I’m shabby.


There’s nothing like wearing freshly laundered clothes. After I went to the gym this morning, I changed into the clothes I’d brought with me and took in a second just to breathe in that clean smell.

Then I realized that these clothes were indeed freshly laundered, but they were also the exact same clothes I’d worn on Monday. So, while I was actually quite clean, I was going to look to everyone like a big dirtbag who wears the same thing all the time — possibly due to poverty, possibly just due to sheer scumminess.

I guess I’m lucky I brought anything to wear at all, considering what a fog I was in when I was rushing around at 6:30 this morning. I could have been stuck wearing warm-up pants and a sweat-soaked T-shirt all day. This is why I always dressed according to a strict 14-day rotational schedule in high school. Every second Monday, I knew I’d be wearing the black long-sleeved Polo shirt with the Buffalo jeans. It might sound a bit obsessive-compulsive, but it’s not like when I was a kid and had to press down on a light switch about a dozen times to make sure it was really off. (Later I learned a trick: Is it dark? The lights are off.) The 14-day rotation just makes good sense. I need to get back to that.

So all day long, I might have smelled spring-fresh, but I felt like a big grubby loser. I couldn’t wait to get home and change. I ran into a friend on the way out the door. “How you doing?” I asked.

“Not too shabby,” he said. “And you?”

“Shabby,” I said.

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