If the jeans fit, wear them (until your legs go numb)

image Welcome to this week’s installment of Post Traumatic Sunday, which are posts written during my first marriage. None have appeared on this blog before, and only a couple were included in my book. These posts aren’t about venting or vindictiveness as much as they are about reflecting someone dealing with an unhappy marriage in the best way he knew how: Through humor.

Eight years later, I am happily re-married to someone who constantly inspires me to laugh for the right reasons.

Now, we can all laugh together…

* * * * * * * *

I have a favorite pair of jeans I refuse to give up, and which, over the last few years, my wife has attempted to eradicate on six different occasions. She hates these jeans because, according to her, they are “ripped, frayed and embarrassing.” Particularly when I forget to change them before going out somewhere in public, such as our front yard. Her attempts to get rid of my jeans have escalated from them being “lost,” to an incident last week in which she claimed my jeans “spontaneously combusted,” forcing her to put out the flames with the nearest extinguishing device: A meat cleaver.

She later apologized for hacking my jeans, telling me she reacted instinctively to a dangerous situation. I told her I understood and that, instinctively, I planned to continue wearing my newly perforated jeans, at least until the remaining threads give way to the force of gravity and I am suddenly de-pantsed.

Probably while raking the yard.

There was a time when my wife actually liked seeing me in these jeans. Whenever I wore them I’d get…The Look — an eyebrow raise and quick scan of inventory suggesting the merchandise might be leaving the shelf before I could announce my blue light special. Now when I put them on all I get is a roll of the eyes suggesting I hold a clearance sale to reduce some of my inventory.

Does that mean I’ll stop wearing them?

Of course not.

That’s because I’m a man. And as a man, looking good isn’t nearly as important as proving I can still fit into the jeans I wore eight years ago, even if getting them on requires a case of cooking spray and an electric winch attached to the bumper of a Chevy 4×4. It doesn’t matter that the waist is so tight my spleen is temporarily relocated behind my ears. Or that the contents of my pockets look like they’ve been vacuum packed.

“Is that a 1964 penny?”
“How long until the impression on your leg goes away?”
“Depends. One time I had a Susan B. Anthony dollar that lasted a month.”
“I hear you. I’ve still got a bruise from my car key — see?”
“Plymouth Voyager?”
“Wow, you’re good.”

This illustrates a fundamental difference between how men and women think. Women by their very nature are theoretical thinkers. For example, just because fitting into the same jeans they wore in their early 30s is now like trying to stuff eight pounds of hamburger into an espresso cup, then, “theoretically,” those jeans no longer fit. (Naturally, there are women who are exceptions to this rule, as anyone who watches daytime talk shows can tell you.)

Men, on the other hand, think in terms of practicality, i.e., if we can practically button our jeans without losing all feeling in our legs, then they obviously still fit. It doesn’t matter that our mid section is hanging over our belt like an over-proofed dinner roll. What matters is that we are in our jeans, and therefore “practically” in the same physical shape we were during our early 30s. Assuming, of course, that we were shaped like an inverted milk jug.

So, yes, I will continue to wear my “ripped, frayed, embarrassing” and now recently cleaved jeans. In fact, I may even wear them when I get home tonight.

Unless my wife has hidden the cooking spray again.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

58 thoughts on “If the jeans fit, wear them (until your legs go numb)”

  1. You are fucking hilarious. My husband still wears t-shirts from 1999. To be honest, I’d think he’d wear anything, as long as there are holes for his head or his feet and he still has blood flow to his vital organs.

    1. Vital organs should always be the first consideration when it comes to fashion. I’m pretty sure I will be proven right when all those guys wearing skinny jeans come up sterile.

  2. Put the beat up jeans on Ebay, promote them as “Designer” jeans worn by a real life celeb (and by “worn by a real life celeb” I mean “LIE”). Some Dumbass will pay good money for that shit. Guaranteed.

  3. This is hilarious!
    I’ve used cooking spray on occasion. It’s okay until I take a walk in Open Space. It attracts all the off-leash dogs in the neighborhood.

  4. My husband had a flannel shirt that was in similar condition. When the arms fell off he wore it as a sleeveless, when the buttons fell off he wore it as a vest. Ultimately, it became a rag, but I had to wait a very, very long time for that to happen. I’m not altogether certain, but it’s remnants may, like a child’s first “blankie”, be folded up lovingly behind the hole-y underwear and the unmatched socks in his top drawer. 🙂

    I saw no need to take matters into my own hands where the shirt was concerned. In fact, with every wear I wear laundered it — probably 17x/week. That’s the way to go. It required patience and fortitude, but nature, time, and the old Kenmore did the job for me.

