Old Habits Die Hard
July 17, 2014 § 19 Comments
I received the nifty shirt pictured above in the mail. Someone who reads this space made it and passed it along to my Uncle Kent who sent it to me, attached to a request for a photo of the shirt being used the way a shirt should be used on a small farm, which in this case was as a buffer between my pale, sunken (but deceptively strong and capable!) chest and the pig I dressed yesterday afternoon. I liked the shirt when I got it. I like it better now that it’s broken in.
Unless they’re gifted, I don’t get new clothes very often. None of us do. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time; probably it was early 2013, when Penny came home from the annual Darn Tough factory sock sale lugging something like 40 pairs of wool hosiery she’d paid less than $100 for. Not bad, and let me tell you, them are some good socks.
Most of our clothes come from thrift stores or yard sales. Penny’s real good about walking a fine line between thinking a season or two ahead and outright hoarding; really, that’s the only way to be a thrift store shopper. If you wait until you actually need something, you’re too late. I mean, you might find what you’re looking for. Then again, you might not.
One of the benefits of having children who don’t attend school is that they’re almost completely unselfconscious about what they wear. The fellas think nothing of wearing second-hand clothing and they’re not bothered the least by the occasional “girly” print or style. The other benefit is that there’s really no reason for their clothes to be clean, at least not a regular basis. So we simply don’t need as much clothing. Nor do we need to do as much laundry. I guess that’s what’s called a win-win.
It’s stunning to me how much people are willing to pay for clothing. Not long after Penny brought me home a real nice pair of Johnson Woolen Mills wool pants she bought for a ten spot, I got online to see what they’d cost new. I can’t remember the exact price, but it was closing in on $200. Wowza. Or even a new pair of work pants – hell, you can spend $50 for a pair of Carhartts. It’s not that either of these items aren’t worth it; truth is, if I had to buy new clothes, I’d pay what I needed to get the right stuff. We use our clothes hard and we’re outside a lot at times of the year when nudity is a really bad idea (the rest of the year, it’s a like friggin’ free love artist colony for all the skin we’re flashing. There. That’ll sure-as-shootin’ keep you from stopping by unannounced)
To be fair, I am working off a stash of brandy-new work pants I bought on deep discount a bunch of years back. Sometimes, I think the only thing standing between me and letting my waistline go all to hell is the simple fact that I’ve still got all those pants I need to fit into. I don’t mind a paunch; it’s the idea of losing those pants that kills me. I think I have three pair left; once those are gone, I’m really gonna start stuffing face. I’m also slowly working my way through a quartet of leather work boots I bought at Willey’s in nearby Greensboro maybe a half-decade ago. They were having a huge closeout sale and I got all four pairs for less than $100. That was a good score.
Penny’s even more frugal than me. With some frequency, she still wears a pair of shorts she owned in high school. I remember her having those shorts patched by a seamstress for $1 in a little fishing village on the island of Tobago, where we went for a bike tour a few years before we started breeding. I remember telling her maybe it was time to retire those old shorts. That was at least 15 years ago.
Anyway. My intent was merely to post the photo of me in my new pig-blood-christened shirt and say “thank you” to the kindly person to sent it my way. But as usual, I got to blabbing. I guess old habits die hard.