The Particular Sadness of Blue Jeans

Otherwise known as that feeling of tragic inevitability when your favorite pair of jeans gives up the ghost.

For some reason, mine never tear at the knees, where I might acceptably patch them up and continue wearing them (well, acceptably in the ’90s, anyway. It’s a little more debatable now, I guess, and also now that I am 25 and not 15…but I could wear them on the weekends?).

There’s a sweet moment in time when a pair of jeans becomes perfectly worn and comfortable, like a second skin (or third skin, if you’re wearing leggings underneath because it’s 19 degrees out). But then…tragedy strikes. And you have to figure out if it’s worth it to try to sew them up, or if you should upgrade your second-favorite pair of jeans to “favorite” status now, or – worst case scenario – you have to begin the hunt all over again. And NO ONE I know likes shopping for jeans.

Well, old jeans, thank you for making it nearly to the end of 2010. You won’t be forgotten. (Truth: I still remember previous favorite pairs of jeans. Paris Blues in high school, a pair that began with an “L” – l.e.i? levi? – that I got at a thrift store in college and only very recently and reluctantly threw out, after having patched the various holes with scrap fabric.)

I’m going to do ALL of us a favor and not go on a rant about people who buy jeans that already have holes in them, “distressed” jeans or whatever they are marketed as…it certainly is distressing, is all I will say about that. Actually, no. I will say that in order for jeans to achieve that truly “worn” look, you have to WEAR THEM. It’s like those pre-“weathered” baseball hats they sell now, or “vintage” t-shirts that are already practically see-through, when everyone knows if you want a shirt to look that way for real you have to have had it for ten or fifteen years already and worn it to picnics and the gym and to sleep and around the house and to paint the house and to wash the car and to go sledding in, basically ALL THE TIME, and only THEN does it become perfectly worn, because you’ve worn it. And then two weeks later it gets a hole at the neck or under the arm and you have to start all over again with a different t-shirt…

Argh. All of a sudden Snuggies make more sense. Let’s all just wear blankets and bathrobes and call it a day.

What I’m reading: The Patterns of Paper Monsters, Emma Rathbone
What I’m listening to: Horses, Patti Smith

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