When I was 28, I bought my house in South Austin. A couple years later, Southpark Meadows, which had been an outdoor music venue for alternative rock acts in the 90s, was being repurposed into a 700 acre shopping center. In my 20’s, I hated shopping. I was a ragamuffin and loved it. I didn’t care about appearance, money or success as much as I do now. I just wanted to follow my instincts and do well at whatever endeavor they brought. My wardrobe consisted of only two pairs of pants (one to show, one to go…that was my inventory policy 🙂 . They were, of course, blue jeans and they were the exact same brand, style, and color. My jeans always had holes in the knees just like how Rich Mullins was portrayed in the movie Ragamuffin. When one pair got too holey, I’d go buy one more but would often procrastinate, because there was always something else more interesting to do. A couple years after closing on the property, I lamented the passing of the meadow only a quarter mile from my front door, but the house needed furnishing and so, once complete, I went table hunting at the new “Rooms to Go” in the same spot that Eddie Vedder use to belt out the lyrics to the album “TEN” (one of my all time favorites). I woke up that Saturday morning and threw on my only clean pair of jeans which, just so happened was the older pair. I didn’t pay much attention to my appearance in those days and failed to notice that one of the knee holes had gotten pretty bad and they probably needed to be retired. When I got to the store, the sales associate approached me and my holey jeans and asked if there was anything he could do for me. It was weird because the store is pretty budget priced, yet he was dressed in a suit and was looking down his nose at me pretty hard. I told him what kind of table I was looking for and his staccato nasly response, which suited well his half mast eyes, came out with plenty of rich butler attitude. He said, “Uhhhm…no..sir. We don’t have anything like that. (pause) Nyeeesss…I suggest you try the store down the street. Maybe they would have something a little more to your liking“. His aloof tone was unmistakeable and my reflex was to look myself all over to figure out the source of the snobbery. As I did, I suddenly realized that the hole that exposed my entire right knee, had grown from the far left side to the far right and the bottom half of my pants leg was just floppin’ around down there.
As a young man, relatively untutored in the sartorial arts, I learned a new lesson that day. When you’re gettin’ dissed by the “Rooms to Go” guy…..It’s time for a new pair of pants. 🙂