I considered two things Saturday night at 8:40 p.m., while walking down Broadway: I’ve either gone crazy or I’m actually brilliant. I poured myself out of bed, where I was nestled in a very over-sized t-shirt that draped past my knees, because I realized that I was out of wine on my “Lindsay night in.”
I left in the rush of courage you can only get after a few glasses of red-wine, and with the eager intent of getting to the liquor store before it closed. Though I was still a bit exhausted from the day I had — a dog walk 5K with Lucy (yes, I’m ridiculous) and a free concert in Central Park with Stevie Wonder, John Mayer and more (yes, I’m lucky) — I knew a proper and relaxing evening in required refreshments, and ideally, cheese. Lots of cheese.
I quickly threw on my raincoat and infinity scarf, whipped my hair up and put on flats, grabbed my keys and headed down the stairs. It wasn’t until I was half-way down the block, rushing because the big silver gates guarding the Cabernet come crashing down at 9 p.m., that I realized I forgot pants.
Yes, I’ve lived in New York almost four years, and I forgotten everything from my wallet to my phone, but never, have I ever, forgot to put on pants.
I stopped hastily and buttoned up my red jacket in a hurry, feeling well exposed in front of strangers. A homeless man asked me for some change, a little girl flew past me on her magical scooter and a group of 20-somethings clicked by in their sky-rocket heels, leaving me in the dust of their perfume and cheap nylon. An elderly woman pushed her way across the avenue, unaware of the speed around her, and a man walking his dog didn’t notice a thing, completely plugged into his iPhone’s illuminated screen.
And there I stood, 25, single, pantless, walking to spend $20 on a wine and Vermont Sharp Cheddar on a Saturday night.
I considered heading back to my apartment, but I knew I didn’t have much time to waste. The city never sleeps and it certainly doesn’t wait for you to get your act together to appease to your demands. (Or to put on pants when you forget them.) And so, after checking half a dozen times that my ahem, backend, was not on display, I carefully walked two blocks, holding together the bottom of my jacket, to pick up my goodies.
After texting a few friends that I thought I’d officially hit rock bottom, I plugged in The Princess Bride (my favorite movie of all time), poured some of that well-earned wine and prepared to bury my embarrassment in my down comforter. But thinking about my pantless dance on the Upper West Side, I couldn’t focus on a movie, and instead, I just had a nice, long, hard…
…laugh at myself.
The thing is, it shouldn’t be that surprising that I forgot to put on a piece of clothing. In fact, I’m frankly stunned it hasn’t happened before. From the way I walk to how I work and everything else I throw myself into, I move, really, really fast. I’m always in a hurry to get somewhere — to my job, to finish everything assigned to me, to get to happy hour, to leave happy hour, to write this blog, to publish that one, to be super-duper successful, to train for a half, to run the half, to go on a date, to meet someone, to fall in love, to do this, to do that, to go, go, go.
And with all this going, I often forget about the little things.
Like that even if my friends are spending nights in with men they love (and love them dearly back) on the weeknights, I get the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to consider anyone. Or that my Sundays are often spent lounging in the grass in Riverside Park, sipping coffee, reading The Times while Lucy runs in circles, chasing tennis balls she can’t actually pick up. Or that I can get lost in anything, an incredibly good book, a nice, hour-and-a-half run around the reservoir, the not-so-winding streets, without having to worry about the kids, or the playdates or a house that needs cleaning. Or my ability to spend what I want on what I want, without thinking about mouths to feed or a joint-rent to meet or a savings account that someone else sees. That while I may not know where I’ll go or who I’ll meet, when it will all come together or how it’ll work out, I know that I’ll waste it all, if I rush through it.
And if I keep up this pace, I might be considered a little batty, walking the streets of Manhattan without pants. Or maybe I feel liberated? Free from the reigns of too-tight skinny jeans or yoga pants that have yet to get stretched? The crisp, fall air gushing it’s way across the avenues, sweeping through my raincoat and long, long t-shirt with the old, old dirty black flats?
Nah, pantless in New York isn’t fabulous or flattering or life-altering or something that triggered some powerful message in my life. Instead, it was just kind of, really, fun. And sometimes, that’s better than anything else.