They said we had to adult. They said we had to do all of the things. They said we had to wash all of our clothes after doing all of the things in them. Then we laughed and invented: The Chair.
…or rather, since leaving college, it’s more like “the ball of clothes on the floor of my bedroom where all of my clothes invariably end up.”
This post is dedicated to my mom, who when asked what I should write a post about, she almost immediately (and very excitedly) exclaimed, “You need to write about ‘the chair’! I thought it was so funny when you introduced the concept of ‘the chair’ to me. It seems like all millennials can relate to ‘the chair,’ but my generation doesn’t really get it.”
Oh look, an opportunity to reference a TV show! Please enjoy this totally relevant comic from Parks and Recreation!
When you’re working at a desk job, the fact of the matter is, you’re not doing too much in your everyday clothes. You’re putting them on in the morning, sitting in them for several hours (with maybe 4-5 pee/dance breaks during the day — or if you’re me, 8-12), then taking them off when you get home. Unless you don’t take them off when you get home, which I think might actually make you a sociopath.
Did you know that there are people who stay in their work clothes after they get home?! Seriously, what did lounge clothes ever do to you?! What do you have against comfort and joy?!
At any rate, it’s so hard to justify washing clothes that you’ve only sat in for several hours. You stand in front of your laundry basket holding your clothes in a pickle. Should I wash these? Should I wear them again?
You smell them a couple of times. Hmmm…not straight-out-of the laundry great, but also not my-coworkers-will-complain stinky. You don’t want to stink them up by putting them in your dirty clothes, because then you definitely can’t wear them before a wash. You don’t want to put them with your freshly cleaned clothes, lest you risk sullying your clean clothes by putting them in close proximity with these sat-in-for-a-few-hours-but-still-not-totally-dirty clothes. So you put them on The Chair, where they are now considered “partially clean” and can be worn again without an extreme feeling of self-hatred.
At this point in time, my wardrobe consists of 4 different sets of clothes: things hanging in my closet that I hardly ever wear, things folded in a basket to be put away (read as: tossed in a basket to be removed as I wear them and dug through several times to find exactly what I need — because I definitely saw it in here, I swear!), partially dirty clothes on The Chair, and dirty clothes that I have either sweat in too many times to wear them out of the house while still being a considerate member of society or have worn from the “partially dirty” pile too many times.
What constitutes as too many times? That, my friends, is a dangerous balancing act. You see, The Chair is yet one of the many mechanisms we’ve created to let us feel like we’re actually adulting, even when we’re not. It goes along with dry shampoo and organic Froot Loops. While you’re re-wearing clothes several times, you don’t necessarily want to appear to be re-wearing clothes several times. You want the people around you to think that you are adulting, and isn’t looking like you’re adulting half the battle anyway?
Plus, if your clothes aren’t actually dirty, you just can’t justify spending the time and energy washing them. Not to mention the water you’re saving by getting a few more uses out of them. You’re welcome, planet Earth.
So when do you re-wear things that live on The Chair? Well, that really depends on what you’re going for.
Going out with people who love you unconditionally no matter what you look (or smell) like? Is your person actually only partially clean? Just want to wear your partially-dirty favorite shirt for no reason whatsoever? Sounds like it’s time to embrace The Chair and all that it has to offer you.
Seeing people that you haven’t seen in a while and want to not look homeless? Going for that clean cut, everything-is-going-well-and-I’m-proudly-adulting look? You should probably bypass The Chair and wear something that is actually clean. But hey, no judgement here! Sometimes you forget to do laundry and just need to do some Chair diving. Own it! People respect integrity.
That’s the other thing to think about: when is the last time you showered. This can factor into your decision.
Maybe you want to wear partially dirty clothes on your partially dirty body. Maybe you want to wear fresh clothes because it’s been awhile since you’ve showered, but you think the scent of laundry detergent will hide your BO. Maybe you just showered, but know that you are going to be out all day or doing an activity that will involve making your clothes dirty anyway, so using clean clothes wouldn’t make any sense. So many different levels of clothing cleanliness! All made possible because of: The Chair.
So go on and throw all of your work clothes onto The Chair. Reuse those weekend clothes that you only wore for two hours last Saturday before you came home and immediately took off your pants. Re-wear the same clean pajamas to bed every night. Embrace The Chair, in all of its almost-passably-responsible glory!