Thursday, June 14, 2012

Don't Dry Clean Your Jeans

When I was in high school and college, I worked in the classified phone room at the Akron Beacon Journal with a mélange of people. Some were lifers—the full-timers, with contract accounts and a desk name. Miss Allen. Miss Dodge. Miss Jackson. Others were part-timers, usually women on their way to somewhere else. Since we only met customers over the phone, the dress code was flexible for the times.
One of my co-workers was Lucine, a whip-thin girl with quick hands and a brilliant smile. Though she hadn’t much money (none of us did) she always looked fine. Right down to her dry-cleaned jeans.
I couldn’t get over that. “You don’t dry-clean jeans,” I told her.
“Why not?”
“Well. That’s the whole point of jeans.”
“I like the way they look. And that way I don’t have to iron them.”
“Iron? There’s no ironing of jeans!”
In my teens and twenties, jeans were my uniform, my go-to wardrobe item. Something I could wear until they stood up by themselves, then throw into the wash with the hottest possible water.
Each time they would emerge a little bit softer and easier on the eyes. Friendlier to my body. More and more mine. I’d wash them and wear them until they were a second skin; until the hems became frayed from walking on them. Made shabby by love.
It was bad enough when pre-washed jeans came along, all soft colors and manufactured shabby. No longer did you have to put in your time with board-stiff blues to get there.
So recently I got me some of those miracle jeans that are supposed to make you look five pounds thinner and three inches taller. They were comfortable as soon as I put them on, so I went out and double-dug my garden in them. When I went to toss them in the wash, I happened to notice the care tag.
Never mind the COOL IRON IF NEEDED, since I knew from the start that NO ironing was needed. But DRY CLEAN? DRY CLEAN blue jeans?
What is the world coming to when a person can’t rely on a pair of jeans to survive in the wash?

1 comment:

Sarah Mellinger said...

I know this isn't about the topic. But I need you to answer this question. You signed a copy ofThe Warrior Heir: to Jane a painter on the page Cinda Williams Chima.
Who was that? If you remember.

Here's why. I got it at a rumage sale and was wondering who Jane is. "Jane" is a person that actually exists, and I have to find out who on Earth she is.

Here's some helpful tips:
There was a warrior heir book make in it. It is a hardback. It is copyright 2006. It is first edition. The barcode on the back says: isbn 07683916-3 and 51699> and 9 780786 839162

I don't know if you can tell me, but if you can, I'd really like to know. Thanks!