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Raised by a cup of coffee

When I was a kid, my family was pretty poor. We weren’t poverty line or anything, we just had to scrap to make ends meet. Dad worked two jobs, Mum worked, and we ate sausages and mashed potatoes every night for the first decade of my very existence…

OK, that’s exaggerating. We ate sausages a lot though, since my parents had just begun paying off the mortgage on the house they’d built to accommodate their two growing boys. Eventually, sausages graduated to steak, steak to chicken, and chicken back to steak… better steak. Growing up in those circumstances, with two working parents and no babysitter, taught me two things: to live with independence, and to live with what you’ve got… until you can afford something better.

All of this is besides the point, mind you. Rambling on about my childhood escapades —setting fire to our garage, stealing candy from the local supermarket, trying to make stuff from the Anarchist Cookbook — will get us nowhere. The purpose of this entry was to talk about one thing: jeans. When I was a kid, everything I ever owned was a hand–me–down. That meant I never had any new toys (although the Transformers I inherited from my brother were pretty cool), and all my clothes were originally handed down from our neighbor, Dominic, to my brother. Whatever Dominic was wearing in 1980 became my brother’s fashion item circa 1984, eventually making it to my closet by 1988. I had a shitty haircut, too.

My first pair of jeans were originally Dominic’s. They were ugly, ill–fitting, rigid, and altogether fucked–up. I wore them once before deciding that they sucked beyond belief, and I’ve never owned another pair of jeans since. The experience literally scared me away from jeans. Today, however, I tried a new pair of jeans. Unlike Dominic’s, these things were pre–worn by machine, so the denim is soft and pliable. They fit properly and they even look good, so I bought them. I joined the club. I’m now the proud owner of my first “real” pair of jeans.

Those, and a new pair of shoes. Now all I have to do is stop my Mum from buying me dorky shirts at Christmas and I’ll be unstoppable.