Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holier Than Thou

I'm a blue jean and t-shirt kind of guy. Matter of fact I walked down the aisle in a starched pair of black Wranglers. I do not own a single pair of slacks or what most of the world would describe as dress pants.

My wife tells me I must give in and acquire a pair by Easter. She claims I cannot wear jeans when at the Easter vigil I officially become Catholic. I'm of the mind, God will welcome to the club even if I come in naked, walking upside down on my hands.

But the rub here is I have to get baptised seeing as to how I never have been. For that I am told I'll have to don a white robe of some sort. Zalen, my 8 year old son told me to start growing my beard so I'd look more like Jesus when I put on the robe.

But I'm getting away from my intent with this post, so lets slip into something more comfortable and get back to blue jeans.

I wear a 40 length inseams so it's never easy for me to find jeans. Only rarely have I ever found a pair of Levi's that long so for years I wore Wranglers. My mother in law once gave me a pair of Carhardt's, but I ripped the crotch out of those suckers in no time flat.

A few years back Cinch jeans became the chic pants of choice for the discriminating Texan and so being the fashion plate I am I've worn mostly Cinch for a while now. Though I still own a pair or two of Wranglers.

Blue jeans tend to come with 5 pockets. The two which grace each butt cheek, a right and left one on each hip and that mysterious little pocket high up on the right side.

Most folks consider this fifth pocket to be about as useful as meat grinder in a Vegan commune.

It's small, oddly positioned, and rather hard to get you hand into. A lot of people incorrectly assume this odd pocket is designed to hold coins. Some jean ads even describe it as a coin pocket.

Originally the pocket was meant for watches. Before the days of the wristwatch when men carried pocket watches on chain fastened to their belt loop. So the pocket was never meant to be reached into but rather a fella could haul out his watch from the tiny space by yanking on the chain.

I can't say for certain Levi Strauss invented the watch pocket, but he certainly incorporated it into his jeans. And while Ol' Levi has been gone a spell I'm here to urge his successors to bolster the fabric they use for said pocket because while many might regard the space as a casualty of technological evolution I am here to tell you the watch pocket has a very viable function to today's needful writer.

I use to it carry and store my thumbdrive. which contains very nearly every word I've written in the last decade. Four novels, a memoir, countless short stories and blog posts. I am never without my storage device and it is always stowed safely right there in that little pocket high up on my right side.

But as with all thing in life, no system is fool proof and the pocket wears out far too quickly. Soon I will have to retire yet another pair of jeans and this is why.

And yes, I am afraid you have just read an entire post based solely upon my personal sadness in regards to a hole in my favorite pair of jeans.

But fear not, because I am interested in your life as well. Do any of y'all use this long forgotten pocket or do you consider it the clothing equivalent to your appendix? Do you have a sad story about the demise of your favorite pair of jeans. Do you think I should grow my beard and show up at my baptism looking like Jesus?

Drop a line in the comments and let me know what is on your mind.


Mom24 said...

It's wisdom teeth and I definitely vote for the beard. :)

AvDB said...

I think it's less about what Jesus thinks and more about what the people who want to believe they know what Jesus thinks think.

I just had to look down at my jeans to see if I even had one of those little pockets. So, yeah, definitely a denim appendix for me.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I vote for the Jesus beard, the white robe and the dress pants. I don't think Catholics do full-body immersion baptism, though (or maybe they do in Texas just to compete with the Baptists?), so at least you don't have to worry about that. A quick sprinkle and you're done!

Corey Schwartz said...

That is so cool that you wore jeans to your wedding. My kind of guy! (My husband went waterskiing at ours! :)

Jenn Jilks said...

Dude, you need a man bag, made out of manly black leather! Save those jeans. I'd crucify you if you wore jeans to my wedding. But then you'd like that, wouldn't you?!

Travis Erwin said...

Mom 24- I almost used wisdom teeth for the analogy.

Av - Denim Appendix. Sound like the name of a punk group.

Debra - Given the fact you referred to me as Mr Golden Shower a few days ago the term quick sprinkle kind of scares me.

Corey - I wore a tux shirt and coat and a black cowboy hat as well.

tera said...

