I remember the first time I got into my boyfriend's pants.

That morning, all my work-suitable pants had problems: a stray red sock had bled on one in the wash, another pair just plain didn't fit right, and a third was fraying around the hem.

My kingdom for a lousy pair of khakis, I thought.

Then I spied with my little eye a pair of crisp olive-drab khakis hanging on his side of the closet. I touched them. The material was soft and substantial, and smelled faintly of his cologne. If I wore them, I'd think of him all day. Would they fit? I pulled them off their hanger. The zipper was strong, much sturdier than the zips on my own women's trousers.

I pulled on his pants, and I faintly heard an angelic chorus somewhere down the block. His pants fit, fit better than many of my own clothes. Better yet, they were even rather flattering; the material was thick enough to not show off my every last figure flaw.

And, oh, the pockets! Deep, capacious pockets! I could keep all my hopes and dreams in pockets like those.

My boyfriend came in from his morning shower, toweling off his hair.

"Can I borrow your pants today?" I asked.

"Ew, but you'll get girl cooties all over them!"

I stuck my tongue out at him. "So where did you get these? I want them. I want your pants."

"I got them at Target ... they were $18."

"So UNFAIR!" I wailed. "These are made better than chick pants! And way cheaper! And they fit better!"

"Huh." He scrutinized my rear. "Yeah, they look better on you than they do on me. Weird. 'Cause you're built all girly and stuff."

"Well, not so girly," I sighed. "It's been a long time since I've even been able to fit into a size 14, and all the interesting clothes stop there. It's like us big girls aren't supposed to ever buy clothes. And most of the stuff in the Women's section is all nasty synthetics and fits about as nicely as a gunny sack. And let's face it, oh-so-low jeans just don't look good if you're not built like a 16-year-old."

I was warming to my rant. "And have you ever noticed how they stick the Women's section right by the Petites? It's like they're taunting us: 'Neener, neener, look at all the cool stuff you could buy if you weren't such a great big cow!'"

"I think you've got a persecution complex," he said.

"You try finding decent clothes in the Women's section sometime," I replied.

He shook his head. "Those polyester florals frighten me. Maybe you should just buy guy pants."

"But that would make me a transvestite, wouldn't it? I mean, I'd still have to try stuff on. We're in the Midwest! I'll be shunned as a freak. I'm not trying to push the gender envelope; I just want clothes that will fit."

He paused. "Well, we've established that you can get in my pants. So, I'll buy the clothes, and you can be my little pants bandit, my little trouser rustler ...." He dropped his towel and backed me up against the bed.

"Your Jean Genie?" I asked, just as he was about to kiss me.

He winced. "I'll be glad when this 70s fad has died out."

Transitional Man says: And we guys all thought what women really wanted was our shirts

Yes, we want the shirts. And the pants. Are those shoes a size 9? Hand 'em over, too! We want it all!

iceowl says: Of course, I suffer from the same problem--can't keep women out of my clothes to the point I wind up buying new ones, which are "stolen", and then I get my old ones back. Can't just buy my wife men's clothes, though. That's verboten for some reason. The theft is a necessary component of the situation.

Yes, the surreptitious clothes-rustling is vital; shopping the men's section for clothes for ourselves is at best boring and at worst vaguely embarrassing. Our men's clothes are comfy, and they feel safe and warm because they're from someone we love ... but stealing them makes us feel all naughty. It varies by woman, but the clothes-taking stems from a mix of wanting to satisfy a practical need and wanting to have something to remember their man by. Sometimes it's a little playful trophy-taking. But anyhow, if a girl wants to wear your trousers, you should feel flattered.

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