Friday, October 25, 2013

Satan's Pants

I came home pretty happy. Not too tired. Comfortable.

It was a sweater day. I go without a tie on sweater days -- so I make every day a sweater day as soon as it gets cold enough, because I think ties are cruel and unusual.

Normally, I come home and change clothes immediately -- lose the dress pants and shirt and tie and whatever formalish annoyances I need to wear to work and put on jeans or sweats...

But on this particular day, I was plenty comfy. I needed to go and pick up the boys from an after school activity in, like, a half-hour, so, since I was comfy, I figured I would skip changing and make myself a nice cup of tea. Plenty of time for a bloke to enjoy it and still get there in time...

...that is, unless a bloke spills it (which I did) on his nice pants for work which, on this particular day -- the only day, in...well..ever -- on which he had decided not to change. On this particular day, in fact -- this anomalous day -- on which he had chosen to wear his lightest-colored pants; a pair of pants so pale on the tan scale as to be nearly off-white.

Now, I not only have hot tea in my lap, but I have potentially-stained pants. (Pants, by the way, which make up about one-fourth of my formal pants wardrobe. Pants I cannot afford to just write-off as ruined, lest I have to go on -- the horror! -- a shopping trip.)

Having heard my unbelievably creative profanity from the other room (something about someone's mother and her preference for unconventional and contortionistic activities involving creatures from various phyla), my wife instructs me to take the pants and spray them with such-and-such stain stuff and get them into the wash, right away.

My tea is spilt. My relaxation is interrupted, but, perhaps there will still be time to enjoy a cup before I venture back out into the cold cruel world? I try to remain calm, even though my anger is so palpable I am walking amidst an aura of sound like the whine of a bowed saw.

I open the washer and it is full of wet clothes. I am angry about this, but, no big deal -- I will throw them into the dryer. Takes but a minute. Unless, of course, the dryer is full to the rafters with stuff that needs to be folded. Which it is. Folding will kill my time for much-needed rest and much more deeply needed tea.

Rebel that I am, I throw the pants in with the current, already-washed, load, add soap and start it all up again. "Let them be doubly clean!" I bellow, like some domestic Zeus.

Clad in only my underwear, a very nice sweater over a button-down shirt, and a pair of black socks with yellow stripes across the toes, I bound upstairs for a pair of jeans. It takes but a second -- you throw on your jeans and you go back down and you have your tea. A quick cup, but a cup, nonetheless. All is not lost.

When I get up stairs, I cannot find my jeans. "But, Chris," you might ask, "Why not put on another pair?" I must clarify: My jeans are my jeans. I have but one decent pair. I have no one to blame for this but myself -- I am not the most enthusiastic of clothing shoppers. Be that as it may, I cannot find them.

This now necessitates my putting on sweatpants, because it is too chilly for shorts (which I have in abundance; abundance being, for me, three pairs: black, tan and green.). I find sweatpants, but one cannot wear sweatpants with a sweater. So I now have to find a sweatshirt. But not a blue one, because the sweatpants are blue and I do not want to be mistaken for Veruca Salt.

I find a grayish one, but it seems to have a crunchy trail of some food-like substance on it. I want to blame the dog, but, in truth, I have a flashback to the night before when part of my salsa from a nacho snack leaped off of a chip in an attempt (I can only venture to guess) to leave the cold (literally -- it lives in the refrigerator, after all) world behind. (I tried, but couldn't save the poor tomato bit, may it rest in peace.)

After about ten minutes, I find a less-than-ridiculous combination to wear out into public.

I make it downstairs just in time to go and pick up the boys. I drive off with a knitted brow and yellow knuckles; for, to me, losing a chance at a few minutes of peace-and-quiet is like losing a loved-one.

And this, my friends, is Satan at work. He chips away at our sanity. He is in the forgotten step at the bottom of the staircase. He is standing with his red toe upon the paperclip that you bend down fifteen times to pick up but at which task you fail owing to the fact that the clip has invisibly knitted itself into the fibers of the carpet. He is not to blame for massive tragedies. He is much more subtle than that. He takes us apart from the inside.

But, now I think about it, I guess I just should have changed clothes in the first place. And maybe a shopping trip is in order.

Nah -- I blame Satan.

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