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I destroyed my perfect jeans

by Alison Rosen

recently suffered a loss that I’m trying and struggling to come to terms with. It’s the kind of thing that underscores the senseless nature of existence. Not only is my immediate reality altered but so, too, is my faith in the universe.

So that you might fully understand, travel back with me to a simpler time — a week ago — when the world was still a magical place filled with wonder and a girl could own the perfect pair of black jeans without something coming along to separate the two.

These weren’t just any black jeans, mind you. They weren’t faded, they weren’t distressed, they didn’t have visible yellow thread and they most certainly weren’t acid washed. They were so black they looked almost like slacks — which is a word only my mother uses.

I could dress them up, I could dress them down. I could wear them with a t-shirt and look much more pulled together than my usual semi-sloppy looking, ill-fitting blue jeans.

Here is the thing with me and jeans.

They’re either too loose or they’re too tight, with about an hour in between where they’ve stretched out enough after washing that they’re comfortable but haven’t stretched out so much from wearing that they’re falling off.

In general, my jeans usually look like they’re falling off me, and the butt in particular sags. I usually feel svelte and comfortable until I catch sight of myself in the mirror and gasp and decide I must do something about the way these jeans are fitting. So I throw them in the wash, and they shrink, and then I want to kill myself for the next few days.

Anyway, the perfect black jeans had a good run. I’d even worn them with a silk blouse to a fancy restaurant because, like I said, you truly couldn’t tell they were jeans. I imagined a future filled with dressy casual appointments, the kind where you don’t know what to wear and you kind of feel you shouldn’t wear jeans but maybe you could if they were nice enough but still, probably better not to. Usually those kinds of meetings cause me panic but with my perfect jeans-that-didn’t-look like-jeans I would be covered. “Look at her! So stylish in black pants which are timeless and classic. She must be French,” they would be thinking.

Now you might be wondering why I don’t just go out and buy a pair of black pants since clearly that’s what I’m in need of. It’s a good and fair question and something I should definitely do. Once I get over the fact I hate shopping, hate malls, hate salespeople, hate tailors, hate the fact that instantly upon arriving at a clothing store I want to leave, hate my body and hate that one leg is a little longer than the other and one hip juts out a little more which I’ve only recently become keenly aware of because the asymmetry of my wedding dress, which really was the asymmetry of my body, that drove me insane every time I had a fitting.

But back to the jeans. They were perfect, but then I essentially suffered Munchausen by proxy with them. “They smell funny,” I thought. “Jeansy. And they’re getting stretched out.”

So, blind to the reality of my actions, I turned them inside out to protect the color and then threw them in the wash on cold. I’d heard that vinegar helps set dark colors but the smell of vinegar is, no exaggeration, my least favorite smell. Plus, I’d washed them once before and they’d turned out fine. What I was forgetting though was that I’d never put them in the dryer. So into the dryer they went, because I wanted them to shrink.

I’m now the owner of a pair of very tight, fuzzy looking dark grey jeans that, if possible, smell even more “jeans-y” than before. And not only are they a stupid color and no longer comfortable, but all the things that make them clearly jeans — the seams, the pockets, the fly — are very apparent. A quick tumble on low and my perfect black pants that were secretly jeans are gone, forever.

I even went back to the store where I bought them, hoping to buy 18 more pairs. Turns out they won’t be back in stock until the fall. “When is fall?” I asked, hoping that in the fashion world, fall is spring. “Late summer,” explained the clerk.

Maybe I’ll dye them, except that sounds disastrous.

See you in late summer. !

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