I would say I’m pretty clean. I shower, shave and use deodorant like a normal person. As a modern man, I can cook (because I am an Iron chef), do my own laundry (although it sometimes sits in baskets until they are all worn), and sew if I find myself in a pinch. But, annoyingly, I tend to do laundry a lot because I cannot stop spilling food on myself.
It’s awful. I know, I know, stop being a slob. I try really hard to keep my pants debris-free. My pants have so many napkins on them at lunch time that a bald eagle could build a nest with them. I have accepted that no matter what I do, there is a Final Destination-style curse that will forever cause me to spill shit on myself.
Some days it’s the pants, some days it’s the shirt. Some days, when the world really feels like taking a big dump on me, food will land on my shirt, roll down my pant leg and leave a trail of sauce all over my newly soiled clothing.
The worst part is it’s not always me that spills food on myself. The other day, I was microwaving my leftover pea soup. Probably not the best choice because soup always seems to find itself on my person, but I have chosen not to live in fear and I have accepted my shortcomings. After taking my food out and walking back to my cubicle, I saw a distinct red spaghetti sauce stain on my pants. I soon realized someone’s spaghetti blew up in the microwave and got on the bottom of my Gladware because they didn’t have the common decency to clean it up. It happened to drip onto my pant leg.
I’m a man that enjoys a good rack of ribs, and I happen to have a strong rib game. I brought some ribs in, knowing full well what was going to happen. I spent a good two minutes in the bathroom, taking as many layers of protection the single serve paper towel dispensers would allow me to hold. After gingerly eating the St. Louis styled ribs, it happened. I dropped the goddamned thing, it landed on the precipice of my keyboard, and like the last shot in Happy Gilmore, it bounced off my tower, along the mouse wire and rolled down my pants from the knee to before landing on my two-day-old new shoes. Fuck.
My coworkers all know. They have gotten used to seeing a fleck of sauce here or some stains there. I have spent more time than I’d like to admit with stain remover and a brush scrubbing my clothes. I’ve had to throw out or relegate to “at home wear” more than a few of my favorite shirts out due to stubborn stains.
It doesn’t just happen at work. At home, out to eat, wherever. This past Saturday, I bought some ice cream from the ice cream man that drives through my new neighborhood in the burbs. You know that little opening in the bottom of the waffle cone? It’s just small enough to drop some melted black raspberry soft serve on my favorite pair of shorts. What a great way to start off the weekend.
I have deeply considered buying a bib or repurposing a trash bag to wear like a poncho during lunch. I’ve learned many ways to get a stain out in a pinch, like using an ice cube to rub it down and use your nail to scrub it. I’ve exhausted many a Tide-To-Go Pen (which often makes it look worse), and the tuck and fold method to hide it, but at this point, people I work with know that this is a part of my life that I just cannot shake. It is my Scarlet Letter, my shame, and those that bear this burden know what I mean.
Spilling food on yourself is also an expensive problem. As any resourceful and adaptive person would, I have started to buy some of my work clothes on Ebay. It hurts my wallet a lot less buying a pair of Ralph Lauren pants for $20, knowing it will inevitably have wing sauce stains on it within a few months. .
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