“Hairy legs in a sport where hirsuteness is a crime against humanity. Wearing a 3-year-old skinsuit from your old team which no longer exists in a sport where any self-respecting club has an annual winter kit, summer kit, and a ‘cross kit. Then to top it off, refusing to raise your hands on the podium. EVERYONE raises their hands on the podium. You’re a contrarian,” Derek said.
“No, I’m not,” I replied.
About six years ago I bought a pair of jeans because my other pair didn’t work any more. The new jeans were super expensive even though I got them on sale for $37.99 plus tax. I am pretty easy on clothes because they have to last, but finally these jeans broke down, too, in the knee.
Usually when things break down I take them to Boozy P., my ace mechanic, but since he mostly does SRAM wireless and Di2 setups, this manual job looked like it might not be in his wheelhouse. [Note to self: What is a wheelhouse?]
I remembered what used to happen growing up in Houston when you tore your jeans. You got a patch, that’s what. There were three different kinds, dark denim, medium denim, and light denim because you tried to match the patch with the color of the jeans. My mom used to iron those suckers on and they worked pretty well. Since we were kids we tore our jeans everywhere, not just in the knee. Butt tears, side rips, one time I even got a rip up through the crotch. Didn’t matter, you were getting a patch.
Of course once you had worn through the patch you generally got a new pair of jeans, which wasn’t much fun because they were hard and stiff and took forever to break in. In those days the waists were high and would gouge you in the stomach when you bent over. New jeans hurt as bad as new shoes.
Anyway, I got online and ordered myself a patch. I wasn’t going to spend another $37.99 plus tax on a perfectly good pair of jeans when I could go to www.easypeasypatches.com and get me a patch for $2.50 and they would be good as new.
After I’d ordered the patches but before they’d arrived, Mrs. WM and I were in the car together. She looked at my torn knee. “Thatsa nice,” she said.
I figured she was being sarcastic except she doesn’t have a sarcastic bone in her chicken. “What is?”
“Thatsa onna your knee all tear hole. Thatsa nice.”
Now I was pretty sure she was making fun of me. “Don’t worry,” I said, “I ordered a patch for it.”
“A patch. A knee patch. One of those iron-on dealies.”
“How come you patchin’ onna pants? Thatsa fashion days now.”
“Tear holes onna knee. Boys payin’ top dolla gettin’ big holes.”
“That sounds wrong,” I said.
“Itsa right,” she said. “Boys payin’ thirty dolla or three hundred for old ragged pantsy hole, tore up the leg and down and up again so much holes old droopsy balls hangin’ out. You better not patch that old jeans. That cheap old jeans you paid for $37.99 plus tax now with that old ugly color and tear hole you can flea market eighty dolla.”
“I’m not wearing any holes with clothes on them. I’m patching the bastard, I don’t care how much people pay. Anybody wants to see my old droopsy bags hangin’ out they’re going to have to make an appointment.”
Finally the patches came and my daughter looked at them but never said a word. “Would you?” I asked.
She nodded, and smiling went to work. First she applied an inner patch, then ironed on the knee patches, then sewed them with matching thread to make sure they stayed in place. With her head bent she carefully went about her work.When she finished she handed them to me. “Do you like it?”
Mrs. WM was not amused. “Thatsa awful and you tossed away eighty dolla. Nobody buy them jeans now, just lookin’ like a crazy pants. How come you always doin’ a opposite thing? How come you gotta head from hard wood? How come you gotta be goin’ always in the wind?”
“They were sewed on with care by someone who loves me. They’re my Coat of Many Colors,” I said.