‘Why I love my jandals’
Ilove my pair of jandals. They are an iconic New Zealand summer item but I wear them all year round. It’s great when summer comes along because it means that I don’t get any strange looks whenever people look at my feet. I’m not self conscious about my feet, either. It’s one part of my body that I don’t have any concerns about.
My jandals are very practical because I wear them as soon as I get out of bed and still have them on when I’m heading into work.
I always have four pairs of jandals at one time. When I see a good pair at a shop, I’m like a jandal connoisseur and I’ll snap them up.
I know lots of Kiwis who wear socks with their jandals but it’s something that I will never do. Not because I think it’s a fashion crime but because I don’t want to see people’s dirty socks.
I wear my jandals in the shower because it helps to keep them clean.
I learned that when I started wearing jandals in the public showers at the camp grounds.
You do it there for practical reasons, so you don’t pick up any horrible diseases from other people, but I realised it also keeps your jandals clean.
I’m lucky to play a role in Shortland Street where I can wear my jandals as part of the costume. I play Drew McCaskill who is the head of the plastic surgery department at Shortland Street. I wouldn’t get plastic surgery because I don’t see any flaws in myself and I’m happy with the way God made me.
This year, I had a great scene in my jandals, which should belong in the annals of television. My character was on home detention for a year because he got in trouble with the IRD. Wearing an ankle bracket, he’s told to wrap tin foil around the bracelet to kill the signal.
That’s what my character does when he goes to the beach with his baby.
Of course, his bag gets stolen, he has no car and he’s forced to run home wearing only his speedos and jandals. I think it’s a very funny scene.
I’ve been on Shortland Street for nearly four years. Being on the show makes you feel like you’re living a double life.
Most acting jobs, there’s an ending. You do a play or a film and it finishes. Shortland Street goes on and on.
My character has had different love interests, I’ve got engaged, I’ve been married, I’ve had a child on the show. My character is three years older. It’s like I’m half me and half my character and it’s like I’m living a lie. It’s a weird feeling as an actor and it’s something I didn’t’ anticipate before I started on the show.
My 2-year-old daughter Harley, is just like her dad and loves to wear her jandals. Since she was born, my free time is gone.
Leisure time has been swallowed up and personal recreation is at a premium. But I’m not complaining, because I get to spend time with my daughter. It’s like hanging out with a little midget.
– As told to Aroha Awarau
Ben Barrington always has four pairs of jandals at one time, and was thrilled when his Shorty Street character got to wear a pair on set.