40 at 40: Blue Jeans.

I got confronted the other day.  At 40, my jeans are irrelevant, or outdated, or embarrassing, or something…but whatever I wore on Sunday made a couple of mid-twenties co-workers laugh.

(Commence mid-life crisis)

Now, mind you – my jeans fit well.  They feel comfortable.  But they were apparently too light and too loose. The sale rack at Old Navy might not work for me anymore.

I can remember back in the 80’s when I got my first pair of stonewashed jeans.  Stonewashed.  It was a phenomenon.  We didn’t have the internet to research this extraordinary phenomenon of stonewashing.  Where did they come from?  Maybe a group of manly men hiked down into the Grand Canyon with plain jeans in hand, and baptized them in the raging Colorado River?  Jeans born-again = stonewashed.

We’d take our stonewashed jeans, and (if we were really cool) cuff them.  It took me a while to find a rare image of cuffed jeans on the internet.  I promise, this is not me:

The 1990’s are a blur.  I was married.  Perhaps the need to impress dissipated.  And I got tired of paying what the Gap and American Eagle required.  Turns out, Old Navy was invented – the poor man’s Gap of the 1990’s.

Since then, it’s become purely pragmatic.  Sara is shopping in Target, and I browse the men’s section.  I buy a pair of comfortable jeans.  I also discovered Marshall’s, Nordstrom Rack, and other affordable options.

So, it all came to a head on Monday.  “Chuck, what’s up with those jeans you were wearing on Sunday?”

(Crap, I’m 40.)

“Hey, we’ll take you shopping.”

So, I look around to find my tightest, darkest jeans today (which are apparently what is in…right now).  I walk into work today proudly and greet my friends, showing my nice-fitting ‘darker’ jeans.

“Dude, you need more dye.”  What?

So, my boys are taking me shopping next week.  And we’re not going to Target or Marshall’s.

40 at 40 will update you on the results…

~ by Chuck DeGroat on August 10, 2010.

5 Responses to “40 at 40: Blue Jeans.”

  1. doesn’t the answer to this post contradict the question of the previous post?

    • It’s not as much a contradiction as a paradox, right? This is the tension we live in. We talk missionally, but have to “perform” contexually. We’re simultaneously critiquing and being critiqued. We’re embedded in the very matrix we try to subvert.

  2. just wear what Fred wears… that’s what I try to do 🙂

  3. Why not stop trying to “fit in” and just be. Isn’t that what Jesus calls us to. To be ourselves and not try to succumb to the world’s standards. I am almost forty and still cuff my jeans, because I can’t find a length that fits without walking on them. What are you going to do?

  4. Had the same crisis six months ago, although I am only 39. Solution: Gap.

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