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


About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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4 Responses to Out with the old, but very well-loved…

  1. abra la mente says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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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