Out With The Old, But Very Well-loved…

Do you own any overly loved clothes?  You know those items that you have worn until they are literally threadbare?  I have a few items like that – items I cannot bear to part with even though it is clearly time.  It’s tough to let some things go.  Today I recognized that, like it or not, I was going to have to let go of my uber-comfy blue plaid pj pants that I wear almost daily when lounging around the house.

I have worn these pj pants almost religiously for at least two years.  They started off as a thicker flannel, but after dozens of washings they have thinned dramatically.  I noticed a couple of small holes a few months ago near the top on the left.  They really were barely even noticeable in the beginning. 

After a few washings the holes got a bit bigger.  Cheyenne pointed them out to me then saying, "Mom…do you know that you have holes in those pants and people can see your underwear?"  Well, there were a few ways that I rationalized away this statement.  First, I was wearing underwear (so I had a backup layer beyond the holes); second, the only part of my underwear you could see was the left front part which goes across my pelvic bone (really, what is exciting to see there?); and finally, it wasn’t like I was running around out in public in them (I strongly oppose the fashion trend wherein folks wear pj pants out and about town) – so what harm was being done?

As is probably the case with most  holes in threadbare fabric, the holes in my pj pants got bigger over time.  A couple of times a week Cheyenne would remind me that "people" could see my underwear.  I continued to employ the above rationalizations.  Then, last week there was a development that could not be ignored – a three inch "L"-shaped tear that exposed the side of my right hip and thigh.  I truthfully didn’t notice it right away, but thank goodness I have Cheyenne around to point these things out.  She said in her overly dramatic, made for the Broadway stage voice, "OH MY GAWD- MOM!  PEOPLE CAN SEE YOUR BUTT!  THROW THOSE PANTS OUT!"  When I saw the tear and tried to minimize it she said, "Seriously, it is a big enough tear that people across the street looking in the picture window could see your butt."  Hmmmm…really?

Given this new information I had to make a candid assessment of the situation.  Yes, they were starting to fall apart, but maybe (I rationalized) I could still wear them every once in awhile…and so they stayed…until this morning when I caught my image in the mirror and recognized that I clearly have had a break with reality regarding the pants. There they were – my favorite old blue plaid pj pants paired with my comfy old wife beater tee (which is another item that likely deserves a speedy retirement) – the image was troubling.  I looked like a provocative Calvin Klein underwear ad gone wrong…terribly wrong.

There is nothing like a strong visual imprint to shock sense into a person.  It’s time…the pants are going to have to be retired…but I think I’ll hold on to the wife beater tee a bit longer – hey, it only has a small hole at the bottom.

Day two-hundred and ninety of the new forty – obla di obla da


4 Responses

  1. abra la mente

    Oh, my, I can so relate. I believe I am inflicted with the same condition! Both worn-out and outdated, if I love them, I rationalize away!! The whole time I’m reading this, I’m thinking, get out a needle & thread and hang on to those beloved pjs! I am trying to figure out a way to hang onto my threadbare chenille sweaters–perhaps I could wear my old tanks under them, breathing new life into both?

  2. homd

    I’m just catching up on your posts, so forgive me if I backtrack: I think you’re a brainiac — you can put a sentence together in a cohesive manner! As for your aged pj’s, HighGuy has some that I’ve repaired and mended, and told him, “If they go again, they’re gone!” My suggestion: Buy a new pair. It’s therapeutic.

  3. Rich

    From growing up when clothes were made in the USA, I remember them being a pretty penny. So I would hang on to every shirt/pants believing I could use them for work or play. My kids would just shudder when I would put on something for “the old days”. I’m not a clothes horse so my selection was very limited!!! Rich..

  4. Amy

    I have a favorite long-sleeved sorority shirt that is riddled with holes. I got it when I was 20 and it was a hand-me-down from several generations of sorority sisters. I can’t bear to part with it. I’ve stiched the holes (there are some giant ones in the armpit areas) and lovingly tended my favorite old shirt for a dozen years. It’s my most comfortable shirt and I am hoping it lasts another dozen years!

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