The People’s Shorts: Raising Cargo Awareness

cargoshortIt’s time someone stood up for functional clothing. It’s time someone spoke out against intolerance towards pocket aficionados. It’s time someone showed support for those who love to carry freight against their thighs. It’s time for someone to champion the cargo short.

Every hour a pair of cargo shorts are tossed into a garbage bag and sent to a thrift store. They sit in a pile, neglected, waiting for a middle-aged father in need of a man purse. Yet, so many cargo shorts don’t find homes because of fashionistas who stigmatize them with arbitrary rules, deeming them the tacky clothing of the underclass, reserving them for pro wrestling fans and zookeepers. They are viewed as pants for the clueless, for those who traded their dignity for comfort. Guys like me.

2016 has been a brutal year for cargo short enthusiasts. Haters have beat us down with negative posts, memes, and pie charts. We’ve suffered. We’ve been pushed to the margins, ostracized by mainstream fashion. But we will not be dismissed any longer as mere remnants of 1990’s fashion. Who do you think we are? Fanny packs?

You can make fun of my man purse if you like but I ask you: how much crap can you fit in your pockets? Cargo short pockets can hold:  car keys, smartphones, wallets, headphones, sunglasses, sunscreen, snot rags, pacifiers, baby bottles, trash, hot sauce, wipes, diapers, matchbox cars, ammo, grenades, and dog poop bags. Really, you can put anything in cargo shorts. In college, I used them to transport chicken fingers.

I believe its my right to wear comfortable and functional clothing without harassment. As an act of resistance, I offer five ways to raise awareness and fight back for our beloved shorts:

1.  Take a picture of your favorite cargo shorts and post them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share a memory to raise awareness, a time when they were there for you. Camouflage cargos earn bonus points. #CargoShortsForever

2.  Go to your local cargo short dealer and invest your money in a new pair. You deserve a new shade of gray. Use your money to send a message that the demand for cargo shorts is alive and well. The people want functionality! #CashforCargos

3.  Pay it forward. Gift a pair to a friend or neighbor or coworker. It’s time to share the wonderful functionality with someone else. It might be the thing they need most. #Pockets4everyone

4.  Hold a cargo short rally outside of your local congressmen’s office. Our representatives need to know there is a growing movement to support casual dress. They need to know we stand as one for pocket rights. Make signs, banners, and t-shirts. #Cargorights

5.  Talk to your children and grandchildren. We need to speak to our youth about the importance of functional clothing. It’s up to future generations to keep the multi-pocketed dream alive for decades to come. Your kids might act like they don’t want to hear it, but deep inside they admire your passion. #Cargo4thenextgeneration

Sure, many people left them behind in the 90’s, but we are the faithful remnant, called to pass the torch. We will still be around when your skinny jeans are no longer hip and resting at the bottom of resale store bins. The cargo short is for every man and woman. It knows no class or race or creed. It’s functionality breaks down barriers. Our pockets can unite us around the world.

I stand with and in my cargo shorts because they have stood with me since my sophomore year of high school. My cargo shorts are one with me. And if you want to take them you will have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Join the movement, follow this hashtag:  #YesCargo

Ten Parenting Duties I’m NOT Doing On My Break

IMG_0320After a week of childcare, I need a break. Often, I’m too tired to leave the house so I stay home and do my own thing, but this presents a challenge. Avoiding small children around the house is like trying to escape a monster in a B-grade horror film. No matter where you turn they will find you.

To help me navigate around the house without getting sucked into my kid’s tractor beam, I created a list of parenting duties I’m NOT doing on my break. This is not intended to be a rigid set of rules just a recipe for sanity. And a friendly reminder.

10. For starters, I’m NOT wiping anyone’s ass.
9. I’m NOT disposing of any boogers, snot, or nose gunk.
8. I’m NOT spending my time moving glass objects away from edges.
7. I’m NOT watching Paw Patrol.
6. I’m NOT engaging in popsicle negotiations.
5. I’m NOT allowing small people to occupy the bathroom with me.
4. I’m NOT refereeing toddler/canine wrestling matches.
3. I’m NOT receiving or giving belly blows.
2. I’m NOT allowing tiny fingers in my crevices or orifices.
1. I’m Not sharing my peanut butter toast. It’s the only thing holding me together.

