Friday, September 9, 2011

Write on Edge: Requiem

 This week's Write on Edge assignment was to write about jeans, "We all have a relationship with jeans. They can make us feel a range of emotions, and this week we asked you to write a piece in which jeans figured prominently." I cheated a little with this assignment. Last winter I wrote a piece about the tragic loss of my favorite pair of jeans and I've revised it slightly for this assignment.

Requiem in Pacis Ventus Jeans

One snowy day last winter I had just come in from shoveling snow. I was in my room peeling off the layers of sodden, snow-covered clothes. I tossed my jeans into the hamper and saw a worn patch on the upper thigh. Upon further inspection I realized it wasn’t simply a worn spot. It was a hole—actually two holes—in my favorite pair of jeans. The first thought that ran through my head was, “Was this hole here when I wore these to work earlier in the week?” I quickly dismissed the thought. I was wearing long underwear for snow shoveling, but I don’t need it at work. Surely I would have noticed a draft if the holes had been there then. Right? Right?
After dismissing the possibility that I had given my customers and coworkers a little show, my second thought was, “Why these jeans? Why my favorite jeans?” These are the jeans that are just the right shade of blue, snug enough to look good but not so tight they’re uncomfortable. My favorite thing about them? Pocket flaps. I love pocket flaps—they disguise the fact that I have no butt whatsoever. Seriously. When I go to the gym I spend a lot of time trying to get something going on back there. I’m the only one at the Y trying to work my ass on.
I dislike jean shopping the way most women dislike bathing suit shopping. I don’t worry about bathing suits. When I’m at the beach I spend most of my time chasing my boys, building sandcastles and catching minnows. I don’t worry if I look sexy or not. Besides, I am so pale my skin is nearly blue—a beach bunny I ain’t. My requirements for a bathing suit are pretty simple. It has to be comfortable, good quality and provide enough coverage so I can sunscreen all exposed skin without help from anyone else. I usually order them from Land’s End. They actually sell bathing suits with pockets. Sexy? No. Practical? Yes.
Jeans, I wear nearly every day. I have to wear them for work and they are the most versatile garments for the stay at home mom side of my life. For a while I did try wearing nicer clothes like khakis and button down shirts when I picked up the kids. But adding extra ironing to my routine wasn’t good for my health. Besides, smeared cookie washes out of denim much easier than out of poplin. I tried wearing yoga pants like so many stay at home moms do, but it wasn’t me. I wear workout clothes when I work out and then I shower and put on jeans. Besides, yoga pants are not flattering on the buttless.
Of course, I know why my jeans wore out. They are were (sniff!) my favorite so I wore them all the time so they didn’t last as long as my less wonderful jeans. You may be asking yourself, why if these jeans were so marvelous, didn’t you buy more than one pair Vickie? Well, I tried. In fact, I bought a pair of jeans that looked just like them and had the same name. But the manufacturer changed the design somewhat. They still have the same pocket flap and they are the same shade of blue, but they are cut in such a way that they are unmistakably mom jeans. I’m a mom and I drive a minivan (a beige minivan at that!) but I refuse to wear mom jeans*. I do have some pride.

*Full disclosure. Since this piece was written I have traded in my beige minivan for a slightly less mommyish car. It’s an SUV in a color I like to call faded denim.