It's about five o'clock, and I'm hanging out in a friend's dorm room waiting to go to a meeting. Now that I have an apartment off campus, I spend a lot of time in this room, between classes, before dinner, bothering my friends as they attempt to complete physics problem sets, wathcing TV, and generally overstaying my welcome. I am currently watching TV. I stand up and glance in the mirror, and notice something white on the back of my jeans. These are new blue jeans, Old Navy, and some of the trendiest jeans I have owned up to this point, which is to say I did not buy them on sale at Target. And there is something white on the back of them. The long white stripe on my pants turns out to be in my pants. It's my underwear, showing through the large tear in the back of my jeans. I have been wearing these jeans all day, walking around campus, going to class, eating a meal in the college commons, and I have no idea how long I have been displaying my white boxer briefs from the back of my pants. I ask one of my roommates about the whole in my pants. "Oh, yeah, I saw that. I thought you knew." I tie my jacket around my waist before walking across the campus for my meeting.

I do not have the best luck with jeans. It's been a long time since I outgrew my jeans, so now I wear them several times a week for years until the fall apart. Or I take them apart. Meaning, I pull the strings at the cuffs until I have large pieces of denim trailing my feet as I walk and pick at the thin fabric on the knees until there is no frabric there at all, just a large, ever widening hole. I had two pairs of jeans that I liked very much, until this week, when within days of each other, they both surrended and developed holes in the left knee. I've tried wearing jeans with holes in the knees before, some people seem to think it's trendy, but the hole just keeps getting bigger, until the bottom half of the leg is about to fall off and you end up wearing semi cutoffs. I'm not the type of person who wears cutoffs. And besides, it's winter here now, and while I appreciate a cool breeze as much as the next guy, I'd rather not have it going up my pants.

So I went to gap, to buy new jeans, where they sell the boot cut jeans I like. (I know, It's very coporate and everything, but one of the reasons they'r so propular is becuase they make good clothing, or at least the children from their factories in third world countries do. Oh, just let me enjoy my trendy jeans.) Anyway, the only problem with these jeans is that they do all this stuff to them. I bought jeans that come with these creases in them, and thesestrange faded stripes across the front. I bought some that weren't too obvious, but some of those pants look like a wrinkly zebra. I guess the jeans are suppossed to look old and worn and loved. Well, I've worn lots of jeans for long periods of time, and I've never gotten a permanent crease and zebra stripes on mine. I have no idea how one would get those sort of markings on blue jeans. I think it requires special equipment, and I don't think you can do it while wearing them.

I like these new jeans, but the stripes and fake creases make me feel conspicious, like someone you see at a grocery store wearing those tight pants and and a t-shirt that says something like "Abercrombie surf" and one of those tight zipper sweatshirt things that models wear in catalogs. Real people who do real things don't wear these clothes. And yet here I am, in my button down shirt that I got from goodwill 6 years ago, and my trendy pants, personally creased by children in China.


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