Okay, now its time to hear your list. What are the parenting responsibilities you are not doing on your break? Leave a comment.

5 Stages of Moving With Small Children

henryinboxI love moving with small children. It’s no problem as long as you enjoy exploring new levels of exhaustion. I learned during our recent move that August is an ideal time. In the brutal heat, you will consider leaving your whining children behind. You will discover who you really are when you slam your thumb in the truck door. Make sure your mother-in-law or someone else you wish to impress is standing nearby. But hands down, the highlight of moving is the short-term stress placed on your marriage. For twenty-four hours, you will get to flirt with divorce.

I believe there are five stages to moving with children:

Stage 1: Two fools standing in a front lawn next to a sold sign. This is so exciting! Let’s rent a truck. Purchase overpriced cardboard. Order an unaffordable couch and try out fancy mattresses. We are having a blast. While we are it, let’s pose our child in a large box and share it on FaceSnap. Moving is awesome!

Stage 2: Ugh. Packing sucks. Why do we have so much junk? I thought we put the George Foreman grille in the yard sale. Did we not donate the back-up microwave? Why the heck do we have so many juice glasses? We are not wealthy. By the way, I can’t find the car keys. I’m pretty sure the toddler packed them in a box buried in the corner of the garage. We might never find them again. Why are we doing this again?

Stage 3: Standing in line at the U-haul store. I’m staring down the obnoxious man complaining non-stop and causing the line to stretch out the door. I second guess what truck size to order. My wife is inspecting the new house and texts me to let me know someone left urine in the upstairs bathroom and it smells like a middle school locker room. Wonderful. If our marriage survives this event, it will be by the grace of God. If I remember correctly, it was included in the vows: on moving days, you will take deep breaths, resist the urge to stab your partner and delay contacting a divorce lawyer until seventy two hours after the move.

Finally, we are loading the moving truck. My arms are about to fall off. Please tell me why we chose to move in the middle of summer. I’ve not sweated this much since high school gym class. And I just spent the last thirty minutes trying to move a crib into the truck. They are the furniture from hell. I hate their awkward shape. I hate putting them together. They make me want to set things on fire. And I swear if my spouse gives me one more set of instructions I’m gonna commit a murder-suey in our new home before we ever sleep in it. Things are not looking good.

Stage Four:  There are different levels of tired. There is marathon running tired, which I will never experience because I’m too lazy, and there is birthing a baby tired, which I will never experience due to biology, and then there is moving tired that falls somewhere under these two. It’s the type of tired that aches across your entire body, confusing muscles you have not used in ages. Paper cuts. Bruised hands. Sweat drenched shirts. And an inability to speak complete sentences by dinnertime.

During this stage, any thought of efficiency or organization flies out the window. All you can think about is the pain ending. Over. Done. Stopping. So, you throw crap in boxes, mixing kitchen utensils with lawn care or bathroom supplies with wine glasses. You no longer care that your toddler is digging through the box of kitchen cutlery. In fact, you are glad it is entertaining him for a minute. This is moving tired.

Stage 5: The move ends. Not the sentimental moment you wanted, but it is over. No fancy goodbye. No made-for-television moments including a wave goodbye to the old house. None of that nonsense, just prayers of thanksgiving for the conclusion of a process that broke you and nearly dissolved your marriage and led you to question your commitment to parenting. Now, you can exhale. Lean against a pile of boxes. Or just go to sleep. Of course, you swear you will never move again but we know that is unlikely. Time will cause you to forget the suffering.

Remember this:  When the delusion seizes you again and you hear yourself talking about how much you look forward to moving. Pause. Take a deep breath. If necessary, slap yourself. At the least, hire professional movers and know its worth the cost to maintain your sanity.