by Marinka on June 2, 2013

Last week there was some outrage because of a JC Penney billboard that apparently made it look like they were selling a tea kettle that was like Hitler’s long lost twin.

This is one of those things that you are either outraged about or are not.

Personally I couldn’t get too excited because I was suffering from deep depression brought on by some closer-to-home antisemitism.

Specifically, the dry cleaners that I’ve been entrusting beloved clothing items to. It’s almost too painful to write about but I’m hoping to have some “healing” as a result. Oh, by the way, trigger warning. Trigger warning for whoever has had dry cleaners lose their shit.

But first some good news!

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to buy the Best Pair of Pants I’ve Ever Owned. Even saying owned seems wrong, because it seems to imply some kind of master/slave relationship, but suffice it to type that this pair of pants was perfect and fit me like a glove. Like a glove would fit my ass and legs, that is. It’s just an expression. The pair of pants fit me really well, it was comfortable, and looked great. I had no complaints about this pair of pants and we lived happily ever after.

Have the kids left the room?

Oh, good. Because I have to tell you, this fairy tale came to a crashing end. And the part of the Evil Stepmother was played by my dry cleaners.

Because one day, I decided to take my pants to the dry cleaners.

“Hello!” I greeted my nemesis-of-the-future, “I’d like to have these pants dry cleaned, please.”

They logged the pants in and in exchange for some cash, promised to deliver them to me on Saturday.

I had an engagement on Tuesday that absolutely required me to be clothed and I planned to wear the pants then. Saturday would be plenty of time. What could possibly go wrong?

I returned to my apartment on Memorial Day Monday only to find that the pants have not been delivered.

“Are you sure?” I asked the doorman. He nodded solemnly and led me to the back room that had all the dry cleaning delivered. Beloved pants were not there.

First I felt hot. Then cold. Then numb. I sat down. I stood up. I tried breathing normally. Surely my heart rate would stabilize soon. I tried to think calm thoughts. It was probably a misunderstanding, I told myself. Maybe they thought I wanted the pants back a week from Saturday. Yes, that’s it. The dry cleaner must have thought that I wanted my pants to have an extended vacation at their place of business, visiting with other garments. It was like a spa, practically. There was no need to panic.

I slept fitfully that night, waiting for the moment when I could call the dry cleaners in the morning.

That moment arrived and so did my despair.

“We delivered the black pants on Saturday,” I was told. “Did you check with the doorman?”

“Of course I checked with the doorman!” I said. “And I checked the package room too!”

The woman seemed confident. “I’ll send our delivery guy to talk to your doorman,” she said. I was unclear what they were going to talk about, but I was not about to stand in the way of a budding friendship.

“Ok,” I agreed, meekly.

“I’ll call you back,” she said as she hung up. She didn’t have my number, but I heard that when someone is truly determined, details don’t stand in their way.

Unfortunately, although I had intended to devote the week to Pants Recovery, things got busy. Work, kids, baseball, TV. It was Friday before I realized that I had not heard from the dry cleaners.

I called them again.

“I still don’t have my pants,” I told the woman on the phone.

“I’m glad you called,” she lied. “I spoke to the delivery guy and he said he gave your pants to a black man. Do you have a black doorman?”

“Are you saying the black man took my pants?” I was stunned. I am one of those people who doesn’t see color. Not because I’m colorblind, but because I live Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to the fullest every day.

“Yes, the black doorman. Do you have one?”

I don’t know what’s going on. Yes, we do have a black doorman, but he wasn’t working that weekend. The doorman who was working that weekend told me that there were no pants delivered. The dry cleaners are adamant.

For now, I’m trying to stay positive. Maybe they delivered my pants to the wrong building. Maybe they will come back to me. But I’ve learned an important lesson here. If you ever have a favorite item of clothing: Never take it off. This whole “get your clothes dry cleaned” is a huge scam.

One year ago ...

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

June 2, 2013 at 9:17 am

You’re right – this pants thing is a way bigger issue than the JCPenney ad. That was a tempest in a teapot, if you ask me. Oh, Lord, I just slay me sometimes. Teapot! Get it?


June 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I blame Obama.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes June 3, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hitler teakettles and vanishing black pants… this can’t be a coincidence. Conspiracy theorists of the world unite!


June 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

It’s a shonda for the goyem. Oy.


Susan Weinstein June 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

It’s obviously a conspiracy about AK47’s and your freedom to own them. Black pants are a code word. And you must have unwittingly facilitated a connection that only needed your “pants” as a cover story. So if this post was a “cover up.”
I understand. I am working on a pistol myself, and the dry cleaner knows it’s about a “sweator.”


the mama bird diaries
June 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

This has happened to me several times with dry cleaners and it’s infuriating. There needs to be a dry cleaner customer bill of rights!! One dry cleaner was adamant they had delivered my sweater and they found it 3 months later stuck to someone else’s suit. Keep hope alive!


Lady Jennie June 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

This is funny. But it still sucks.


joeinvegas June 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

Start looking around the neighborhood for a well dressed street person.


kimberly June 5, 2013 at 2:31 am

This story didn’t happen unless you can provide where you bought the pants and what style they are, etc. If they are JC Penney pants then they ran away from you for your own good. Otherwise, it is cruel to inform your dear readers that Perfect Pants exist without information on how to obtain them.


June 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

So, wait. You’re saying you know an employed black man?


Suzy Q June 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I feel your pain. My own BPPIEO took their first trip to the dry cleaners, and when I went to pick them up (no delivery here, you fancy girl) a mere three days later, the dry cleaner had CLOSED. WTF. There was a note on the door with a cell number. I called and called and finally someone answered (in Spanish, of course) and they were (yes, just this once) delivered about three weeks later. So, I’m wondering who was enjoying my Nordstrom FULL PRICED BUT WORTH IT pants for three weeks.

My point is, don’t give up hope. And don’t stop hounding the everloving fuck out of them.


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