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On Sunny Lane: "Holey" Mackerel

I need some new jeans.

No, I take that back. I need some old jeans. I have plenty of new jeans. I need some old ones to wear around the house to work in--some that I'm not afraid to get dirty or stained or torn. Actually, I have some old jeans but they have large, gaping holes that let my knees poke through. That is very uncomfortable for me.

I used to wonder how I always got holes in the knees of my pants. I thought it was caused by kneeling. I didn't think I kneeled that much--certainly not enough to break through the fabric. Then I came to the conclusion that it isn't caused by kneeling at all, but occurs from the inside upon any friction that is imposed on them.

Some people pay big money for jeans with holes in them. They think they are stylish. Years ago, my mother patched holes that my brother and I made in our pants. It was not because of style--but out of necessity. Or, back then, maybe patches were in style.

I have talked to people who wear these "holey" jeans. I've asked them if their legs get cold when they are out in cold weather and they say they don't. They must be tougher than I am, because cold weather makes my knees turn red.

So, I have decided to go shopping for old jeans in the most logical place--second-hand stores. After all, why pay top dollar for clothing that doesn't leave the house? And those new jeans would need to be "broken in" in order to be useful when working in the house or yard, At thrift shops I can find clothing that someone has already done that procedure for me.

I stopped into a couple of second-hand shops recently and wouldn't you know it? I found lots of jeans. However, mixed among them were several pairs of jeans with holes in them.

I didn't know if they had been purchased with holes in them or if the previous owners had put the holes in them with years of hard work, as I had done with mine.

Usually, when I have articles of clothing that have holes, are torn or otherwise useless, I tear them up and use them for rags. I'm beginning to reconsider in this case.

I could save somebody a lot of money by donating what I consider to be unuseable to an organization where it will be picked up by someone who thinks it is stylish.

Or, maybe, I'll let people put holes in the jeans the old-fashioned way--by working in them.

P.S. I just got a pair of jeans at a second-hand store yesterday that had no holes. Turns out they were new jeans with the tags still on them. How am I supposed to work in them?


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or send a comment by emailing her at

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