The Tragedy of the Discontinued Shorts
5 mins read

The Tragedy of the Discontinued Shorts

Dear Person At Land’s End Who Decides Which Items to Discontinue,

I’m going to keep this friendly, because I’m hoping that you’ll help me out here.  I’m sure that you have really great kids.  The kind of kids who are adorable and polite and look like they stepped out of… well, a Land’s End catalogue.  (I was totally going to say a J. Crew catalogue but then I was all, duh!)  

The kind of kids who don’t complain about scratchy tags in the backs of their shirts, and who don’t freak out if their clothes are even the slightest bit restrictive.  Like, I’ll bet that your kids don’t insist on feeling the insides of the sweatpants you buy for them to make sure they’re soft enough.  Actually, your kids probably don’t even wear sweatpants at all.  Your kids probably wear super-cute skinny jeans and button down shirts under v-neck sweaters with the sleeves rolled up.  And congratulations on that.  Really.  I’m not jealous at all.

Anyway, you see, P.A.L.E. W.D.W.I.D. (ooh – sorry.  Not implying you are pale AT ALL.  Just the way the acronym worked out.  I mean, maybe you are pale, and maybe you consider that to be a good thing.  I’m not saying it’s bad.  I’m just, oh, whatever. Can I just call you Heather? Because honestly, we all know you’re a Heather, what with your perfect kids and your awesome job at Land’s End, deciding at whim which clothes should no longer be made available to the rest of us.) 

So, you see, Heather, I know it’s hard, but try to imagine for a second that you’re not a Heather.  Try to imagine that you’re, like, a Molly.  And that instead of getting to work at a place that’s all about clothes and models, you get to work as a middle manager at, say, a life insurance company.  And instead of checking Facebook while you’re supposed to be working, you instead have to spend your “free” time doing frantic internet searches for navy blue boys’ uniform pants that don’t have buttons or snaps or zippers or little silver hook and eye closures.  It sucks being a Molly, doesn’t it?

But then imagine that one day, you came across navy blue, flat front shorts with a cute little built-in belt and an ELASTIC WAISTBAND.  And not some polyester shorts on Amazon that look like they’ve been sitting in the dollar bin of the local thrift shop for six years, but real, 100% cotton, high-quality shorts from a reputable retailer.  And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Heather, the retailer of which I speak is Land’s End.  Can you imagine the euphoria?  Can you picture the internal fist pump that occurs as you realize that your days of listening to screeching and wailing about uncomfortable buttons/zippers/snaps at 6:45 am, Monday through Friday, September through June, are finally over?  Maybe you can.  But probably not.

Only, a few years later, on a bright, sunny, August day, you go online to, and you look for those Boy’s Flat Front Climbers, hoping that the size you need isn’t back-ordered so that your son will have his shorts by the time that school starts.  But they’re not there.  You search again, and again.  You search the girl’s section and the men’s section, even the women’s section, but the Flat Front Elastic Waistband Climbers are simply gone, taken away by some person at Land’s End who decides which items to discontinue.  I’m talking about you, Heather.

Now look, I’m sure that you, with your perfect kids, had no idea that you were totally ruining people’s lives by only offering the Boy’s Climbers in a cargo style.  I’m sure you were ordered to cut costs somehow, and I’m sure that in looking over the inventory, you probably figured that one type of navy, elastic waistband shorts were enough.  I get it.  I mean, I’ve got a boss, too.  But you see, I figured that if I wrote to you and explained the consequences of your actions – the impact on peoples’ lives – that you would see how wrong you were.  Because honestly, the economic sequestration is bad enough.  Do you have to sequester my son’s shorts, too? 

So come on, now, Heather. Do the right thing.  Bring back the shorts.

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