The Bathrobe Is Essentially About Shame

Housecoat Diaries

A lot of people confuse the housecoat with the bathrobe. I suppose it's an understandable error, but it's also easily clarified. The bathrobe is essentially about shame. The housecoat is about freedom from such silliness.

I know it’s just semantics, and there’s really no technical difference between the bathrobe and the housecoat in terms of look and feel. But the philosophical underpants of it all, if you will, are huge. The bathrobe is one of the many uniforms of the oppressed. The housecoat is the party dress of the free. That racing stripe on the inside back of your housecoat, that’s not a stain, it’s the cosmic badge of honour you get pinned on you for being able to dance joyfully on absolutely nothing..

Now, there’s been a lot of clever things said about freedom, like how it’s just another word for nothin' left to lose, and how if you love something you should set it free, and if it comes back to you it’s yours, and if it doesn’t you should hunt it down and kill it. But what is freedom really?

What does freedom feel like? What does it smell like? I don't think freedom is pretty or nice or has anything to do with clean laundry or springtime or flowers. I don't think it feels like 400 thread-count sheets. I don’t think it smells like money or lower taxes and higher wages, nor is it all about the gentle wafts of patchouli and hitch-hiking and long hair. If it's got anything to do with going against the grain, freedom is about being okay with things that aren’t perfect, but still taking lots of time to dream about what might make them better.

Freedom too often gets used by people who are actually trying to take it away from us.. This world’s history is far too much about sending kids to war in the name of freedom. I always hope that more and more people will come to understand over time that “letting their country down” isn’t such a horrible thing. Think about it: why is freedom always associated with patriotism? The reality is that there’s no such thing as a “free country.” That’s just a bunch of baloney made up to make people feel okay about doing stupid things.

Ultimately, freedom thrives best in small rooms and big imaginations. It breathes well in loose clothing, and it poses its greatest risk to oppression when it nears nakedness and outright exposure.

Not to be too ridiculously indulgent here, but I believe it was I who once said that the universe doesn’t scurry around frantically trying to make shit happen, it sits around in its housecoat with its uglies hanging out, and love finds its way in no problem.

Freedom is the universe’s uglies. It’s full frontal nudity for the soul. It has the balls to say uncomfortable things and to use lots of dirty language in saying them. There’s no shame in freedom. And there’s no shame in skipping your little hygiene rituals for a day, and instead just slipping into your housecoat and letting it all hang out.