Sunday, May 07, 2006

Faded up to the sky

I love my jeans. I have always been a denim sort of girl. Don't get me wrong. I love glamour and diamante. The artistry that goes into haute couture is breathtaking. Dressing up is fun! Once I had a conference to attend in Rome and there was a gala dinner thrown in there. I thought I would really need a proper red carpet sort of dress for this event, so I rented one for the week. There's a place in the centre of Glasgow that will hire out ball gowns. It was a proper ball gown that I picked out. I've got a photo of it somewhere upstairs in the attic. I'll dig it out at some point and let you see. The dress was gorgeous, all strapless and glittery on the top in beautiful shades of blue. Before the gala dinner there was a drinks reception on the roof of the hotel in the centre of Rome. Oh, my God! I wish everyone I knew could have been there. We could see the dome of St Peter in front of us and behind us, the Spanish Steps. We sipped champagne as the sun set. (sigh . . . if only real life could be like that more often. . . .) Anyway, the dress was a hit. I wasn't the prettiest, or thinnest or youngest person there, but I *felt* like a movie star and that's all that matters. . . .sigh . . . . . anyway, I like dressing up from time to time but when I'm not at work, I really live in my jeans.

I was ironing this evening. It is Sunday evening don't forget. I always iron on Sunday nights. In the ironing pile was my favourite chambray shirt and one of my two pairs of jeans.
This is my shirt. I've had it for years. In fact, I don't know how it came to be in my ownership. It is getting very thin in places. I'm afraid that if a seam goes or I get it snagged, the fabric will be too thin to take a patch or repair. It is missing one of the collar buttons and the remaining collar button is sewn on with black thread that clashes horribly with the pale blue fadedness of the rest of the shirt. This shirt is big on me. It wasn't always big on me. I wore it when I was pregnant with George and back again. He's 12, so I've had it for at least 13 years. . . .

These are my jeans. One of two pairs. I was wearing them while I was in the garden yesterday and the knees got muddy. I also managed to get ketchup on my shirt. You think I would be a bit tidier at my age.

The hole near the top corner of the pocket that appeared at the beginning of this year is getting bigger. It's going to have to get a patch. I bought those jeans in Arizona not that long ago. Two years ago? Wait, it might be three. I guess it wouldn't be completely unreasonable for them to have a hole then. I was mourning the fact that these jeans now have a hole while I was ironing them and I was complaining to the Man of The Place about modern jeans. I was saying, "What ever happened to proper jeans?"

You know the ones I'm talking about? The ones that when they are new, they're like cardboard and still slightly too large for you. You have to wash them to get them to shrink to fit you properly. Shop assistants would take great care in reminding you about the 5% shrinkage and to buy them a bit big. Do you remember how people had different ways of getting them to shrink to fit perfectly? One person told me to jump into a swimming pool with my new jeans on and then let them dry on me to get a good fit. You also couldn't wash these proper jeans with any other garments unless you wanted those garments to be pale blue as well. If you wore them before washing them, your legs would be blue in the evening. It seems to me that those old jeans wore a bit better than these new "acid washed" and "distressed jeans". Why oh why can't they just sell us NEW jeans and let us break them in? I don't want to buy them already broken in. Let me wash them in my own washing machine, dying my bras that odd, accidentally got in the wrong wash blue. This way, when they get to the stage when they are the colour of the sky, I will have a proper history with them. You won't have a pair that merely looks like you have had them for ages when you've only had them for three years. You will have actually worn them to get them to this point of faded perfection. You will have built a history with them. You'll think of these jeans when you hear that old Cat Stevens song and you will feel a little wistful.

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