20 YEAR JEANS
The Love of NOT Shopping...
It seems I’ve lost my love of clothes shopping.
I used to spend hours digging through the sale racks and savored every minute of it. I would give a fashion show to anyone who was willing to watch. Usually, though, there was NOT an audience. When I got home, I’d be so pleased with myself and my ability to pair outfits and accessories, all for an incredibly low, low price. I’d finish the day by stuffing my treasures into an overcrowded closet or a chest of drawers, only to forget what I bought and repeat the process again and again.
Now, I’m going to say something that would have been a sacrilege to my younger self: “Quality over Quantity.” In hindsight, I now see that there was usually a reason why those clothes were languishing on the sale rack. The top could have been missing a button or a hem might have come loose on that cute floral skirt. I could easily have fixed that, but rarely did. It could have been the color was just slightly off, making it just about impossible to find a matching top or bottom. It was common for the quality to be so poor that if you actually did wear the item, it would fall apart after a couple of washings, or not return to Its original shape.
Then there’s this. . . . The off-the-rack styles and sizes just don’t look the way they once did. That darn body underneath sure has changed. Remember when everything you tried on fit and looked great?! I’m sure you’ve probably heard this rule: If you don’t absolutely LOVE it while you’re in the store, don’t buy it.
I said all of that out loud, and it feels liberating. These days I give myself permission to buy clothes when I need them or have a special occasion—or heaven forbid they wear out!
You’ve undoubtedly heard this old adage too: “They just don’t make things as well as they used to.” My husband loves this phrase and utters it anytime something breaks. The kitchen faucet, a closet door, the TV remote . . . it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll hear, “Things just aren’t made like they used to be.” In fact, it’s usually being yelled from across the house—the signal for me to agree and go to his side in a show of support. My comment that “sometimes things just wear out” has never once been met with any agreement.
Then the blame game begins. “It must have been the kids,” he’ll say. Which is ridiculous; they haven’t lived at home for years. The next culprit is the dog, poor girl. She gets blamed for all kinds of things. She is the gassiest dog we’ve ever had.
However, his philosophy in the clothing department is one of size pride. He has been able to wear the same jeans since college, and he has the 20-year-old jeans to prove it! And to his credit, the jeans do still fit. It could be worse—the jeans could have been from his acid-washed denim phase. If he had continued to wear those jeans, it really would be embarrassing.
I guess we all have our 20-year-old item of pride and potential item of embarrassment. Mine is my black Ford pick-up truck. I love that truck. It’s my farm truck. Even though my trips to the farm have long ended, I’m not ready to say goodbye to the truck. Replacing it is not an option. Do I really need to say it again? Things just aren’t made as well as they used to be! The upholstery is in shreds . . . but I can fix that. It makes a noise like a death rattle when it hits the slightest bump . . . but the motor still hums. And here’s the kicker . . . when I’m driving down the road and see an item too good to pass up—I don’t have to! I just toss it into the back of the truck. My husband hates my truck, and even refuses to drive it. We do live in a small town and I’ve been spotted more than a time or two with a truckload of treasures I’ve gathered.
Well, I love my truck . . . and he loves his 20-year-old jeans.