Life is filled with losses, some minor, some giant. Losing items like pens or socks falls on the relatively trivial side of the loss spectrum. You tend to get over these occurrences within a few minutes*. (*Unless you are one of those people who is convinced that the dryer is slowly eating your socks. Then you obsess over each lost sock like a single-minded detective. I never understood that version of pseudo-OCD.) At the opposite end of the spectrum are events like someone’s passing which can lead to months, if not years, of grief. Somewhere in the middle is the loss of a favorite possession.
My materialistic loss is my favorite pair of jeans. I bought this specific pair back in the early fall of 2004. The two and a half years seems simultaneously extremely short and long. In some ways, the time has truly flown. In many others the same time dragged on from one hour to the next hour… sometimes every excruciating minute seemed like a battle.
I bought my favorite pair from the lovely jeans section at Neiman Marcus. I was shopping by myself. If you need someone else to confirm that a pair of jeans looks good, you should not be buying them. I was cloistered in a spacious dressing room surrounded by a mess of denim. Some pairs were on hangers, others folded neatly in piles, and still more were haphazardly strewn across the neutral carpet.
Some times the best thing about shopping is that it can distract you from whatever is bothering you. I am sure I was obsessing about a lab report or some such nonsense when I walked though the doors. The calm, air conditioned, well-lit dressing room was completely removed from the sweltering Texas day outside. That particular dressing room even had a small stage-like area surrounded by mirrors so you could ruthlessly scrutinize every angle. Eventually, I tried on a pair of slightly flared, medium rise Citizens in a dark wash. They were perfect to me.
Today that dark wash can be only be found on the insides of its pockets. The bottom leg hems are in decent shape still. Only the slightest fray has formed near my heels. (This is a good thing about being tall; those super long jeans actually fit you.) My favorite jeans are now broken in and even more perfect than when the NM girl first placed them in that yellow butterfly-cover bag.
But I have caused the loss of my jeans. I am guilty of wearing and loving them to death. I have worn them to countless classes. They have tagged along with me to frat parties, dates, church services, trips across the globe, smoky bars, smoke-free bars, museums, fashion shows, family dinners, and every other event under the sun. During these two plus years, I have discovered who will stay your friend when distance makes it hard. I have also found there are those who will turn on you in a split second and never looked back. This is the pair I wore when I had to break someone’s heart. I have also worn them while falling for someone new and wonderful who makes me feel more loved than I can express. I wore my favorite jeans during all these occasions because they made me feel comfortable, beautiful, and confident.
Now the holes in the denim have told me that it is finally time to let go. After all, it is the memories not the jeans that I really want to keep. I will jealously guard the both joyful and miserable memories of the past two and half years with my life. So until a time when age causes my memory to also become worn and holey… I will remember it all.