Back in those carefree (even though I didn’t know it at the time) days of January and February, I cared about the clothing that was on my body when I left the house.
While I wouldn’t say that I could grace the pages of Marie Claire, I will admit that I tried to look like a competent adult who knows how to iron. I wore dresses to work and county government meetings. Even on days off, I maintained a wardrobe of tailored button-downs with non-stretchy pants for errands, simply because I’d never know if I’d run into someone who’d care what I looked like.
After a brief few weeks when I’d “dress” both my top and bottom for work-from-home days, I realized my brain was being ridiculous. My kids, husband, and dogs — the only beings I might physically interact with on any given day — could not care less what I look like.
More importantly, my grown-up clothes were uncomfortable. There was no point in adding more discomfort to a deeply uncomfortable time.
Somewhere around late April, when Upstate New York moved into its brief spring, I reached into my drawer of barely worn race t-shirts. Pre-pandemic, my opportunities to spend all day in a soft tee were few. But now, their time had come.
I love my new race shirt (and shorts because I’m not always naked) lifestyle. Not only are these nearly pristine tops finally fulfilling their destiny, they remind me of the time when I used to leave the house to do a hard thing with people I’m not related to. These shirts are souvenirs from Hilton Head and Eau Claire and Pittsburgh and Tucson — cities I hope to visit again someday. Plus, they are soft and light and perfect.
Yes, I do toss on a sweater or a business casual blouse if a zoom requires a nod toward being a professional. But the moment I click “end,” I’m back into my race shirt and ready to get to work.
Read more Seven Months into the Pandemic essays.