I’m from the boomer generation. If our clothes got torn they were patched up (because you never threw ANYTHING away) and put into the “play clothes” pile. The play clothes were those things that were downgraded from good clothes to everyday clothes to play clothes. The next step was the rag basket. Don’t throw it away — use it up. This may explain my relationships with men but I digress.
In 1968 8th grade girls were taught how to darn a sock. REALLY we were. It was 1968 everywhere but in the Home Economics class at Southwest High School. It was 1930 there. We were given a darning egg — I hoped based on the name it would hatch and inside there would be a new pair of socks but that wasn’t the case. It was a wooden tool that resembled a maraca but with all the joy and fun of a maraca drained out of it. The only thing that could turn a darning egg into a maraca was a great imagination fueled by a pitcher or two of margaritas. I wonder if the boys in the woodworking class down the hall were being forced to make darning eggs but I doubted it. We were then suppose to insert the maraca into a sock with a hole in it and “darn” the sock with darning thread that probably cost as much as a new sock. I am happy to say that was the last time I ever darned a sock but I have shook many a margarita inspired maraca.
Believe me no one was more excited to find out torn was cool because torn and ripped is my “milieu” when it comes to fashion. [Yes, I had to look up the spelling of “milieu” and to see that it was actually a word and not something I thought was a word only to find out the real word is something else.]
Even though my mom was one of those moms who actually told you never to leave the house without clean underwear because you might get in an accident — her words are still with me but they just don’t ring as true to a 60+ year old as they did to a 10 year old. I have a hard time imagining that if I was in a car accident or fell into one of the potholes on the road or was trampled by a herd of crazed wild turkeys that I see in my neighborhood that when the EMTs arrive the first thing they would check for was not my pulse or vital signs but for clean underwear. And what if my underwear did not fit their standards — would I be left at the side of the road and, under cause of death, my death certificate would read “Unclean Underwear”?
Yes, torn is in but perhaps I have let it go a little too far? This is my current pair of torn jeans. (Give me points for not blurring my thigh ripples to make them disappear.) They have moved from good jeans, to okay jeans, to stay at home jeans. The next move will be landfill jeans because there is no rag basket in my home — that could only lead to cleaning.