I'm not the kind of person who walks around with his fly unzipped. I know some people who do - not all the time - but often enough to be 'that' kind of person (the kind that walks around with their fly unzipped). I'm not saying it's the worse trait in the world either. That person may just be a 'low self monitor' or he may pay little attention to details (like zipping up his fly). On the plus side, he's probably not an egotistical jerk. But he is creating awkward moments for other people.
The point (back to that) is that I'm not the kind of person who goes around with his pants unzipped. But I do have a pair of pants with an odd zipper.
It's not that it unzips. Everything's all zipped up. It's just that the fabric covering the zipper often moves to the side so you can see a lot of the gold of the zipper. When I'm wearing these pants and meet the guys in the pastry shop, my friend Cal often says, with a kind of parental concern, "Jon, I think your pants are unzipped."
"They're not, Cal. It's just that the zipper shows. But it's zipped up".
Cal kind of sways his head, moving it back and forth and side to side, with his lips pressed tight together, and he says "Well, it kind of looks like-"
"It's zipped Cal."
I ask Rosa if I should worry about wearing these pants. She insists there's nothing wrong with them. Nobody would think the zipper's open, she says. So I continue to wear them to work, and I'm wearing them now. Rosa's a detail-oriented person, and so the fact that she thinks they're fine probably means it's not a problem. But since Cal always comments on them, there must be some people who think I'm going around with my fly unzipped. Since I wear the pants pretty often, some may think I'm that kind of guy.
The problem is I now have the idea in my head - the idea that people think I'm that kind of guy. I recently gave a lecture in front of a class of over 100 students and some women toward the front were giggling about something. I turned around, and surreptitiously checked to make sure the fabric of my pants was covering the zipper.
This afternoon, I was having lunch with Rosa and told her I was thinking about writing a blog post on this topic. (Am I running out of ideas?) I told her I wanted to write about the pants with the zipper that Cal mistakenly believes is unzipped. I mention to her about being in front of the class and worrying about them laughing about my zipper being open. Again, she emphasizes that there's nothing wrong with that zipper. I know, I say, but I still can't help thinking that-
"Think of it this way," she says, "most people have pants where the fabric covers the zipper, so you really don't know whether the zipper is open or closed. You're the only person whose zipper is showing, so people can see that it's closed. Everyone else, you're just giving them the benefit of the doubt."