Being a girl, I use my watch pocket for earrings that are bugging me or other jewelry I need to remove. Not much chance of it falling out of that pocket.

And no, I don't think Jesus cares what you wear to church, baptism or not. Although people might pay good money to see you walk up there on your hands.
Just sayin'...

Shauna Roberts said...

For many years, I lived in jeans and carried my pocket watch in the pocket-watch pocket. It was very useful. I don't wear my pocket watch anymore because the clothes I have now are not amenable to it.

And I vote for the Jesus beard.

jjdebenedictis said...

Duct tape. Those jeans will be as good as new.

dee said...

another vote for the Jesus beard....the you could take your shepherd staff to work and smite those heathenish stupervisors.... and we got married in our swimsuits on the beach...without any family to offer opinions - it was awesome!

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

When I was a teenager and played guitar (I was fortunate to take lessons from Kim Strongin, who learned how to play from her teacher, Harry Chapin), that little pocket was PERFECT for storing a guitar pick!

I like Zalen's idea ~ go for it!

Eric said...

I'd say go for the Holy Beard!

And I assume you are copying all that data somewhere else as well, because you do know that flash drives (USB drives) are NOT permanent storage. RIGHT?

Don't let me see no post about you losin' all your life's work because you didn't back it up.

Spiced Apple Eye said...

I used that pocket for my car key but I have a different kind now and it doesn't fit.

Jeans are heavy when they're wet. I'd say wear white thin cotton pants so you come out looking like you belong in a wet pants contest. That was supposed to sound like wet t-shirt; wet pants just ain't.

At my confirmation they ran out of wine so I got handed an empty glass, I didn't know what to do so I tipped it back, way back, to try and get that one drop. The bishop thought I was rude.

Travis Erwin said...

Jenn- I have my standards which means to fanny packs or European shoulder bags.

Tera - The sight of me naked would drive people out of church faster than a sermon on tithing.

Shauna - My boys gave me a pocket watch last year but I have never carried it. Perhaps i should.

Travis Erwin said...

JJ - Not sure my wife would let me leave the house.

Dee- I'm all for the smiting.

Kathleen - I bet a guitar pick wouldn't wear it out so fast.

Travis Erwin said...

Eric- yeah I have an external hard rive, a laptop and my regular PC, but the flash drive has the latest greatest version of everything and it is what I work off of.

Travis Erwin said...

Richmond Writer - I know we get to take communion first so I should be good on having wine left unless my fellow converts get real thirsty.

Tana said...

Funny thing is, I just took a break from folding my husbands jeans to come and check out your post. There's an irony in there somewhere.

And yes! This is your year I can feel it. (in regards to getting an agent) You write so well. I love the way you shoot from the hip. Hey, maybe that's why you have that funny hole in your jeans? Just sayin' ;)

Old Kitty said...

I put my loose change in that little mini pocket! :-)

I say wear the robe, grow your beard and do the sandals thing too!! Amen!

Take care

Alice Audrey said...

If I put my thumb drive in there I'd be afraid it would pop out and fall between the car seats in no time.

Cami Kaos said...

Use the pocket: No

Jesus beard: Yes

Favorite jeans' demise: They've been dead for years and still I cling to them keeping them in a drawer just in case I need a pair of jeans that are holey, ripped and skin tight.

Val said...

Oh Travis, I absolutely adore the fact you had black jeans, a hat, and of course (though not mentioned) your boots as you stood at your wedding. This is Texas, after all. Having worked in a western wear store, I sold lots of black stuff to men and white ropers to women to wear under a wedding dress.

Agree - grow the beard. I mean, if you're being prodded to wear dressier clothes, that's the least you can do to maintain your standard.

And I have no use for the little pocket on my jeans. However, don't throw those bad boys away - kids are playing a ton of money for them with worn spots and over-length! Might as well make your money back while you're grieving their demise...

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Just be sure you don't ever leave that flash drive in that little pocket and it gets tossed in the wash - - wouldn't do your data much good! Just sayin' from past experience.....

Travis Erwin said...

T Anne- Problem is you rarely hit what you are aiming for when you shoot from the hip.

Kitty- My toes might get cold in sandals.

Alice- in once lost my thumbdrive between the seats. Bout had a panic attack. i blocked about it once upon a time.

