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

(Today’s post is unusual because, for the first time, this one actually comes as a request. To put into perspective just how unusual this is, think of drinking a beet frappuccino, then requesting another one. Then again, most people aren’t Carrie Rubin at The Write Transition where, in addition to her terrific perspective on life and writing, she also offers a “very tasty” beet frappuccino recipe…)

image 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...

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

  1. Not me. I like loose fitting jeans. If I have to exert any effort into buttoning my pants I don’t wear them – doesn’t matter if I just bought them or they’re years old.

  2. I have a favorite pair of jeans I refuse to give up. And they are ripped, frayed, and embarrassing to my mother. She hates them, and I see it as my duty as her daughter to be sure to pack them for every visit home. It’s a happy coincidence that they happen to also be the pair of jeans from my 20s that still (reasonably) fit.

    1. Haha! That’s one of the best reasons I can think of to hold on to those jeans. Truth is, I have to write my name inside my jeans because my 15-year-old son and I wear the same 34-inch waist and style. My legs are longer, though, which makes him mad— but he’s catching up, dang it…

      1. You and your son wear the same size? To heck with those old jeans. Sorry to agree with your wife here, but you have the luxury of saying you wear the same size as a teenager. That’s way better than saying you can still fit into jeans that fit eight years ago. Unless eight years ago you were a teenager.

            1. If you add 11 + 7, it equals 18… so you’re still a teenager!

              It’s been (yes,I’m going to say it, but only because it’s you) 30 years since I could call myself a teenager. At least in chronological terms 😉

  3. As long as you fully comprehend the “merchandise” will be considered past the expiry date & the only blue light special happening will be if they are set on fire once again in an attempt to destroy the remaining shreds. Just sayin’!

  4. so funny and maybe you can use the ‘baby blanket approach’. slowly, and over time, cut off tiny pieces from the bottom, they will eventually get smaller and smaller, until one day, they are gone! poof! ps – this response is for your wife, and do not read it ned!!!!!

  5. Ha, this piece never gets old to me. You’ve written one of my favorite lines ever: “Or that the contents of my pockets look like they’ve been vacuum packed.” I had my husband read this story in your book, and he was laughing out loud. Probably because he gets it and has done the same thing. While wearing his ugly Cleveland Browns jersey. You guys and your fashion self-confidence. I love it. I think.

    Thanks so much for the kind mention. Much appreciated! But we’ll just keep it our secret that I’ve never made frappuccino. In fact, I don’t even drink coffee. Shh…

    1. Haha! “Fashion self-confidence” is a really nice way of saying “fashion ignorance.” 😉

      And don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. Unless I run out of coffee. Then there’s no guaranteeing what I will or won’t say.

  6. Have you tried the economic argument? By not buying new jeans, you’re saving money. Of course, that means you’re not feeding the economy, which makes you a bad American, so no win for you.

  7. I cannot wear jeans. I never could. I’ve got NO ASS to support them. It’s like a board back there. Jeans just fall down no matter how tight my belt is. I look ridiculous. You, the fortunate fashion few, don’t know how lucky you are.

  8. Never surrender, Ned! I have a pair of shredded, beat up jeans myself. I refuse to retire them. Fabric glue works wonders! I purchased a tube from Michael’s. It’s helps keep the tears from widening.

  9. After my double boobectomies we traveled to Europe. While resting after reconstruction, I tried to reconstruct all of the tasty treats I ate while on vacation. I gained 10 pounds and couldn’t wear most of my pants last January. I’m a pretty little person.

    I lost weight as I got active. I’m glad Danny didn’t burn them!
    Nice selfie!!! 🙂

  10. Arrrgh! Don’t get me started on the old jeans! A lot of Mister’s old clothes he could still ‘fit into’ have spontaneously combusted within the six months that we’ve been married. Sometimes I get caught, sometimes I don’t. It’s a gamble, I tell you!

    Only last week he noticed that he our domestic help’s son was wearing a (ridiculously orange) shirt “exactly like” the one he’s been missing. He thinks the kid stole it. Looks like I’m gonna have to tell him! 😐

  11. I had an old pair of jeans from when I was 16 that I used as a measure for a long time, I didn’t wear them, just kept them as a measure to try on every now and again, if I could still get into them then all was well. A few years ago I threw them away because it had been a few years since I’d been able to get into them and I figured I was getting older and I should just accept that I would never again get into them (not that I’ve ever been over-weight, just not as skinny as I used to be!). But then a while after that I lost a lot of weight and I’m pretty sure I COULD have got into them again, but I didn’t have them any more to check! Gutted! So yeah, that whole long story was to say you should keep your jeans.

  12. “Or that the contents of my pockets look like they’ve been vacuum packed.” – you have me laughing, and not just at that line. You’re an enjoyable read Ned, myself and the Cloud shall be popping over regularly I suspect *smiles*

    – sonmicloud

  13. Good stuff Nedster.
    I served at 25 year sentence in the newpaper penitentiary. Mostly in the Deep South, home of deep fried chicken and Snickers. But my pants too, still fit.
    I’m signing on for more fun. See y’all later.

    1. Thanks, Jim! I actually lived in The South for 10 years (four years in Dallas, Texas, and 6 years in Atlanta, Ga.) and still have cravings for REAL deep-fried chicken and sweet tea. Thanks for stopping in and for the kind words to a fellow J-man. I’m looking forward to following your journey on Route 62. But don’t tease me with the food you get to eat…

  14. Old worn out jeans are the best! Never give them up, I say! The difference with women is, we are determined to be able to put them on without the aid of cooking spray. I will confess to the rubber band trick. You leave the top button open and loop a rubber band through it, gives you an extra inch or two in the waist band. And no one had to know! Win, win!

    1. That’s brilliant! It’s like the collar extender men sometimes wear on the top button under their tie. God forbid I ever have to resort to using both and have them both snap during something important. Someone could lose an eye!

  15. The hubs walked up behind me and read this over my shoulder (cuz, I really like it when he does that) and immediately said, “Do NOT get any ideas! The Levi’s stay.”
    **adds cooking spray to the grocery list

  16. Ah, so you’ve got dunlop disease. Your tummy dun lop over your belt. You’re in good company. My husband would do the same thing, but he’s learned the wisdom of letting me buy him relaxed, comfortable jeans that he can actually wear all day and still let food he eats pass from his stomach, on down to the colon, without getting cut off halfway there.

No one is watching, I swear...

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