A reminder of how times change. Jeans, jeans, jeans.... It was the spring of 1973. Ron and I had been living with our blended family of six children for two and a half years. The kids now ranged from 11 to 17 years old and the laundry included many, many pairs of jeans. Some of our children were far ahead of their times... they believed jeans were for life, no matter the condition; they were into holes, rips, threadbare well ahead of the rest of the world. Their mother did not share their enthusiasm for the condition of these well-loved pants. Looking back I guess a part of my unhappiness was, that as a parent and a teacher, I could not stand their looking so unkempt at school. And so this memorable day began and later ended with great unhappiness on the part of Cooky (17) and David (14), my two extreme ahead-of-their-time teenagers. Cooky's were ragged and torn. David's had already been to the shoemaker multiple times for repair, the only source of an open-arm sewing machine.
How were they to know as I walked from room to room that those two pair of pants were in front of my eyes in each of their rooms and they were not!! Quickly grabbing these items of disagreement I ran to hide them, knowing there would soon be an explosion. It was not long in coming. "Where are my jeans?" came screaming from one male and one female voice. "Gone" yelled the mother's voice, right back at the question. "You can't do that!" "You have no right to my jeans!" were two of the most easily remembered, and repeatable, statements that came forth.
The search began. Two teenagers looking anywhere and everywhere and, amazingly, not finding their jeans. Grumpiness, rudeness and shock were the order of that Sunday. The other four kids knew to stay out of the way. Bedtime came and went but the jeans were never found. Two unhappy kids finally went to sleep. One mom, who was sorry they were so sad but glad those unwearable jeans were gone, also went to bed.
The next day was Monday and all went off to school before I left for work. Before leaving for work I removed the two pair of jeans from between the box spring and mattress of my bed, took them with me, and into the school trash bin they went!! Time smoothed things over and life went on. But not without comments on how terrible that experience was for them and that they still didn't think I had the right to remove their torn, wear-ravaged jeans. Here we are in 2008 and the comments still back everyonce in awhile. I should also finish this tale by telling you that the same comments are coming from the next generation. My soon-to-be 18 year old grand-daughter cannot understand how this grandma could have done such a terrible thing to Carly's mom. It is fun to wonder about the value of those jeans in today's market where torn, ragged, ripped jeans sell for more than $150.00! Times do change, don't they?
Addendum: June, 2017
All these years later I am the grandma of 11 and the great-grandma of 2. Of course, all are amazing and wonderful. I can report that all 11 grandchildren have heard about how their grandma mistreated their mother, father, aunt or uncle (depending on who is telling the story) and what a terrible thing had been done! The greats are still too young but I have me doubt they will hear the story one day.
Who would have guessed my (in my opinion ) act of bravery would become a family legend. I must admit it --- I LOVE IT!!