Travis Erwin said...

Cami - Glad to hear from you. it's been awhile. All of my jeans seem to be tight right now but I'm working on that.

Val- Reckon they'll be worth even more when I get rich and famous?

Ms Lizzy - Actually my current one has gone through the wash 5 or 6 times and it keep right on working.

sybil law said...

I use that tiny pocket all the time. Really! Love it.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

How is it I've never hear of Cinch jeans? Does that mean I'm not a true Texan?? Hmmm.

And by the way, I liked the Oregon Ducks' uniforms. It was easy for me to keep track of things that way, which I normally find impossible in a football game.

You wonder how we can even be blog friends, don't you? ;)

Donna K. Weaver said...

You make me smile, Travis.

the walking man said...

I use the pocket for coins, drugs and other small but important minutia of life.

I have the beard your son refers to and I think he is correct and your wife should sew you up one of her best bed sheets for a robe and you should go Scotsman under it. That would certainly give the priest and the congregation pause if he gets a little excessive with the holy water.

Beyond that you're absolutely correct. I have 1 suit (donated my cadaver so it ain't for burying) that I have never worn and the wife decides, shops for and purchases my jeans when she can't stand the holes in the knees (get your head away from that place) and thighs. "Uh no honey I am not wearing those with all that stitching on the pocket or someones name on my ass" It only took one time for that to be said when she realized just get the cheap pair and be done with it.

I don't wear shorts or sweats when I am away from the house but in a couple of years I will be old enough to wear my jeans pulled up to my chest and people will think it normal.

Charles Gramlich said...

I do indeed keep coins in my watch pocket.

Erin MacPherson said...

Hey Travis--- ha! Here I thought you had some profound point to your post. But I feel you. My very very very favorite pair of jeans got a hold in the butt a few months ago. There's a teensy chance it happened because I gained a few pounds and tried to squeeze into them, but either way, I was so upset! As far as the baptism, I'm pretty sure that white robe, holey Levi's, beard or no, God won't care. Do what you're most comfortable with!

Mary Witzl said...

There is a family who regularly show up at our church in jeans and sandals. They are wonderful, remarkable people who have done significant aid work in South Africa and raise their children well, but a lot of people whined about their jeans and sandals. My kid got wind of this and said loudly, "But Jesus wore sandals!" I've never been more proud. I say make sure your jeans are clean and wear them with pride.

And I'm thrilled I know what that little pocket in my jeans is for!

Lyzzydee said...

I don't think it should matter what you wear . Last year my son went to Lourdes as a red cap helper. He took his 'malade' to all the things that he wanted to do. On the last day he wanted to be baptised in the waters of Lourdes, so Carl had to go with him. He had to wear a long over the head 'sack' as he called it and they were taken into a place where the water came straight off the mountain and they had a full body dipping. Carl said that nearly finished him off it was that cold!!
Have fun

Lana Gramlich said...

I've been in denial for almost a year now. I've worn a hole right through one side of my butt in my fave jeans. Although I haven't worn them since then, I haven't thrown them out, either. Wearing a hole in the @$$ of one's jeans is probably a bad sign. *L*

Aimlesswriter said...

I think Jesus might like the jeans because they are sooo you.
My fav jeans are covered in paint from the miles of theater sets I've painted over the years. I always point to the spatters and say; this one was from Matilda, that one was from Superstar, etc. Each splotch is a memory. I'll never give up my paint jeans. I just can't wear them in polite society.
Now I need to get a pocket watch for my watch pocket...

Barrie said...

Travis, I think you should do whatever your wife says. :)

Kim S. said...

I don't know if you got an official answer, but here goes. For the baptism, it is an immersion and last year the water was cold. Msgr. won't dunk you but he does fill the shell as full as possible and pour it over your head 3 times as you kneel in the font. That's to help you stay awake during the 2.5 hour Easter vigil that ends at 11:30pm :). You'll wear a swimsuit and a long white robe. You will have about 3 minutes to change before coming back in for Confirmation and Eucharist.
My great-grandmother would say 'God doesn't care what you wear as long as you're there.' Wear your best and you'll be fine. I thought you looked very nice at the last Rite of Welcome.

Greg Beauchmp said...

I use mine all the time

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