A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

Ha, I am wearing white jeans! I’m doing it and no one can stop me.

I know what you’re thinking: Labor Day was yesterday. That means today is . . . after Labor Day. Oh, dear. What will the girls at the club think? Tad and Bitsy Muffinbottom will be scandalized! That is what you were thinking, right? I knew it. Well, let them gawk. I refuse to submit to their silly, old world rules.

I read a few explanations of where it comes from, and they all sound equally unconvincing. Like that it used to be a functional tradition to wear white during warm months, to keep cooler. Or that the well-heeled, la-di-da crowd would vacation for the whole summer, and Labor Day truly marked a very definitive return to the drabness of the rat race and three-martini lunches at the club instead of at . . . uh . . . the other club. Anyway, it’s all bogus and I move to strike the law. There are many other post-Labor Day rules that would make much more sense to institute in its stead. I decree them here and ask that everyone take them under advisement. Wait, no, I decree it. Right.

1. All tourists should vacate the premises and return from whence they came. Vacation is over, time to go home and get ready for school/work/”football” matches/Dancing With the Stars/PTA meetings. Seriously, please. You’ll be back in December, which is so soon. I need a little break. You’re nice, but you’re just really, really slow. Also, sometimes you’re not that nice.

2. Women under the age of thirty must cease wearing rompers. They annoy me and most likely make you look squat. Women over the age of thirty should not have been wearing them before Labor Day, either.

3. Men need to resume wearing shoes that cover their feet. We understand your need for sandals in the hottest of weather, but by and large your feet is nasty. Lock it up.

4. Everyone should stop coming into work on Mondays looking tanner than the week previous. It makes me feel inadequate and less fortunate than you.

5. No one can pretend to “work from home” on a Friday while really being in the car on the way to the Hamptons. See reason for rule #4.

6. It is time for the beach bunnies to vacate the gym and lose steam on their normally rigorous schedule, so that those of us who did not succeed in losing their summer weight but are still really trying we promise! no longer have to look at you and can work out in peace.

7. Mojito season is over until May.

8. All stores should turn down their air conditioning from sub-zero to zero +.

9. String bikinis are no longer permitted in Central Park. It’s kind of weird. Also, see rule #4.

10. No more pasta salad in my vicinity. If I eat one more fusilli, I will break my scale.


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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