You're right: These aren't my daughter's jeans. They're all mine.

March 18, 2010|By Susan Reimer

Baby boomers think we invented sex. But I know we invented blue jeans.

Yeah. OK. So there were some, I don't know, prospectors or farmers or somebody wearing jeans before we broke them out in the spring of 1970.

But boomers made jeans legit.

First we wore them to class in college, where there used to be, God help us all, a dress code for women (but not men).

Then blue jeans spread to high schools, airline travel and the workplace. Blue jeans have made it to church, although I hear there is some resistance on country club golf courses.

So, when I saw the commercials for "Not Your Daughter's Jeans," my first reaction was "Of course they aren't my daughter's jeans. They are my jeans. And they are sacred."

My daughter has a couple of dozen pairs of jeans. A different pair for every occasion and every day of the month, as it were.

I have three pairs. The ones I wear to work, with the knife-like crease ironed into them to make them look more presentable. The ones I am waiting to wear when I lose some more weight.

And the jeans I wear at the end of the workday.

Those jeans are like a giant sigh of relief. I shed the office as quickly as I can, and pull on the cool, comfortable forgetfulness of my favorite jeans. The pair that never seems too tight. The pair that always fits like I suddenly lost five pounds.

My husband the sportswriter says nobody gets in and out of their clothing as fast as professional athletes, who change from clothes into uniforms and back again several times a day.

Put a stopwatch on me, I tell him. Nobody leaves the workday behind faster than I do.

My favorite jeans take pounds off my rear end and years off my life. I actually bounce down the steps after pulling them on. I am light and unburdened. Ready to move.

My favorite jeans are frayed at the hem and worn almost white at the knees. A hole has worn into the right back pocket where I hang my car keys while running errands. I wear these jeans in my garden, but never to a garden party. I wouldn't embarrass them that way. They know where they are most comfortable, too.

My jeans aren't boot cut, flared, relaxed fit, curvy or natural fit. They're not classic fit, modern or loose fit. And they don't hang off my hip bones like Tom Cruise on that rock ledge in "Mission Impossible."

My jeans were jeans before jeans had names, when jeans were just "blue" jeans. They aren't boyfriend jeans or my daughter's jeans. My daughter would be lucky to feel as good in her jeans as I do in mine.

One day not long ago, I felt a cool breeze where I shouldn't, reached back and found that my jeans had shredded badly right where my right leg ends and the rest of me keeps going.

We are talking about a tear two hands wide. One that no iron-on patch can hide.

My jeans and I have been housebound since that discovery. The new tear in my jeans reveals more about me than I do in this column, and I'm not sure what to do.

I thought about taking my jeans to the tailor shop in the mall, where men get their new suit pants cuffed and women get hems of their new dresses lifted. Where high school girls get their prom dresses fitted and high school boys get their graduation blazers taken in.

But I think it would be awkward to ask someone to patch a pair of jeans that should probably be used to patch someone else's jeans.

So I passed them to my neighbor Ron, who knows a thing or two about jeans and repairing things. "Do what you can," I said, simply.

What I didn't say was this: I only have three pairs of jeans, and this is the only pair that matters.

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