The Old Coot wants a change (of clothes)

These days, many people wear single purpose clothes. Whether for work, shopping, going out for dinner, to a party or some other event, the same clothes serve multiple purposes. I call it casual-lazy. 

And, I’m jealous. The world I grew up in had a strict dress code. When I was a kid, we had play clothes, school clothes, and Sunday-best clothes. Sunday best, were the worst. You put them on to go to church and if you were lucky, you could take them off as soon as you got home; unless you were going to grandma’s house for dinner, or were expecting company. 

Then, you had to stay in your “best” and if you wanted to go outside and hang around with your friends or cousins you got the dreaded warning from your mother, “Don’t you dare mess up those clothes. If you get a grass stain you might as well start looking for a new family to live with!” 

I’m not sure those are the exact words, but it felt like that as I slunk out the door in trepidation. How could any kid live up to that objective in a hot game of kick ball or even a mild game of tag. I could get grass stains just playing with a yoyo. 

I’m still stuck in the “good clothes” – “Sunday best” – and “play clothes” scenario. Except, now my play clothes are called work clothes. I don’t have to worry about grass stains, wish that I could. A hot game of tag would be lukewarm at best. The visual is frightening, a bunch of old coots running around the yard trying to escape a tag. 

No, grass stains aren’t the issue for me. My stains are food related: coffee, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and mustard. I should change into “play” clothes whenever I’m near food or drink. The other issue I have with my good clothes comes when I attempt to fix something or do a chore that “will just take a second.” It never just takes a second and I always end up with a grass stain equivalent. 

Sometimes I use my head and change clothes when I do a chore that involves paint, grease, oil, topsoil and the like. But, my lack of flexibility makes the process take so long that by the time I’m done I’ve forgotten what I was going to do. 

I wish the dress code of our society would change to that portrayed in futuristic movies, where everyone wears the same one-piece, one color outfit for all activities, every day. A fabric that doesn’t stain, tear or stretch out. It would make my life so much simpler. The animal kingdom figured it out. You’d think we humans, at the top of the food chain, could do so as well.

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