Is that even a word?

To know me is to love me, and to know me is to know just how much I despise dressing up. Over the last few years, I’ve talked of my penchant for wearing shorts and polos for as long as I can get away with it. Or at least until the weather holds. Not to mention how my “dress” clothes have been gathering dust over the span of the pandemic.

Not exactly earning me a lot of credits on my princess card. I am a gay man. Aren’t we supposed to have a keen fashion sense? Let me check…


However, a few weeks ago, I noticed a slight shift that really surprised me.

In the three and a-half months I’ve been coming to a physical office, I’ve become more conscious of my appearance when I leave the house.  Not just clothes, but everything. Did I remember to shave? Brush my teeth? Is my hair in place instead of down in my face? And when I’m standing at the bathroom sink getting ready, I stop occasionally and ask myself if I really need to shave. Then I remember I’ll be in a shared office environment and whip out the razor to make sure I look pretty.

What’s happening to me?

One thing about the pandemic and working from home was that sense that no one cared what I looked like. James has seen me looking far worse, and Boo doesn’t care how big of a wreck I am. Just as long as I get her treats and feed her breakfast and dinner.

Which meant I got to be a little more of a schlub than usual. If I spent the day in my pajama bottoms, no one would bat an eye. If I didn’t shave for a week, the only one likely to complain was James. If my hair wasn’t “done” it didn’t matter. I wasn’t going out in public. And if I had a client meeting, it was most likely virtual. I just had to make sure I was presentable from the waist up.

Yet the more I’ve been working outside of the house, the more I find myself second-guessing my wardrobe. I still wore shorts while it was warm out (which was most of November and December), but I suddenly became very self-conscious if I was only wearing a t-shirt. Did it fit right? Was it appropriate? Should I have a back-up shirt in case I had to run out to a job site or a client’s home?

Which means instead of embracing the more casual side of myself, I’m looking in my closet and realizing I need to buy some more “work” clothes. (I’ve also realized after two years of pandemic, my closet needs a bit of a purging.) I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I know that when I’m getting dressed every morning, I’ll be asking myself if that’s what I really want to wear. Or if there isn’t something more appropriate.

God, I’m going to miss being a bit of a schlub.