I enjoy my free time.  Some people might shy away from 72 hours of completely unplanned and unaccounted for time, with excuses of boredom and complacency.  Not this guy.  I believe I am ahead of the curve.  I’m planning for retirement, but not in the financial “I need to take care of my future” sort of way.  But rather the state of mind.  I’m ready.  I’ve always told friends I’ll finally find happiness in the form of a well-worn bath robe, a comfy pair of slippers, and the next 10 years of my life sectioned away for retirement.  Who needs adventure, companionship and content when you can have comfort?  Really, I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible for the rest of the world who either can’t have comfort or those sickos out there that seem to not appreciate it.  Because joining the Peace Corps is nice and all, but so is a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and being wrapped under my favorite lap blanket.

This is what I tried to tell my friend, who showed up to my house unannounced.  I opened the door and she looked me over, and said, “Nick, it’s 2 pm.  Don’t you think you should be wearing pants by now?”

First, why would I wear pants when I have no appointments dictating the necessity of pants?  Second, why are you at my house?  And third, have you tried a pants free day?  It’s amazing.

I find there is never really an appropriate answer to the question, “Why aren’t you wearing pants?”  Sure, there are times when pants aren’t necessary, but the answers at those times are self-evident.  If someone has to ask where your pants are, you’re probably not in a situation where pants could be considered optional.

The question, “Why are you drinking a pint of gasoline?” functions the same; even if the answer contains the semblance of sanity, that person is never going to look at the gasoline drinker the same again.

“Oh,” they might say when someone explains they’re simply trying to fuel up for their upcoming race. “That’s nice.”  Then that person will smile, promptly turn and walk in the opposite direction.

Sure, there’s some validity to her point.  And, yes, I probably shouldn’t answer the door in my boxers.  But then again, despite what it looks like, I’m a grown ass man.  I’ll do what I want.  And it’s the weekend.  I realize I’m about three twelve packs away from getting a beer belly and becoming that creepy whitey-tightey’s guy who doesn’t seem to own a pair of clothing other than his mustard stained wife-beater and his Fruit of the Looms.  I realize I’m different.  I like to think it’s my quirky, zany, “I have no idea what Nick is going to do next” part of me.  And so, I don’t answer her question.  Because by dignifying it with an answer, I would be saying the question is worth asking in the first place.

What’s important is why are you here?

I own the fact that, yes, I shouldn’t open doors without pants on.  But to be fair, what kind of monster shows up to a house unannounced?  Outside of spiders and emptying a litterbox, people arriving without invitation is one of the worst.  I mean, really, that’s like barging into your parent’s closed door on their anniversary night: you’re not going to like what you see.

Because I really like my home time.  I take complete advantage of the fact that my blinds are 100% closed 100% of the time and I’m 100% alone.

And, please, nothing risqué is happening.  No, I’m not that kind of exciting person with a weird sexual side to them.  I promise you, I’m either reading a book or napping.  And the book I’m reading is probably a fantasy novel involving dragons.  Some people might enjoy projects and getting ready for the day bright and early, I’m more in the watch-four-episodes-of-something-trashy-on-Netflix-and-maybe-get-dressed-just-before-dinner crowd.

So, yes, I’m a pants optional kind of person.  But don’t be worried.  This is my lifestyle.  I’d never impose that kind of thing on someone.  I don’t greet my (invited) guests at the door with, “Hi, welcome.  Yes, take off your shoes there, and you can leave your pants on the bed in the guest room.”   I don’t dictate my life to someone the same way a vegan friend somehow ends up deciding where everyone eats.  And I would certainly be the last person to judge someone for walking around their house without a pair of pants on.  Especially if I came over unannounced at 2 pm.  Really, I’d be happy if I saw a friend that way, I think it’s a sign that our friendship has evolved in that they don’t mind looking disgusting in front of me.

What I mean to say is, I completely understand the difference between outside life, and comfortable, at-home life.  The second thing I do when I get home from work is take off my pants, I’d do it immediately, but I have to take my shoes off first and reversing the order doesn’t do me any favors in looking like a responsible adult. Quite frankly, it’s liberating.  It’s American.  More importantly, it’s comfortable.

It begs the question, “Why isn’t 2 pm a pants optional time?”

Yes.  That is a wonderful question.  Who’s to say that a certain time could be denoted as pants unoptional?  I think I’ll start rapping on doors midafternoon in my neighborhood, unannounced.  When my neighbor answers the door, I’ll look them over accusingly, perhaps tsk my tongue or shake my head or both.  Then I’ll regard them from beneath a judging brow and say, “Don’t you think it’s a little early to be wearing pants?”