I am currently wearing the dirtiest pair of jeans I have ever owned. They’re not stinky, in fact they were just washed. But they look utterly disgusting. They were with me the days and countless hours on my hands and knees staining all 1400 square feet of our wood floors by hand, with one brush and old t shirts and there is a reason why they call it stain. They fit looser now as the house renovation has been a huge amount of manual labor and I have found my own self transforming to a thinner leaner version while my wardrobe is now going from blue jeans to shades of brown jeans. I have already thrown away many pairs of “work” jeans because of crotch blow outs: and ripped knees are just asking for me to kneel down on a nail (every time) so once they start tearing there is really no saving them. All of the work jeans I had when we started on the house renovation (15 months ago) have long since been thrown and replaced with jeans that probably never saw it coming, retired from their cushy previous lives at my desk job I can hear them on their first day at the house, “Oh wow, we get to go outside! Wow, what’s this place? Wait… those are construction tools. Oh no… no…. NOOOOOOO!! I promise I’ll perk up, I can look nice for your desk job for a few more weeks! PLEASE NOOOOOOOO!!!!”
They make women’s work jeans, I’m sure, but I’m not going to spend a fortune on a pair of jeans I’ll probably destroy eventually anyway and I also know that without a doubt they do not make women’s work jeans that would ever fit me right. (Think mom jeans with added support in the crotch and the knees and with my long waist they’re just laughable.) They do not make good jeans for women otherwise, at least not when it comes to jeans with real strength of fabric and lasting time and that’s just the way it has always been. Granted, I usually get my jeans on major discount racks for less then $20 a pair so I guess I can’t really complain about their construction.
With the floors done now I am out in the barn (our garage is full) painting trim so my very stained jeans are now highlighted with smears, flicks, flecks and drops of bright white paint. It is almost like they’re 3d now. There was a human being in my life once who used to totally ignore all of the hard work and finished projects I had completed to only bitch at me about how messy I got and how all I did was ruin my clothes. I really don’t have time to sacrifice my project for a little bit of paint splatter. I think if you don’t get messy with what you’re working on (or with anything) then you’ve totally missed the point and need to grow the fuck up. Life is messy. If it’s not messy, then you’re doing it wrong. My jeans are in perfectly good shape still despite their “new” outward appearance. These jeans will see me through to the end of our big house renovation and probably work for me for a good long time, regardless that some people might call them “ruined” or to suggest that I have ever been careless with my things. To me, a dirty pair of jeans is worth it.
But it is much more then that. I split open my eye during plumbing and bled all over myself and consequently have a scar on my face now but if someone had asked me to take a black eye and a scar so my family could have running water, of course I would. If someone had asked me to destroy a dozen pairs of my jeans so my beloved and I could have our dream home, I would gladly hand them over along with countless destroyed tops and work gloves. I would take the bad days again a hundred times. I would take the many times the house just got the better of me and my frustration burned so hot and so completely all I could do was sit down and cry tears of acid. If someone had laid it all out before me, the sacrifices, the time, the exhaustion, the anger and the pain, and ask if I would be willing to go through all of that again for what Joe and I will get in the end. It would almost be funny. In the scope of things, in comparison to our beautiful home just as we want it . . . it was nothing. Really, a few pairs of jeans, a few bad days and I had absolutely nothing better to do anyway, in fact there was nothing that could have been more important to me and my time.
I would not be able to keep my mouth closed now if someone were to suggest that I needed to take better care of a pair of work jeans. In fact I would ask them if their blue jeans were more important to them then their time because I could be much more careful. It’s true. I could come away absolutely spotless every night from working on the house but everything I did would probably take me twice as long. I would tell them that there would never be a material object in this world that would ever be more important then my time. That’s time with my beloved, that’s time with my animals, my family, that’s time living and loving that I would never ever give to a pair of jeans instead. I would tell them they need to get their priorities straight because they just suggested to me that I should be babying a material object instead of spending time with my family. I would tell them that I could imagine them someday in their perfectly clean house, their spotless, vacuumed carpets (with not a single foot print left behind), their empty tables (with no drink rings anywhere) in their perfectly ironed clothes that had not ever once seen dirt and their white shoes wishing they had spent more time with their family.
If someone had showed me the hundreds of new scars I have added to my body and the probable damage I have now done to my back and knees and asked, is it still worth it? Absolutely and a thousand times over.