Last evening I had this conversation with my mother-in-law at an all-you-can-eat chicken restaurant:
MIL: I can’t believe you wear dungarees to dinner.
(by “dungarees” she means jeans, designer or otherwise)
ME: Mom, jeans are in. Jeans are in fashion.
MIL: (rather loud) NOT IN MY BOOK.
ME: Well, remember that “your book” was written in another
time. When jeans were not in vogue.
MIL: In vogue? They’re for cleanin’ in. And sweepin’ in. And
ME: You’re thinking of Levis. They WERE for chores. But even
Levis are now designer. You can wear them anywhere.
MIL: (again, rather loud) NOT WHEN YOU’RE WITH ME. NOT AT
DINNER. WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?
(who these people are at this chicken restaurant who are judging me is unclear…)
ME: Mom, jeans are the new black pants. Jeans are…
MIL: (cutting me off) For farms.
ME: (touching my jeans and whispering) These jeans are designer. They cost more than my car.
(OK. Exaggeration. Just trying to get my point across!)
MIL: (knowing she isn’t getting anywhere, in full Rhode Island accent) Whateva.
Now, I must tell you that I love my mother-in-law. She is a feisty 88.5 year old Portuguese lady with a lot of spunk.
And a lot of opinions.
I have had a few go-arounds with her in my time married to her son… but I know she loves me.
And she adores and cherishes her children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren (she has 3 great-granddaughters, each 6 years old, and 9 great-grandsons 4 and under!)
But I have come to understand that she, like many of her generation, is locked into a time and place that is comfortable for her.
And that includes “dressing up” each time she leaves the house.
And dungarees are unequivocally not her definition of dressing up.
Designer “dungarees” or otherwise.
I guess to her the term “designer jeans” is, simply, an oxymoron.
Like her white textured polyester elastic-waistband semi-capri (as she calls them) “dressy slacks” are to me.
A fashion contradiction from another place. Another time.
But I will keep that opinion to myself.