Adjusting: 6 Months, 1 Suitcase

Previously, on Adjusting

Sans Boston

Getting Around in Santo Domingo

For size reference, that's a ukelele.

Leaving for six months without the benefit nor desire of a full closet of clothes, I set off to sift, pillage, toss, burn, and pack everything I own into one small duffel and a backpack or put it in storage. What I found as I was packing up my share of 111 Gains #301 (R.I.P.) was that most of what I owned was clothing. I discovered that I’m a bit of a sneakerhead, I have a bunch of business casual and professional clothing from the co-ops in finance functions, and you can never have enough underwear.

In honor of the O-So-Glorious-Sport of Football returning to normalcy unbridled insanity, I’m going to tell you about how I’ve coped with a reduced number of options, roster-style. We’ll break down what has been needed and ignored so far by position groups – HOOAH.

Work Shirts I work in a well-ventilated central office, mainly under flourescent lighting. I wear a collared shirt and long pants, yet must be comfortable in a hot commute while carrying my leftovers and books to home room.

Starters: Long-sleeve green, striped blue, and brown plaid shirts. Also three polos (orange, brown, tan).

Role-players: White polo, white s/s button-up, white long-sleeve. These have gotten some wear, the short-sleeve with a grape stain and the long with some brown discoloring from my dirty rain jacket. It’s always a bummer when some important depth comes down with injuries. White players are especially fragile and sometimes just can’t hang with the big boys. That doesn’t sound right…

Bench: Three long-sleeve blue shirts. I generally like to play a “Blue Jean” formation, so to avoid the dreaded Canadian Tuxedo result, I try not to overblue it. Also, some are just a little odd-fitting, which is a key aspect of a good, usable shirt. I may have misjudged my needs with work shirts.

Pants Pants are an important component of every outfit. While keeping pale man-thighs out of the public eye, they also provide protection from mosquito bites, bouts of unprofessionalism, and ankle-biting dogs. Midgets with baseball bats are also deterred from attacking a good pair of car keys.

Starters: Dark blue jeans ($15 from Marshall’s for my previous occupation as space cowboy/busboy, great return on a 7th round draft pick)

Rotation: Two pairs of khakis, one which I prefer slightly more because it has more room in the legs and doesn’t pinch the butt. It happens to be the lighter pair, which makes it more susceptible to hot sauce and avocado stains. I try to be careful, but I can never take myself out anywhere nice.

Bench: Nobody. I really used my cap space well with this group, everyone gets a bit of playing time and I don’t really lack for anything (except for that Rocky Horror Picture Show night, I could’ve used my assless chaps).

Casual: Tees are my favorite piece of clothing. That’s about all I have to say about that.

Starters: Black Keys, basic grey and white staples, Boston CitySports, a brownish tee (6 year starter, might be cut soon). I rep a concert tee from The Black Keys often, I seriously enjoy that band’s music. So much that I’m considering an atrocious, ill-advised, neck-tattoo to show my pride.

Role-players: Yellow volunteer shirt from a race I ran but did not volunteer at; white really cool t-shirt (another injury casualty, this time from dirty seats on a guagua, it’s got a nice rust tint on its ass so it’s still okay); a long-term starter teal tee that is developing a tear in the armpit (shh, don’t tell); blue shirt with sweet swords on it (but a bit small, see below); all but one workout tee shirt. Shorts! I absolutely forgot about them, but I wear two of the three (pairs, not legs) that I brought, along with all of my jersey/workout shorts in rotation.

Bench: I brought a long-sleeve UnderArmour shirt. It’s really light and wicks sweat, but seriously, who brings a long-sleeve shirt to a tropical climate? I worked out in it once and felt like I was in a straight jacket. One pair of khaki shorts also sits on the bench full-time, because I don’t yet dress like a suburban dad.

By the way, I have something to say about t-shirt sizes. Can we make more than just S-M-L for guys? A large is generally poor-fitting shirt as they build them with the exact dimensions of a square, and I am not a yellow sponge living in a pineapple under the mar. Mediums are now constructed for little pencil-armed, fuzzy-stached twerps that listen to Owl City and the Jonas Brothers, who should be looking in the youth sections for their style preferences. What size am I supposed to wear, a hairy barrell-chested average-sized male? I feel discriminated against.

Shoes My ground troops, very important. I had to leave a bunch of all-stars behind for this road trip, and it’s sad that the next environment they’re going to see is the shrinkage-inducing cold of Connecticut or the dusty, unpaved Texas outback.

Starters: Boat shoes (holding up extremely well), Chaco sandals (definitely worth the investment, best sandals ever), Rockport walking/hiking shoes (been on the bench since being full-time players through Europe in 2009, but came out really strong showing no signs of rust)

Role-players: Five Fingers, white sneakers. I picked up the Five Fingers from the free agent list, and they’re great specialty shoes. The white sneakers were undrafted, picked up from El Duarte for under $30. They’re workout wonders, but have no souls soles.

Special Teams It’s a full third of the game but doesn’t really get much recognition. These are the guys that do the dirty work, get in the dark areas of life that nobody likes to talk about.

Starters: Wife-beaters – used to be legal, but now I wear the clothing garment like a Confederate Flag (Editor: This site does not condone domestic violence nor slavery). Underwear, you just can’t have enough of it, and I try to wear it whenever I can. It’s like a punter, you don’t want to be in a 4th-and-long situation without it.

Role-players: Socks, they come in handy when my feet just need a stink break and add a little bit of cushion. Also, they don’t really have a good football equivalent. Compression shorts come in handy while working out, but not really comfortable under a pair of khakis (I’m guessing).

Accessories to murderOther items I brought and their importance to my survival.

Starters: Brought on as a back-up at most, my watch has really come in handy (or should I say wristy? HAHAHAHAHA) because I set my cell phone to military time and who the hell can read military time? It also gets more compliments than I do despite being so single-minded. My little day-pack that attaches to my full-fledged trekking backpack has been a constant help, and is the perfect size for those…day trips. I also constantly use one pair of sunglasses, they get thrown in every corner of my storage units and dropped, yet hold up beautifully. I have a belt, it helps keep my pants up.

Role-players: Trekking backpack, perfect weight and size for those weekend trips, and can pack a serious amount when I need it. I also brought my school backpack, which was a good decision for when I need to bring my bigger laptop, couldn’t be without it.

Bench: I brought a nice pair of sunglasses, but haven’t brought them out once, just no need to get all fancy. I also brought one hat. I wore it once. It felt weird. Then I accidentally sat on it. It looks sad now.

In the end, I’m happy with what I came with. Fitting everything into that amount of space and then looking at it gave me a little trepidation at first, but I knew that if I needed anything, I would be able to find it. The old traveler’s saying is true, though. You’ll pretty much only need half of what you bring. If I was truly on the road, I think I could find a way to do six months in just the backpack, and eventually I will. With all the stuff that’s going to be overused/broken/unnecessary by the end of this journey, I’m sure that there will be plenty of room for souveniers. I have a friend who’s leaving soon and is bringing machetes back for their friends and family, so let me know if you guys have any requests (requirement: must be as awesome as a machete).

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5 thoughts on “Adjusting: 6 Months, 1 Suitcase

  1. Your comments on food, travel, packing and surroundings are wonderfully visual….but what about the people? I would be very interested in ‘snapshots’ of the residents, clients, co-workers, etc. No names, please – otherwise we might be ‘hacked’; a digital term, I believe.
    Love, Grandma

  2. Pingback: Adjusting: Keeping up With the Ahmadinejads | Qué lo What?

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