    Really, though, he and I are a pair — “a pair of what I don’t know” as my late, great mother-in-law was apt to say. To wit, I recently found and began wearing socks that I’ve had since high school. They are from the ’80s when I was going through my Madonna stage. Let me paint a picture of them for you: imagine, if you will, if one parent was a sock, the other a legwarmer!. Yup! Without a doubt they are the ONLY things I could possibly still fit into from that decade, so I’m keeping them around 🙂

  5. Oh, this was priceless. Everything from blue light special to the staccato Susan B. Anthony discussion.
    My husband (like Nadia’s) had a T-shirt that was so thin, you could read 4-point font in low light through it with no problem. It boasted 10 white penguins standing in a row with a single black one in the middle dancing up a storm and displaying the words, “Rugged Individualist”
    I told him that since everyone already knew he was a rugged individualist there was no need to wear the gauze proving it.
    He also had a sweet little pair of red shorts he wore in college. Um. He gets to keep those. They earn him “the look” every time 😉

  6. Hilarious Ned! Not to get too personal, but there is a private matter we should discuss. If you’re anything like me, you likely have underwear in the same condition – beloved but in its golden years. The point I wish to mention is that you should be careful of wearing your heritage underwear in combination with your favorite jeans. It bears consideration that should the worst occur and the jeans are involved in a serious wardrobe malfuction, you could be left standing in public with only your skivvies. And as my Mum always used to say – “Always wear nice underwear in case you get in an accident and have to go to the hospital.”

    1. I’m actually kind of particular about my underwear. Boxer briefs are my skivvies of choice. In good condition. If for no reason other than, when I wear my favorite jeans, you can see through certain parts.

  7. I have a pair of jeans like that. I will never give them up. They are comfortable, about 15 years old, and have a pretty number. I do have to be careful now when I wear them to keep the tearing and fraying to a minimum. One day they will turn to dust and that will be a sad day.

  8. Ripped, frayed and embarrassing is pretty much how I walk through life. It’s my mantra. I don’t fight it. I ride the crest of the ripped, frayed and embarrassing wave.

    Make sure you wear those to every in-law event you can, including funerals.

  9. This reminds me of a pajama too that my sister had for so long it was literally threadbare. Her husband went to extreme lengths to “lose” it. It was uglier than sin (assuming sin is ugly) and eventually just disintegrated in the washer…. Much to her consternation and her husbands delight!!!

  10. Thinking of that 1964 penny gave me an image of that bothersome Rolling Stones cover. Tight! I hate to defend your ex, but you don’t want to be going in public in a light rinse jean if you are operating in a dark rinse era (as we are now). Then again, maybe she was more about being controlling than about shielding your goods from strangers.

  11. ‘award’ them to a deserving follower. it would be the contest of the century. like getting a lock of john lennon’s hair. or telly sevalas

  12. I once suggested (with what I thought was admirable neutrality) that my then-husband consider bringing the height of his waistband out of 1992 and into the 21st century.
    “But that’s where my waist is,” he said. I assumed he meant 1992, and I couldn’t argue with that.

  13. I totally get it! I still have a pair of jeans that I simply cannot give up on and it doesn’t matter how hard people tell they don’t fit anymore: I love them and will always wear them!

  14. Haha! “spleen was relocated behind my ears”

    Well, tell your wife at least they’re jeans. My husband has a favorite pair of sweatpants he’s probably owned since high school. Ripped, ragged sweatpants. He once wanted to wear them out in public and I told him that would be grounds for divorce.

    1. When I was growing up, there was an old man named Virgil who lived across the street. He came out every day, three times a day, to let his two small dogs run around. He always, ALWAYS wore dark blue sweat pants, a white v-neck t-shirt and slippers. I think he was divorced…

  15. I used to hide some of my ex’s stuff in the back of the wardrobe so if he found them, I could say “Wonder how they fell down there”? But if he didn’t ask about the clothes for a while and didn’t appear to miss them then they found a new home in the garbage can. Luckily I now have a wonderful man with the best dress sense ever (unless he is around the house. I don’t mind daggy then).

      1. I just think that my ex didn’t care – full stop. I don’t believe his dress sense has changed even though he is with wife #4 😉 However, I do know that I care very much how I look and whether my man is happy with what I am wearing.
        And you are more than likely right. In your case, you care because you’re with the right person.
        Sheesh – what’s with all this D&M chat? Normally we talk dribble lol

  16. I’m just grateful she didn’t go all butcher with the meat cleaver on your jeans whilst you were wearing them…(That would have implied a very different heading.)

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