In the past three months, I have thrown away two pairs of jeans. There is something very odd about discarding denims; they're personal, a reflection of one's self and of one's perceived social standing. New or used, they range in price from a few dollars to a small fortune and many people will wear them until they--the jeans--disintegrate.
"A similarly woven traditional American cotton textile is the diagonal warp-striped hickory cloth that was once associated with railroadmen's overalls, in which blue or black contrasting with undyed white threads form the woven pattern. Hickory cloth was characterized as being as rugged as hickory wood—not to mention the fact that it was deemed to be worn mainly by "hicks"—although neither may be the origin of that term [from a nickname for "Richard"]. Records of a group of New Yorkers headed for the
Why do we so love our jeans? I know some people--men and women--who have more than twenty pairs. How do we equate something everyone wears with individuality? It makes no sense, yet there's no doubt that every jeans wearer will attest that the jeans he is wearing are his and no one else's. There are jeans for tiny babies and jeans for the morbidly obese. Rodeo cowboys and movie stars wear them, as do socialites and working moms. At one point, jeans were a standard trading commodity in Eastern Europe and the Soviet bloc, and I remember being in Spain in the early 70s and getting a better than average guitar for two pairs of Levys.
Here's something else: everyone knows a pair of bad jeans at first glance. They're too blue, and the stitching is too yellow. Bad jeans worn at school attract bullies and derision; a bad jeans wearer knows it, and his stride reflects the knowledge. No one struts in bad jeans, and bad jeans can never, ever, become good jeans.
So throwing them away is hard. I tried to make rags out of a worn-out pairs years ago but for some reason, jeans make poor dust cloths. Maybe, like worn out flags, dead jeans should be burned with quiet ceremony. Ashes to ashes, jeans to dust.