“Nice racing stripes,” scoffed a newly made acquaintance, pointing to the selvedge on the cuff of my Left Field jeans. Little did this asshole know about my recent struggle to get these slubby beauties: The shop sent me the wrong tracking number; my mailman misdelivered the package then retired the following week; and the postmaster claimed it was most likely stolen off of my doorstep, adding that it had been “delivered” so it was no longer the USPS’ responsibility. The ordeal, which was documented in a 20+ long email conversation that sat starred atop my gmail inbox, was exhausting for both vendor and customer. Three weeks went by before the unintended recipient of my wayward package, my neighbor and friend Julie, mentioned in passing, “Ohhhh, I think I have a package for you or something…” And to think that I used to find her attractive.
Racing stripes?! Fuck this guy, I had been through too much to let that comment roll off my back. Sure, maybe I was overreacting and just maybe I would sound like a pretentious schmuck while defending my $200 jeans, but I had earned the right to wear and cuff these japanese-woven-american-made-natural-indigo-dreamboats through a war with the Postal Service. A bond between textile and flesh had been forged in fire. I was defensive and proud. Besides, I paid for these as a graduate research assistant; we make the same amount to “Invent the Future” as someone who helps clog the future’s arteries with McBullshit. What did this guy know about sacrifice?
“…You mean the hem?” my friend Tucker dryly jabbed back before I could even open my mouth. With those four words my new enemy was shamed and I was humbled. Just a hem, just a pair of jeans, just a joke. Bravo, Tucker. Bravo.
Later that night Tucker would hook up with one of my buddies not two feet away from where I was trying to sleep, on a cold, concrete basement floor. Pain shot from my spine down my arm, caused by a herniated disc in my neck that I did not know I had until then, and I cursed everything and everyone. Selvedge be damned.
But these NATO style watch straps are pretty killer at $15 a pop.