Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Little Luxuries and Morale

That might be about it for this one.

I’m wearing a t-shirt. A graphic t-shirt. Which is a switch for me. But I do plan on working out and taking the dogs for a long walk here shortly (we still can walk the dogs here in the States), so let’s say this t-shirt is athletic wear. It depicts an older Charles Brown and Snoopy on patrol post- apocalypse. I’m a huge Peanuts fan. Which explains part of its appeal to me. Charlie Brown is the most optimistic character in the strip. Good inspiration.

My brother-in-law, the former Recon Marine and post-graduate mathematics professor is one of the smartest men I’ve ever known and one of the toughest, if you didn’t twig to that with the whole “Ph.D/Recon Marine” thing. He once told me that Ranger School was one of the hardest things he’d done.

Ask anyone who has gone through Ranger School about important kit to have to hand during trying times, and you’ll get some answers you’d expect – a good knife, maps, compass, water, clean socks, etc. — and maybe one or two that you hadn’t. A toothbrush and travel toothpaste for instance. Personal hygiene is important and after drinking gallons of purified swamp water, brushing your teeth must feel pretty damned good. Studies say that it boosts morale by 4%. Compound that with a few little luxuries and things might not seem so bad.

So, let’s brainstorm a few little luxuries to help keep morale up during our pandemic.

My neighbors, an Argentinian and a French woman, have some of their family staying with them for the duration. During nice days, they set the table, fire up the grill and have lunch outside. A lovely tradition and relaxing.

Our street has a tradition of porch parties. While we don’t gather in large groups, we as a couple, will bring a bottle and hang about at the foot of a neighbor’s porch or ask someone to drop by to chat for a while during happy hour.

And then there is the question of what to wear. One of the big chains has said that searches for dress shirts are up, while those for trousers have decreased. Well, the camera only picks up your top half. I hope you’re still wearing trousers.

You may have seen my FB mention that BSquared has ramped up production, not of button-downs, suits and ties, but of masks and gowns and expects to be producing 150,000 a day in the very near future! I renewed my commitment to buy two new oxford cloth button-downs when I read that (and frankly, looking at the image above…) I’m all for comfort, and when I’ve had to travel long-distances, spend the night in the hospital or spend long hours in front of the computer, I’ve reached for my uniform: a pair of full-cut khakis or cords (All American or Bill’s) and a broken-in, unstarched, pressed Brooks Brothers OCBD. Slippers, Belgian Shoes, and a cardigan or cashmere crewneck also make appearances. That’s what I wore to stay with Mrs. E. when the kids were born. I can sleep in a chair in those clothes and remain fairly presentable.

Lastly, my Instapot has been seeing a lot of action. A homemade bone broth, braised chicken, or beans and greens are all comfort foods for me and fairly healthy. And the Instapot makes quick work of frozen ingredients as I don’t plan meals too far in advance.

One thought on “Little Luxuries and Morale

  1. Dear Chris,
    Certain garments, be it a soft and nice fitting shirt or trousers, almost become like ‘family’ and it is very hard to part from them… Love the top photo!
    Look forward to seeing the dress shirts being more frequently worn; let’s hope that is true.
    Great initiative of Brooks Brothers!
    Wishing you all well.

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