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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

A Dilemma in Denim

I did a very strange thing this week: I bought pants over the internet. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem right. There’s something distant and foreign about purchasing legwear sight unseen. It’s like buying a car without a test drive, or getting a mail-order bride. How well will it fit? Will you want to be seen in public with it? And will you still be comfortable jiggling your gearshift? These are important considerations.

Mostly, the purchase worked out okay. I bought my pants from the Gap. Or ‘The Gap’, or ‘GAP’, or whatever the hell you’re supposed to call them. How the hell should I know? Branding washes over me like subtlety over Harland Willaims’ fat head. Not a crumb of it sticks.

Normally, I don’t buy clothes from a store as trendy as the Gap. Actually, I don’t normally buy clothes at all. Between Christmases, birthdays, and the occasional tube sock spending frenzy, my wardrobe is mostly self-replenishing. But I’m down to two pairs of jeans that the missus will let me wear outside the house, and that’s cutting things dangerously close. One ripped knee or unfortunate marinara mishap, and I’d be down to just the one pair. And that would mean wearing khakis to work some days. I’m afraid I can’t let that happen.

“It’s one thing to sport the ‘broken-in’ look; it’s quite another to feel the need to check for someone elses pubes in your ‘new’ pair of jeans.”

So, I checked my favorite pair of Christmas-present pants, found they were from the Gap, and I hit the web site. There, I was presented with a dizzying array of mens’ denim lowergarments. The Gap has approximately seventy-three hundred different styles of blue jeans — some of them not ‘blue’ at all, and many of them not intended for any men that I know. If I wore one of those ‘low-rider’ pairs of pants under a T-shirt, you’d think I was smuggling inner tubes in my undies. And not in a good way

Luckily, I could pull my style and measurements from the existing pants, so I was able to bypass much of the jeans-related jargon. Relaxed fit, pre-faded — them’s the pants for me.

Yesterday, the jeans arrived. Two pairs, with the specs as specified. And having no other clean (non-khaki) pants available, I ripped open the bag this morning and slipped on a new pair.

At first, I was considerably encouraged. The pants were certainly faded, which I like. The denim was soft and pliable, too — they’d really broken it in well. Almost too well, actually; the jeans felt more worn than the old pair I’ve had for over two years. I’m not sure I’m convinced that can be accomplished with simple stonewashing or acid treatments. I’m worried that there are professional wearers out there, slipping into these ‘new’ jeans and giving them a workout. It’s one thing to sport the ‘broken-in’ look; it’s quite another to feel the need to check for someone elses pubes in your ‘new’ pair of jeans. So that was a tad troubling.

Then, I noticed another glitch. Just above the right knee, the denim was fraying already. Not enough to see leg skin, but a time or two through the washing machine would open the hole, for sure. And I know what that means — another pair of pants I’m not allowed to wear outside the house. My new ‘old-style’ jeans are maybe a week away from becoming my ‘ratty old’ jeans that I only get to wear when I’m cleaning the gutters or bathing the dog. Damn.

Good thing I bought two pairs. Now I just have to hope the unopened jeans don’t have a kneehole, or a big rip down the ass, or I’m back on the cusp of Khakiland again. Man, how do the kids afford buying these fancy falling-apart jeans every week, anyway?

Permalink  |  1 Comment



One Response to “A Dilemma in Denim”

  1. Chris Wilcox says:

    dang, no Saturday post? Did you go to another ball game? Happy Easter.

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