We don’t talk nearly enough, and that’s all my fault. I’ve taken you for granted for far too long, and I desperately want to reconcile with you before it’s too late.
You probably noticed something today: I took you to the Laudromat. Of course, I’ve taken you there before, but it was always in a basket. Today, we went together. You held quarters in your pockets, and covered me while I washed and dried and folded your friends. Today was the first time in your life that you didn’t get washed, dried, and folded yourself. Today was the beginning of the end.
Do you remember when we met? It was six long years ago. I walked in to Old Navy without a care in the world. Walked right up to a display of jeans. Five styles, if I remember right. I was shocked to see that the one labeled ‘retro’ was a dead ringer for the pair I was wearing– peg legged and tightly tapered, they suddenly seemed shameful. You, however, were the understated new pair on the end. I didn’t know your name, but I knew you were special.
Honestly, I was a little scared at first. You had a tiny flare, you see. In my formative years as a jeans-wearer, flares were strictly verboten. But you had a kind of presence and gravitas that drew me in. How bad could it be? And really, what were the chances that I’d run in to the kids from the Flinn Middle School bus way over here in Washington, DC? I plopped down my twenty bucks and walked out a new person.
From the very start, things were different. You were comfortable and friendly, and garnered your fair share of comments. Not too long or too short, and not too tight. You never needed a belt– oh, no!– but you accepted one graciously when necessary. You dressed up, you dressed down; you folded neatly, you raised the game of every chair you ever hung over. You’ve seen many pairs of lesser jeans come and go. Through it all, you’ve remained one of my closest friends.
And oh, what adventures we’ve had! We started a church, and went to marathons. We’ve celebrated holidays, and eaten sushi. We’ve made new friends, and said goodbye to old ones. We’ve preached sermons, and cried bitter tears. You’ve supported me through lots of jobs, late nights, and early mornings. You’ve stood by my side as I’ve put 300 posts up on this weird blog. We’ve travelled all over, though I do apologize for leaving you behind on a couple of trips to equatorial regions (what can I say?). And that’s just the physical experiences! Remember that ugly philosophical assault we endured together, where people actually suggested that khakis might be appropriate comfort attire (“are you a jean, or a khaki?” Baaah!). Heretics!!
Through it all, you’ve worn like iron. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I started walking on your tattered cuffs, and until just recently that the edges of your pockets turned white. But now, I can reach down and feel that foreboding thin spot just above the left knee. I think we both know how this story ends, and I’m not sure who feels the pain more.
So yeah, I’ll admit it. I’m afraid to give you your regular bath. I mean, how much of you have I already sacrificed to lint traps? How much stress do those wet spins put on your delicate fibers? How hateful is that oppressive, damp heat? Besides, you’re not that dirty. We’ll just see how things go this week– maybe we can see about getting you crisp and clean next time we go to the laundry, ok?
So, to my faithful, long-wearing, devoted friend, I can only say ‘thank you’. You mean more to me than you know. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ll probably never forget you.
With much love,
P.S. Would you think me untoward if I considered finding your replacement soon? I’m just not sure I can endure the loss, and the agonizing transition to something else. Would it be easier for me to take you along, or would you rather stay home for that particular shopping trip?