Inspired by a deluge of “clear the clutter from your life” articles, I finally got around to the arduous task of cleaning out my closet. I was determined to do it the “proper” way and actually purge stuff, as opposed to my usual way of simply moving all the crap around in seemingly neater piles.
I began trying on all of my jeans and came to a stunning revelation.
I mean, we all have that one pair of jeans we refuse to part with because one day, just maybe, either by some miracle of modern science or horrible stomach flu, we’ll fit into them again. But this was more than a pair, this was many pairs of false hope on a shelf.
So as I was quite literally stepping into and out of the many threads of my past, I pondered my unwillingness to let go of these old, ill-fitting articles.
You see, I’ve never been much into fashion. I was a jeans and sneaker wearing kid who turned into a jeans and sneaker wearing grown up. To the point where I pretty much plan my social life around the acceptability to show up in jeans. My first thought when I’m invited anywhere is, “Can I get away with jeans?” Having to wear a dress or skirt to an event is the equivalent of forcing a 6-year-old boy into a suit and tie. I will whine and complain and tug at my clothes until somebody gives me ice cream to shut me up.
Jeans and Me: A Timeline Of Our Love Affair
Late 1970s/Early 1980s
I was just a grade schooler and Jordache and Sassoon were all the rage. I remember begging and convincing my mom to buy me a pair—no easy feat since they probably cost four times as much as the Sears brand jeans I usually wore.
Late 1980s/Early 1990s
My high school and college years. Acid washed Levi’s and maybe I’d find a pair of the higher-end Guess jeans under the tree on Christmas morning. I remember teenage me always wanting to lose a few pounds, but man, hindsight really is 20/20. And in that I mean that my middle-aged knee probably couldn’t get into my high school jeans now. They were tiny.
This was a dark time in our relationship, as I spent those years working in a professional office environment (translation: no jeans). Every morning as I grudgingly slipped on my maroon shoulder-padded suit jacket and pants (why, just why?), I would stare longingly at the pile of jeans in my closet thinking, “Someday we’ll be together again.”
My child-bearing years. I was so excited to be pregnant with my first child that I could not wait to fit into a new kind of jean: maternity jeans! And five minutes after that sweet little baby was born, I could not wait to get the hell out of them. And so it went through three kids and eight years, maternity jeans, regular jeans, back and forth. As a stay-at-home mom during that time, jeans and I rekindled our romance and we were together every day, comfy and happy. And those jeans got spit-up on, colored on, and tugged on, and still they’d come out of the dryer, softer and more appealing, despite the abuse they took on a daily basis.
Ok, I’ll say it. Sigh. Mom jeans. Well, maybe not total mom jeans, but close enough. A couple of years ago, I was jeans shopping (surprise) and couldn’t find anything I liked in the women’s section. Being petite, I had the bright idea of heading to the Juniors section of the store. Let’s just say it was a quick lesson in humility that had me fleeing to the old lady petite department in the hopes of regaining a shred of my self-confidence back.
And throughout all the better, brighter, bolder fashion fads over the years, I’ve never cheated on jeans. Not with parachute pants, not with corduroys, not even with Lululemon leggings.
So there you have it—the story of my life in jeans. And I wonder, am I alone in this? Are there other women out there that have this allegiance? If so, perhaps we could all meet up someday. I imagine you’ll see us coming from a mile away—women of all ages, shapes and sizes, united in their devotion to (and of course, wearing) JEANS.