For me personally, quarantine began on St. Patrick’s Day 2020. I remember because I spent the day teaching our daughter how to draw leprechauns and unless I’m mistaken, I’m hard-pressed to think of another reason why I would be teaching a four-year-old how to draw leprechauns. Well, I guess if we were big Notre Dame fans but no, that is not the case.
So it was St. Patrick’s Day and now it’s almost another St. Patrick’s Day and this has lasted a year. The four-year-old is now a five-year-old and there’s also a six-month-old kicking around the house. Our dog first enjoyed us being around so much, but now I think she’s kind of over it and headphones have become my best friend. They’re probably the dogs as well. She’s not as into Soundgarden at an extremely loud volume as I am. Her loss.
But all of this is most likely not exclusive to my quarantine experience and for the most part, I would assume plenty of other people have similar tales and anecdotes. Well, except for young people who live alone or maybe with a significant other. The idea of living this quarantine life sans children is still beyond me and I don’t think I’ll ever fully be able to understand it. There are definitely days where such a life seems too good to be true and there are also days where I may or may not pine for such a life. Of course, there are days where I’m good with how things are currently constructed around these parts but where is the fun in that. The grass is always greener, especially amidst a pandemic.
With the one-year anniversary of quarantine life coming up, I, like a lot of people are looking back and taking stock of everything that has transpired over the past year. Or at least I’d like to be doing that. Unfortunately, I’m distracted by something far more pressing, something incredibly more serious.
My board shorts are starting to fall apart.
Stop, this is important.
These aren’t just any board shorts, my friend. These are the board shorts I have worn EVERY DAY since quarantine life started. And they are starting to rip, starting to show signs that the end is near and I’m sorry but it’s very sad. Once these babies go, I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t even want to think about it. Of course, I have, but I don’t want to. It’s too painful.
These board shorts of mine, they’re lime green and white. On the left leg, it says “Rip Curl” in black lettering. They’re probably a couple of years old, so it’s not as if quarantine life did this on its own, but it definitely played a part. Early on in quarantine life, I put on pants during the week, usually jeans. I did this because I felt like I should. That first month or so was all about trying to make things feel normal. But even with a few hours each day spent wearing jeans, I still wore the board shorts before and after. Once the warmer temperatures started though, the jeans fell by the wayside and it was all board shorts, all the time. It was likely around mid-April when they became a full-time starter as opposed to a valued bench-player, so it was also around that point that their days became numbered.
You are probably wondering why board shorts? Would board shorts actually be comfortable enough to wear so often?
Yes, yes they would, especially if they’re older and a little stretched out, meaning you could throw on some boxes underneath. But I’m not here to go inside baseball on you. Just trust me when I tell you that they have been the most comfortable pair of shorts imaginable and the best partner in crime a quarantined man such as myself could ask for.
At one point, I had a gift card for the local surf shop here and while I would have normally used it to buy a new button-up shirt, what was the point in that. So I purchased a new pair of leisure shorts. They’re like sweat pants, but shorts. Seemed like a slam dunk and as my wife hoped, these newer, cleaner shorts would replace the older, dirtier board shorts.
That was not the case. The new shorts are fine, but fine isn’t going to replace gold, which is what these Rip Curl board shorts have been. And still are! Despite a slight rip here and there (and there and here,) they are still wearable. Everything is good.
But not for long I’m afraid. I know how this goes. The rips start small, then gradually get bigger. They make friends; new rips emerge. I wasn’t washing them a lot to begin with me, but now I fear that every spin through the laundry seems to shorten their life expectancy even more. It’s a dicey game I’m playing. Wash them, keep them somewhat clean but hurt their long-term chances of survival or don’t wash them and just flat out keep them.
Spoiler: I’m not washing them very often.
I’ve had something like this happen before, a treasured and valued article of clothing gradually slip away from me. It was a hooded sweatshirt and I loved that hoodie with every ounce of my being. But nothing lasts forever and eventually, the frays started to overtake the sweatshirt, creeping up around the hood and at the sleeves. The sweatshirt began losing some of its integrity, becoming more of a moo-moo than a sweatshirt and as the days went by, it was worn less and less, partly to preserve and partly because it just wasn’t fun to wear anymore. It was a damn shame. I think about the sweatshirt often.
And now here I am, stuck in a similar situation with these board shorts, these lovely, comfortable, very broken in board shorts.
I’m not giving up just yet. They still have some life to them. But that life is much closer to the finish than the start. It’s almost as if it is a race against time. Either quarantine ends and I start dressing like a grown-up again, thus buying these shorts an extra month or so or this quarantine life continues and these shorts disintegrate into nothing, leaving me left to find a new pair of shorts to wear every single day. But it wouldn’t be fair to those new shorts, having to now live up to the expectations of replacing the old shorts. The Patriots are struggling to replace Tom Brady and I will no doubt struggle to replace these shorts. It is quite literally, the exact same thing.
Until that day though, I ride with these shorts. I live with these shorts. I dad the shit out of things with these shorts and go pick up dinner with these shorts. I take out the trash and recycling and I get the mail with these shorts. Sometimes I forget and sleep with these shorts and sometimes I don’t forget and sleep with these shorts.
Could I have made it through this past year without shorts? Hard to say. But what’s not hard to say is that I don’t even want to think about such things.
Thank you, green and white Rip Curl board shorts. Now let’s enjoy what time we have left, shall we?
Categories: Current Events