When I was a teenager, my stepfather Hans used to remind me that “he had pants as old as I was.” The phrase was used to remind me that my troubles were insignificant — and that I simply lacked experience in life. After all, his pants had more experience than I did…and they weren’t worried, or demanding, or unhappy. If I could only achieve the age and aplomb of his pants, I would clearly understand life much better and make the choices my stepfather recommended.
As any teenager would be, I was horrified. My stepfather had old, uncool, dirty pants. And he was *proud* of them! I could barely imagine wearing something from three years ago, let alone wearing sixteen year old pants. I imagined that a miasma of old man emanated off of those pants, and I was always a bit reluctant to be around Hans when he was wearing them.
As I was changing the linens today, I realized that I’ve now approached the advanced age where I own 15 year old sheets. I wish someone had told me, all those years ago, to buy carefully because I’d be stuck with the junk I bought for the rest of my lifetime. Of course, I didn’t have as many choices back when I was 21, and my finances weren’t so great…so I don’t know if it would have changed anything at all.
But I do now own sheets as old as Hans’ pants, and I still put them on the bed. They’re comfortable and worn in and have so many fond memories of snuggly times.
I draw the line at pants, though.