By Jennifer Stevenson
So here’s a picture for you: my husband, trying to buy himself some jeans.
Are you married to a clothes horse? This’ll still make you laugh, but my guy is no clothes horse.
My first unilateral wardrobe act as a bride was to forcibly separate him from white tee shirts with no pocket, which he invariably wore until they were greasy rags. With much arguing I got him into some colored tee shirts…with a pocket! He felt quite stylish. From there he graduated to woven sports shirts, and then (ten years later) to polo shirts with a pocket, which in those days you had to buy with a little green alligator on the pec, because it was practically the only available brand. I fear that’s as good as it’s going to get for the rest of our lives, at least at any event that doesn’t involve the clergy.
But from birth, apparently, he has been wearing Levi’s 501s. Button fly. I love a guy in jeans…especially blue-collar working man’s jeans like Levi’s 501s. There are features of interest about the button fly 501s that are not fit for a family blog, but he wasn’t aware of those until I came along.
Then tragedy struck. The 501s developed a tendency to unbutton too readily. I personally had no complaint with this, knowing my beta male was sterling through and through, but he in his modesty would have none of it. He was forced to fall back on the zips, the 505s. With much grumbling, he converted to the 505s.
Now, years later, the 505s have been redesigned until, as he put it, “they’re low riders even on me, the man with no butt.” Disaster! He’s been going to various Levi-vending stores for a year, buying faithless Levi’s pathetic substitutes for the 505 and wearing them out at a hellish rate. Threw out his last three pairs of decrepit 505s. Threw out most of the unsatisfactory substitutes.
It got to the point where he could go naked or he could buy jeans. Alone, please. (He knows what happens when I come along. Comments. Suggestions. Very possibly sarcasm.)
So this week he actually went downtown to an actual Levi’s store to see what his options were. He found a salesclerk—this shows you how bad it was, for like most white guys my husband would rather die than ask a clerk for help—and explained his problem. The clerk, a tall, slender young man, sympathized. Lots of customers have been complaining about the loss of the 505s.
“What you want is to find a pair that fit, and don’t wash them. Then when you absolutely have to, wash them in cold water and turn them inside out and air dry them. That way they fit forever. Well, for a long long time.”
My husband didn’t get it. “What? I wash my jeans and throw them in the dryer, and in a week or two they fit fine.” (This is an exaggeration. I wash them them and throw them in the dryer, and they fit okay, considering my husband has no butt and his treasured 501/505s already come dangerously close to hip-hop territory.)
“No. I don’t wash them. I hang them up to air out when I take them off, and I spot clean them if I have to.”
My husband was dumbfounded. To my dying day I will regret missing the look on his face when he heard this. “You don’t understand. I work in my jeans. Tools? Paint? Glue? Drywall screws in the pockets? They have to be washed after each wearing.”
Again, I’m desolated that I missed the clerk’s expression.
The clerk was very nice anyway, and helped fit him with some styles that might, if my husband can ever wrap his head around the enormity of change, work out.
They’re in the wash now. Pray for my marriage.