Well, it’s time to break into the holiday season. I refer, of course, to my Biennial Blue Jean Buying Binge! (Don’t worry, there is no obligatory cheesy music involved.) Yes, about every other year I buy a new pair of jeans. One of my customers commented today when he saw my jeans, asking if I had shifted to winter uniform. I hang on to the khaki cargo shorts as long as I can, but it’s been chilly (by Savannah standards) lately.
I grew up in a small South Texas town where most everybody actually worked for a living. That, and the fact that most of the plants wore thorns or spikes or other appendages of assault, shorts were not an option. You needed long pants with some heft to them.
As a growing boy I was always provided with blue jeans which were too long to start with, so as to get adequate use before my ankles started to show. We just rolled up the cuffs and adjusted them as we grew. Laundry was easy. My mother had adjustable metal stretchers which went into the legs out of the washing machine and kept them taut while they dried on the line.
Jeans were just what we wore, and there was no prestige to be gained or lost with any differentiation. Somewhere along the line, though, probably in that dreaded realm of insecurity called High School, there was one change. Rolling up your cuffs was just “not done”. That was not much of a problem since we weren’t growing so fast. You just bought them a little long and handed them down when they got too short.
Moving on, I was always jealous of the sailors when I was in the Navy. They got to wear those cool bell bottomed dungarees, which were not in my uniform list. I did buy a pair at the exchange to wear at home, though.
As I continued living, I continued growing. However, the vectors changed, and vertical increases turned more to the horizontal. As a result, my ample belly and stubby legs now relegate me to the extreme boundaries of the waist/inseam charts, and even there my jeans legs scrape the ground a bit. The part of me that is still in High School will not allow me to roll up the cuffs, so I have to find the short legged size. That makes it difficult to find a pair rummaging through piles at the local stores.
So lately I have been buying online, although I feel a little guilty not patronizing my fellow local businesses. Of course, I’m not sure that matters all that much when the “local store” sends all its money to Benton, Arkansas.
But going online brings other difficulties, since there you have to choose styles and colors as well as sizes. This is all new and confusing to an old guy, particularly when they keep changing the numbers, so I can’t just buy what I got last time. So I make mistakes. The 2013 pair arrived with a button fly, which can be a hassle for my old arthritic fingers.
This time I got the zipper fly, and the measurements seem OK, but things just seem a little baggy. I can live with that, but The Boss was not impressed.
The first time she saw me in the new pair, she said “Legs too fat!”
I wasn’t sure which set of legs she was referring to, but I chose not ask for clarification.