Please Be Cool With These Uncool Things Post-Pandemic

If you think you’re getting me back in zippy pants, you have another thing coming, good sir

Photo: John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images

The pandemic ain’t over, but it’s getting there. We have vaccines, and though it fees like we’re rolling them out at the speed at which our grandmothers used to speak to grocery store cashiers, we can all see the sliver of light at the end of the syringe.

A year in isolation has taught us many things, from how much bullshit there was in “no WFH” policies to how many of us could have had careers in professional kitchens. For me, the biggest lesson has been learning exactly what I’ll tolerate in my life going forward. This time has forced us to be really honest with each other and ourselves about what makes us comfortable and what doesn’t, regardless of our former socially accepted ways of doing things. As we reenter the world, let’s keep that honesty going.

Here is a list of uncool things that are just going to have to be cool post-pandemic. Unless you want me popping up in the comments like a ranty Chuck E. Cheese whack-a-mole, I suggest getting on board.

Comfortable footwear

I’ve been walking around my borough collecting end times supplies in Nikes with a custom plantar fasciitis insert, and my tolerance for podiatric agony has dropped to “no ma’am.” Heels? Are you fucking hallucinating? Leave it to a pandemic to show us all the other ways we’d been suffering.

The goddamned jig is up. Post-pandemic, there will be no more foot pain. I’ll be in running shoes at all future black-tie events, and I dare you to challenge me.

Zipless pants

There’s a reason pajamas don’t have zippers, and this was the year we learned it. If the most comfortable clothing in existence is missing all the things we hate about normal clothing, why would we ever revert back to our former garments? Are we supposed to celebrate the end of a pandemic by punishing ourselves with interlocking metal teeth kissing our belly buttons? Make pants pull on, stretchy, and allow the act of breathing. Or make them into dish rags, y’all.

Weight changes

You listen to me, and you listen good. Weight, every variation of it, whomever’s carrying it, in whatever places, is going to be fucking fine post-pandemic. I’m working with an extra 15, and you know what? It might be here awhile. This is the body that allowed me to survive a pandemic and a year of not seeing anybody. Is it a little squishier? Sure. It’s also cute and alive. Let’s stop celebrating weight loss or making it a fucking headline. Whatever weight we are, after what we’ve been through, is not only cool, it’s beautiful. The bodies we survived in are beautiful.

Firm plans

I haven’t had a calendar item that wasn’t a Zoom call since 2020 Valentine’s candy was on shelves, and you want to be tentative with my ass? Nope. Make plans, stick to them, and give us all something to look forward to for a motherfucking change. You’re hearing it here first: Flaking is out. Actually following through on commitments like grown adults is in.

Loose bras

I really hope they take the machines that make underwire and retrofit them into parts for vaccine production because fuck a structured breast girdle. Give me your camisoles, your bralettes, your barely-feel-able undergarments for tits that yearn to breathe free. I haven’t “pushed up” anything in a year and sugar, I like it. Early in the pandemic, when most of us discovered the wonders of free boobing, I could actually hear bra brand execs panicking in their conference rooms. We know the truth, we’ve felt the freedom. Good luck getting us back in your straps and hooks, bitches.

Early bedtimes

Many of us started going to bed early because we couldn’t bear to be conscious for any more of the day. Sleep was our solace, our break from reality.

You know what else it is? Amazing. Something to hurry to at the end of the day because it feels great. We are now fully accustomed to a 9 p.m. bedtime, and if that isn’t cool with you, have fun staying up until midnight by yourself for no goddamned reason. I’m not saving any breakfast tacos for you in the morning just because your busted ass circadian rhythm still has you sleeping until 11 a.m. like a hormonal teen.

As we very cautiously approach something resembling “normal,” let’s acknowledge that it’s always cool to take things easy when we need to. I see no reason for the end of a pandemic to signal an end of self-care, of self-kindness. Everything unravelled, and I think what that showed us is that in order to be the truest versions of ourselves, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things a little loose.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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