Let's not sugarcoat this: I was desperate. For the past seven years, I've mostly covered sports for New Times, but the funny thing about writing about sports is that the act is inherently reliant upon sports happening. Usually, that's not an issue. Right now? Issue. Thanks to COVID-19, we're all living in the Upside Down. Staying inside and watching Netflix is now patriotic. Because there'll be no sports for the foreseeable future, I have some time on my hands.
It's cool, though. We all need to chip in any way we can and change up our routines for the greater good, right? I've been ready to roll, anticipating the day I would be asked to cover some serious coronavirus news. Finally, an email rolled in from my editor: The paper needed me to wear jeans for a week and write about it. More specific: Wear jeans while quarantined. Quaranjeans, if you will.
This is what it's come to. I was hired to cover LeBron James and the Big Three, and now I'm out here writing about wearing jeans while eating Cheerios in my house-prison. Life comes at you fast.
Though this assignment seemed a bit like hazing, I'm not one to turn down a challenge. And so began seven crazy days and nights of jeans. Below, you'll find my denim diary.
Reader discretion is advised. Please do not try this at home.
How is Bill Belichick somehow the only person in America not wearing sweats right now pic.twitter.com/XYc3bl6ZFO— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) April 1, 2020
Day 1: Well, I guess this is my life now.Jeans: Dark blue, slim fit.
I woke up this morning wondering what I had gotten myself into. With everything else going on in our lives, now I've just added denim to the equation. Because this is the Opening Jeans Day, I've decided to start the show off strong with my dress jeans — you know, the jeans you'd wear to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Dark blue, slim, and very uncomfortable yet a far superior option to dress pants.
These are not sitting-around jeans. I have chosen poorly. I did not consider that this is a marathon, not a sprint. In retrospect, I should've walked before I ran. Everything I did today reminded me that I was wearing jeans for no reason whatsoever. Every time I thought to myself, Just take them off — nobody will know, my inside voice told me to get my shit together and beat the jeans.
Look at the tweet above. I'm dressed like Bill Belichick right now. It's just Bill Belichick and I wearing jeans indoors like a couple of assholes.
Day 2: Cheat-day jeans come out.Jeans: Light blue, stretch fit.
After yesterday's slim-fit debacle, Daddy needs a quaranjeans cheat day. I'm not sure where I got the jeans I'm wearing today, but they are borderline sweatpants. All of my jeans are Levi's, but no matter how many times I buy stretch-fit, they just aren't the same as these babies. Maybe they're a one-off screwup. Maybe someone making my jeans was having a good day and put some extra love into this pair. I'm not totally sure. All I know is that, compared to yesterday, these jeans feel like skinny dipping.
Today I had to go grocery shopping. It used to be a quick, mindless chore, but now it's an episode of The Walking Dead. I picked a good day to pull out the MVP jeans. Can't be worried about wedgies and swamp ass when your life is on the line while you're trying to score milk and eggs.
Day 3: There's no going back now.Jeans: Some shade of faded blue, straight fit.
I'm not gonna lie: At this point, I've considered a few options that would get me out of this mess, but I've almost swum halfway, which means there's no reason to quit now. I could throw in the towel and cancel this entire thing. I could pretend I wore jeans for seven straight days knowing right now the only witness would be my wife. But I am not a quitter. Quaranjeans will not get the best of me, dammit.
I go to school online and have to take a test today. It will take three hours — three hours of sitting in jeans, unable to take a break. I'd usually wear basketball shorts and a hoodie and chew gummy bears. Now I'm sitting here taking a financial accounting test like it's part of a job interview. I hate myself.
People who are quarantining in jeans: what are you trying to prove— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) March 21, 2020
Day 4: This is just not fun.Jeans: Light blue, stretch fit.
There is just nothing good about this challenge. When I first took it on, I figured there'd be some mental-health benefits to being forced to dress every day as if I had somewhere to go. I mean, jeans aren't exactly business attire, but it hit 95 degrees today and I was playing soccer with my son outside in clothes I'd wear to the mall when Christmas shopping.
I suppose if I had to find a silver lining of this challenge, it would be that I actually felt like I wasn't in PE class, alternating between couch clothes and treadmill clothes. I'll be going back to that in three days, though.
Day 5: I've caught my second wind.Jeans: Black (I apparently have black jeans)
I found a new pair of jeans! They're not in my usual rotation, which basically makes them new-to-me new. They're tighter, so I'm going sans belt today. I checked the rulebook, and it does not specify if not wearing a belt is cheating, so, loophole!
Outside, it's hotter than the sun itself today, so black jeans would normally be a horrendous choice. Luckily, I am banned from going outside for much of anything (because 2020), so up goes the air conditioning and on goes a fresh pair of jeans I haven't worn in years and definitely did not buy for myself.
Things are looking up. Quaranjeans end in a mere 48 hours. Soon my legs will be free of this terrible choice I have made.
I've always wanted to say this on one of these deals.— Rizz Exotic (@Rizzmiggiz) April 7, 2020
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Day 6: I am running out of jeans and reasons to live.Jeans: Blue again. Honestly, does it matter at this point?
I realized this morning that I had not done my laundry yet, which normally wouldn't be a problem while quarantined, but we've established this is an unusual spot I've put myself in.
On a related note, I scored a great price on jeans thanks to one of those Twitter accounts that offer deals. Am I now obsessed with jeans? Maybe. Maybe this has changed me forever. It's impossible to know until New Times sets me free. I could be experiencing a form of Stockholm syndrome. Maybe jeans have hurt me so much I love them now. Maybe I want to be forced to wear jeans now, so I'm ordering more? Where am I?
Day 7: I did it. I did this thing.Jeans: Stretchy jeans — it's a celebration!
Boom! I accomplished this thing. I'm not even certain if this is a real thing. I'm almost positive the good people at New Times will tell me this was some sort of long-con April Fools' prank and they're not really going to publish an article about a freelance sports writer wearing jeans for a week. Joke's on them, though — I enjoyed this challenge. In fact, I'm a better person for it. I learned a lot about myself and, more important, denim.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope you and your family are safe and continue to remain that way in these crazy times. I also hope you understand that I wore pants so you don't have to. I'm a small hero in all of this, but a hero nonetheless.