.  Worked perfectly and the situation was quickly handled.

Until the buttoning-up process was due to occur.  For you see, you CAN’T BUTTON #2 UNLESS #1 IS UNBUTTONED.  I don’t know what Nazi scientist designed these things, but it is absolutely impossible to button an ‘inner button’ without the topmost ‘outer button’ not unbuttoned.  And I couldn’t unbutton #1 unless my belt was undone.  It was all just a crazy problem that you are hopefully never faced with.

On top of that, my new best friend next to me was finishing up.  I certainly didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ who has to stand at a urinal for 15 minutes as life passes him by.  I had to prove that I was urinal-worthy just like him.  So I quickly made the decision to back away from the urinal with only #2 and #3 undone.  I was hoping that my shirt was long enough to carry the day and cover the way.  I walked up to the sink next to Paul (I’ve now named him since I feel we really bonded) and dutifully washed my hands with my button-fly open.

Next problem was – if I just stopped washing my hands right after Paul, then it really WOULD look like I was stalking him.  So I made a pre-emptive strike by heading to the towels immediately – before he knew what hit him.  Of course I checked my shirt as I walked by the mirror to ensure that the important areas were covered – and they were.   I dried my hands, walked out of the bathroom and headed to the car with my buggy.

I WILL say that I had to walk with a somewhat better posture to ensure maximum coverage of the shirt, and I’d have to say that my suaveness and sophistication paid off in spades as I unloaded the buggy, got in the car, unbuckled the belt, unbutton #1 and then buttoned #3, with button #’s 2 and 1 and the belt following in rapid succession.  Success and completely seamless to everyone EXCEPT for me.

So the next time you feel bad about yourself and see someone you think has got it completely going on and is completely perfect, just know that they probably have a zipper somewhere that they can’t zip all the way, a button they can’t button all the way, or even underwear on inside out (haven’t done that one yet).

I’m just the one who tells you about it.  Because I’m a giver.

  1. merbear74 says:

    At least you didn’t pull a “franks and beans” stunt.


  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Loved this post! Made me laugh out loud more than once–perfect for a Friday where I’m doing a lot of what I shouldn’t be doing (wasting time) and only a little of what I should be doing (working on my book). I’ve never understood the button fly either. Why complicate a normally simple procedure in such a strategic spot?


  3. Well, to give the makers a little credit, it completely eliminates one MAJOR problem with zippers that I experienced as a child. To this day I don’t look at a zipper fly the same way.


  4. shudder – even READING a post with that word in it so many times was gaggy 🙂


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