A Bad Case of the Blue Jean Blues
I shrunk my favorite jeans today. They went into the laundry looking like you could slip a ’69 Buick into them, and they came out ready for consignment in Lilliputian land. So now I’m suffering from the blue jean blues.
Blue jeans are a curious thing. The right pair of jeans on the right body, and there’s no better outfit in the world. I know one woman who could be the poster child for Levi’s. Cut just right, fits her behind, wraps around her waist just so. It’s as if she was born to wear them.
Not so, me: the last time I even attempted to try on a pair of Levi’s was so humbling that I swore them off for life. By the time I found a size large enough to enable me to hoist the stiff boards of denim onto my legs and up and over my behind, the waistline could have accommodated yet another body.
There’s a certain ritual for stepping into a pair of jeans. Obviously, you step in one leg at a time. But then comes the tricky part: the left-right-left hip jiggle to jimmy the pants up and over the butt. You then grip a belt loop on either side, jump up once, and voila, you’ve got your jeans on. Next you have to straighten out the pockets: you want no lumps or bulges to betray your girlish curves. Tug down one leg, then the other, and you’re ready to roll.
So you’re taking a stroll down the street, thinking happy thoughts, and you notice for the first time in forever that your jeans actually feel loose. You can pinch an inch (of denim, not fat), and you’re thinking, WOW! I’ve done it! I’ve actually lost some weight.
Then you sit down. And suddenly the molecules in the lower half of your body redistribute so that you couldn’t feel fatter if you’d inhaled a quart of Rocky Road. Claustrophobia sets in as you realize that you’re trapped inside your favorite relaxed-fit jeans, and the fit isn’t quite so relaxed.
Washing blue jeans is another thing. I do so under duress–there have to be bloodstains or worse. But washing them just to keep them clean like you would your socks or underwear is a no-no.
For one thing, you work too hard to get your jeans to the right shade. The “oh, look who’s sporting a new pair of jeans” look finally fades, and you have a washed (well, not really, but it’s our secret) yet not too washed-out look.
Then there is that comfort factor. After you wear your unwashed jeans enough, they become mercifully forgiving, like my idea of what God is. I for one am not about to sacrifice the feeling of comfy jeans just for the sake of cleanliness.
Eventually, the time comes to wash them. The goal: avoid heat. Why? Shrinkage. If only there was an ice water setting on my washer. Gentle spin cycle is vital: you can’t have the jeans folding origami-style from a violent spin.
Then it’s into the dryer; there will be no drip drying. Because then you get stuck with Very Stiff Pants. I use delicate air dry mode. But I swear, every time I sneak up on that dryer to ensure that no heat is being emitted during the tumble dry, I open the door and am greeted by enough hot air to make me think I’ve just been beamed into a roomful of politicians. You have to be careful with these dryers; sometimes you just can’t trust them.
You may be thinking that I am a prime candidate for some other kind of lower-extremity-wear. Leggings, perhaps. Maybe a long skirt. But the truth is, I like the challenge of blue jeans. They always keep you guessing. You never know if they’re gonna be kind to you, or turn on you like a jilting lover. I’ve learned that I have to stay one step ahead of my jeans, or else someday I’ll find I’m no longer in them.
authors note: Sadly I have currently fallen into disfavor with my blue jeans, but hope to be back in their good graces soon.