In 7th grade I had the perfect pair of blue plaid pants. They looked more than a little like pajama pants and were most frequently worn with a bright orange sweater. The fact that they’re not listed in some online repository of “Ugliest Abercrombie Clothing” is a wonder to me. But wearing those bell bottoms (oh I didn’t mention that?) was worth putting up with the inevitable mocking I’d get from boys in school. They just made me happy.
Those pants were the first of many things that I embraced in spite of them being ugly, or tacky, or silly to other people. And I’ve made it a habit ever since to surround myself with things that make me feel as unstoppable and happy as the blue plaid pants did. Neon sneakers? Yes please. A shirt with zebras on it? I’ll take two. Bad photoshop and stupid flan puns? Keep ’em coming, I’m on top of the world.
It’s just worth keeping those types of things around, because who am I appeasing by denying myself tiny, concentrated bursts of happiness.
And what’s making me plaid pants happy at this particular stage in my life?
The Sock Collection
My mother gives me socks on a fairly regular basis, but there are a few pairs that are so on point I just can’t have a bad day when I’m wearing them. They’re my version of Calvin’s lucky rocketship underwear.
Not pictured: “You’re not the boss of me” socks, sushi socks
You can imagine my elation when I went on a first date a few months ago and my date was wearing socks with bears on them. Needless to say, we’re still dating.
The Twitter Mug
The inspiration for the first Twitter mug, a gift to my brother, was the cackle of laughter he let loose when remembering a particularly funny series of tweets from a friend (as seen here). Will and I both find silly internet things supremely funny, so I put the tweets on mugs for him.
Just having given the mugs as gifts made me incomparably happy, so I decided I needed a tweet mug of my very own. Preferring one that spoke to my very essence as a human being, I got a @wutangcher original put on a mug: “im just super neurotically committed to seeming Chill As Hell.”
Filled with coffee and paired with my deep-seated anxiety, it really completes my morning look.
In a bit of sibling serendipity, my brother’s gift to me the same year was the most internet clock that’s ever existed. It’s actually a really awesome piece by Nate James (@artbynatejames), featuring none other than Superbowl Comeback Queen Missy Elliott standing alongside Aaliyah, with a crying Allen Iverson, and Jesus for good measure. This is one stellar religious-imagery-meets-pop-culture confection.
I realize it may not be the clock for everyone’s bedroom, but it makes me so happy to hang on my wall. And that’s the point of these types of joy-inducing objects: they don’t have to mean shit to anyone else.
I’m not asking you to wear the plaid pants, but I’m not asking your permission either.
So go forth, surround yourself with inexplicable things that make you grin-bustingly happy.