Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Faded Jeans Blues

Have you ever loved a pair of blue jeans? Whether they be Levis or some designer label, stone-washed or acid-washed, boot-cut or bell-bottom? You know, just an incredibly comfortable, worn-forever pair of blue jeans?

I just had to part ways with a pair that Ive worn literally into rags. It was hard to do. They were just so danged comfortable, so familiar, so dependable.

It takes a while to get jeans broken in so that they fit like they were created from whole cloth just for you. These jeans qualified. They were comfortable, well-broken-in, and pulling them out of the dryer while folding laundry felt like opening the door and seeing a long-lost friend.

Whenever I would look in the bottom drawer of my dresser for pants, if they were thereeven on the bottom of the pileI would dig them out without a second thought.

They were getting pretty thread-bare, by now. Holes in the knees had been followed by holes in the thighs. These holes eventually began to not only get larger, but conspired together to grow towards each other. The cuffs were hopelessly frayed from countless times of scuffling along the ground. The pocketsonce trust-worthy repositories for coins, guitar picks, and a flash drivebegan to betray my faith in them by developing escape routes for valuables.

The belt loop where I always clipped my car keys with a biner (pronounced beener) was now only attached at one end, and had become merely an impotent reminder of its former useful self.

Clearly, it was time to send these once-functional, well-loved friends to the Great Denim Warehouse in the Sky. Yet, it proved more difficult than I first anticipated. Familiarity, and a sense of shared history, when combined with many good memories of times past, can make it difficult to do what should be obvious.

Sure, these faded, worn-and-torn, ripped up blue jeans were hardly even functional by this point, but they were comfortable, familiar, and getting rid of them would mean starting all over with a new, unbroken-in, unfamiliar pair. It was surprising how tenacious the desire to just keep wearing them was.

Finally came the day when I pulled them from the dryer, glanced at the inside, and saw (A) that the back pocket had obviously had a falling out with the rest of the leg, meaning my butt would be unceremoniously exposed, and (B) the crotch was about to go at any second, and Im just not young & hip enough to wear some crazy boxers underneath these rips as if it were actually stylish.

So, facing the inevitable, yet not without a twinge of remorse and nostalgia, I wadded my denim companion into as tight a ball as possible, and slam-dunked the faded and tattered remains into the garbage can that resides benignly under our kitchen sink. Farewell, good and faithful steed.

Well, what do you think?

Is this story a metaphor for something else, or am I really just writing about an old pair of jeans?