I’m not wearing pants today at work. Sure work is now my home office, and I am wearing shorts. But not those formal, full length pants. Not even a nice plaid pair of shorts, I’m wearing my everyday summer play touch football shorts. Pockets all still in tact, but a button is missing. Guess I wasn’t quite fast enough.
I’m sporting the “work from home mullet” that’s button up dress shirt on top, and comfortable shorts on the bottom. Can I hear a woop woop for the return of the mullet, even if it’s in a less traditional understanding of the word? I have my comfortable button-up shirt on top for the zoom calls, but pants? No thanks!
This got me thinking, as a society we’ve found it very important to be dressed up and looking the part. We make sure we wear nice shoes, nice pants, and are altogether put together. After all, we’re a brilliant species that has mastered flying through the air, communication across the world through internet, and even crazy sandals that allow us to walk on grass wherever we are! Creatures that serious about life ought to wear formal pants to reflect their sophisticated approach to life.
This approach was all well and good till 2020 started. We’ve been through a lot this year already. We’ve seen a world war almost start, everything has burned, supply chains have been greatly interrupted, and then somebody ate a bat, which turned out to be a much worse decision than one would’ve thought. Through the start of this year, we’ve been reminded of how quickly things can grind to a halt.
I’m a huge fan of air travel, and internet. But with those wonderful means of connection, comes a society that becomes very dependent on them. That’s great while they’re working, but when there’s an interruption like we’ve had this year, we’re forced to take a good long look in the mirror.
Now I fully believe that we’re better together. I wouldn’t trade those methods of communication and connection for a more predictable existence. But perhaps one of the things we’ll notice in this pandemic, is we’re not that far away from meltdown. And actually, those not wearing pinstriped pants are being called upon in record numbers these days. Whether they’re gas jockeys, nurses, produce stockers, truck drivers, or other front line workers, they’ve been asked to step up, and I’m grateful they responded in the capacity they have.
Maybe when we’re on the other side of these physical distancing measures (please distance), silly arguments about masks (sure, wear a mask, but only to protect others, not you, and only if it’s not taking away from a front line worker), and the heartache and stress from this virus, we’ll come out and realize how silly our pinstripe pants are. Maybe we’ll realize that the “pants” we wear, suits of almost arbitrary hierarchical importance, don’t separate us from the sweats, shorts, and other leg coverings of our contemporaries as much as we’d sometimes like to think.
Are you going to put on your pants when this is over? Or will you join me in a pants-less future?