The first pair of pants to meet their end was a pair of chinos. Now, I loved those chinos. I loved them like a child. I’ve had them for… two years? Three years? YEARS, anyway. I have successfully kept them alive all that time, even although they are very pale, and being very pale does not bode well for you if you are an item of my clothing. I was pleased they had survived, though, because they were The Best Chinos In All the Land. You might think you have a better pair, but you are wrong, because these were the best chinos, and we will never see their like again. I spent YEARS searching for these chinos. Every pair I found was too big, or too small, or too long, or too short, or too high waisted, or made of some horrible, thin, crackly material that made me want to gag. These ones were perfect, in every way. They were The Bomb. I wore them constantly. Well, almost constantly. They weren’t just trousers: they were MY BEST FRIENDS.
Three weeks ago, though, I pulled on my best friends, and noticed a weird, white mark on the hip. Thinking it was probably toothpaste or something (I, er, quite often dribble toothpaste on myself. It’s one of my endearing quirks.) I went to the bathroom and tried to remove the mark with soap and water. It wouldn’t budge. OK, no big deal: I removed the pants, threw them in the wash, and thought that would be the end of it.
But it wasn’t.
When I took the Best! Pants! Ever! out of the wash, the mysterious white mark was still there. I was not amused. I washed the pants again. And again. Over and over, I washed the pants. The Mark didn’t budge. So I got some of those stain-removing products and I tried them. No dice. In vain I scrubbed at the mark. In vain I put the pants through yet another spin cycle. Nothing worked. And then, finally, after multiple scrubbings and washings, I realised that I’d scrubbed so hard at The Mark that I’d scrubbed right through the fabric and created a hole.
My best friends were dead. I mourned them. Oh, how I mourned!
(No, I couldn’t patch the hole. What am I, a farmer?)
Then I put the pants back in the wardrobe (Because I couldn’t bear to throw them away. THAT’S how much I loved them) and I pulled out my Favourite Red Jeans – also known as my ONLY red jeans – instead. I pulled them on, and…
… they had a mysterious white mark on the hip.
At this point I may have lost my mind just a little. I examined The Mark closely. I had no idea what it was, but I decided to call it The White Mark of Death. And so my cleaning trials began again, complicated this time by the fact that the jeans were a) bright red and b) expensive. I suspected that too much washing would take the dye right out of them, so I had to proceed with caution, trying to treat only the area with The Mark.
Again, nothing worked. And now I had started to worry that if I scrubbed any harder, I’d lift the dye right out of the area around The Mark, and be left with both The Mark and a huge, faded patch. I wanted to
So I put the red jeans aside, and I reached instead for The Best Green Jeans In All the Land.
Oh, the trials I went through to get these jeans. You see, I ordered my normal size. And they came, and I thought they seemed too small. So I sent them back, and I ordered the size up. And they came, and they were too big. So I sent THEM back, and I RE-ordered my usual size. And they came, and… were perfect. I loved them. I loved them for roughly two weeks: right up until last night, at which point I happened to glance into the mirror in the bedroom, and there it was.
THE WHITE MARK OF DEATH. On the knee of my beloved green jeans. That I had known for only two short weeks. That I had loved, and, sadly, had lost, because folks, that white mark? Is totally BLEACH. Or at least, I’m assuming it is: just prior to the discovery of the mark, I had wiped down some of the surfaces in the bathroom, and it would appear that in the two minutes it took me to do that, I managed to destroy the jeans. I guess I have to also assume, in the absence of any other explanation, that the other white marks were also bleach: honestly, I could not feel stupider if I tried.
So, now, the search is on, because, of course, all of the items in question are now sold out in my size, with the exception of the red pair, which are too expensive for me to replace right now. You all know how hard it is to find jeans that fit properly, right?
I hate myself. Wish me luck…
(Oh, and I’ve just remembered: when we were in San Francisco this summer, I ruined a pair of blue jeans by dropping MAC ProLongwear lipstick on them. I can confirm that that stuff DOES NOT COME OFF. Ever. Or, it does, but only with eye makeup remover, which also took the blue dye right out of the denim, leaving me with… THE WHITE MARK OF DEATH. GOD. So that’s four pairs of jeans lost this summer alone. I’m now down to just those pairs that are too old/badly fitting to be seen in public, but which I’ve kept around anyway for… I don’t know why. In other words, this summer I have destroyed almost ALL of my casual clothes. Looks like I’m going to be even MORE overdressed than usual for the foreseeable future…)
P.S. Just thought I should add that I do not dress up in my favourite jeans to clean. I wear old clothes for “proper” cleaning, but if it’s just quickly wiping something up or whatever, then yeah, I have to admit that I’m too lazy to go and change my clothes, only to have to change back two minutes later. I will now, though, obviously: lesson learned! (I hope.)