Levi Strauss and I have been just like this for years. When I go in to purchase a new set of Levi Strauss blue jeans, I don't even need to try them on. I know how the various cuts hang. I know that when Levi Strauss says 30 X 32, he means it. Levi 501 button flies have been my choice of poison for many years now. I can pay for them and wear them out of the store if they are the prewashed variety. Little did I appreciate, however, that Levi Strauss had been gradually turning me into an effete little knucklehead over those years. I had forgotten what real denim, not lightweight denim, is like. I had forgotten about the satisfaction to be derived from breaking in a pair of jeans yourself instead of some poor Mexican woman doing it for you.
Now you will not be run out of the Hill Country in Texas if you are wearing Levi Strauss jeans obviously. It is just that a large segment of the population will not talk to you. This is because your Levi Strauss blue jeans mark you—not to put too fine a point on it—as a northern dipshit. So therefore, leave them up north. Do not wear blue jeans at all rather than wear Levi Strauss jeans and you will be better off. Wear slacks. Wear those silly fuckin' cargo shorts. Anything except Levi Strauss jeans. If you are paying attention, you will see what I mean when you get here. Let me hasten to add that if you show up in Land's End blue jeans, however, you will most certainly be run out of here. On a rail.
I am only talking to the gentlemen here. You ladies can wear any brand of jeans you wish as long as they work with your particular ass. Check your ass in the mirror before you leave. (Did I really need to tell you to do that?) Nobody in central Texas will give a hoot nor holler whether they are Deisel's or Sear's house brand as long as I could play the drum solo from In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on the denim stretched across your cheeks.
So then, the beauty of my life right now is that I could devote all of my daylight hours yesterday to a crash program of breaking in my new Wrangler jeans. I wanted to wear a pair into town last night. These are the Official Pro Rodeo Competition Jeans. The Original Cowboy Cut Jean. 100% Cotton Heavyweight Denim. 13 MWZ Original Fit. A Full One Year Warranty covering defective workmanship or materials. Una Garantía Total Por Un Año. When they came out of the store these jeans were so stiff that they could stand up by themselves. Incredible! I grew up with this kind of denim, but I had forgotten what it is to deal with it brand new.
First, I washed the rascals twice and dried them twice with everything--the washer, the dryer--set as hot as it would go. I worked on my tan while I waited. Then I went over them looking for excess threads hanging off the seams. You burn those off with a match. That's an old Army trick. Then I tied them onto the bumper hitch of the pickup and drug them around on the gravel drive of the campground. I took them back to the laundry room and washed and dried them again. I ran into a little gal in the laundry room offloading a dryer while I was loading these into a washer again. She offered that she had heard that if you put a couple of stones in the washer with them, that will speed up the process. I told her that I had no doubt that would work, but I did not want to give Miss Jenkins the opportunity to catch me putting stones in one of her heavy duty washers. (More about Miss Jenkins later.)
This time I got them out of the dryer while they were still a bit damp. I straightened them out and laid them on the hood of my black GMC pickup in the Texas afternoon sun. This is a serviceable, makeshift way to press them. I worked on my tan some more.
Finally as the sun was getting low and after I had showered, I pulled on a pair and decided to go with the brown boots for the evening. This pair of Wrangler blue jeans was by no means broken in yet, but I could bend a bit at the knees. I set my mirrow down on the table and checked my ass. My ass looked pretty damned good. Cute. I pulled on my high end Tommy Bahama tee and headed into town for music.
Sure enough, later in the evening at the music venue, a fairly attractive late forty-something, early fifty-something Texas woman spoke to me. She wanted to know whether I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior.