Shorts

Sometimes a pair of shorts is just a pair of shorts, but sometimes the shorts are tiny, plastic, and belong to a paper doll; in those times the word “just” is truly “a horrible candle-snuffing word.” In those times, when it’s summer and they’re found on the stoop outside an apartment building where no children live, a pair of shorts means that some paper doll somewhere either is suffering the ninety degree heat in slacks, or has an owner without the discernment to know how unflattering it is for a paper doll to go pantsless. Beyond that, when the person who found the shorts is carrying a box of dishes into their first studio apartment, where they will be living alone for the fist time, a tiny pair of shorts on their stoop means a connection to the past and a propulsion toward the future. That person will stop, set down the moving box, pick up the shorts and think, there must be something cool I could do with these, so they will keep them, but that person will never find anything to do with them.

Okay, enough with the “that person” stuff. I kept a lost pair of shorts from some kid’s paper doll set. It’s not that big of a deal. I kept them because it reminded me of childhood, but it also reminded me about the truly trivial nature of things which I thought held intrinsic application and worth. Somehow, seeing those shorts outside the context of the doll made them senseless and odd. It made me wonder how many things in my life at the time I just accepted as important because they “came with the set.” It helped me to shape my foray into isolated individuality with intent and integrity, rather than falling in line with what I expected of myself. I’m glad I found those shorts then, and I’m glad I found them again now, because it’s always an important lesson to be reminded of; step back and see the thing for what it is, not what it’s supposed to be–it’s often not as important as you think.

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~ by russell jander on January 16, 2012.

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