Moments with Maeve: Mom’s Old Jeans

How we hold on to the past


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Maeve Yanes, Features Editor

Spring cleaning and closet makeovers. The perfect way to take a stroll down memory lane. Opening up a box in the corner and finding clothing pieces you haven’t seen since you were 34. Maybe a favorite shirt from the past, or a worn-out pair of shoes you didn’t have the heart to throw away, or jeans everyone told you to get rid of, but you didn’t listen. The jeans that were trendy at one time and then fell out of style. Now, they are back in. 

My mom found those jeans in her closet. 

Early in March, my mother, Cori, began to prepare for a closet makeover. Sorting her clothing into piles, boxing things up to donate, and debating if she should keep that one top. You know, the one that you say you are going to wear but never do. Trying on item after item to see if they still fit. Most of them do, but the thought still travels through her mind: “I haven’t worn this in years. Will I ever wear it?”

Cori keeps it in case her daughter might need 10 skirts that all look exactly the same. Along with the skirts, my mom keeps nine pairs of plain black heels, three pairs of slacks, and six blouses for me that aren’t even my size. 

After the sorting and boxing are done, she calls me into her room to look at the finished closet. I sit down on the floor in the middle of the narrow room, surrounded by clothes. My mother proceeds to point out her different categories and color-coded areas. 

We come to the jeans part of the “tour.” At the bottom of the pile, a pair of light-washed jeans sit waiting patiently to be shown off. Luckily for them, they didn’t have to wait too long. 

I raise my hand, pointing at the pair of jeans.

“What are those,” I ask. 

“Oh, these,” my mom begins to say, “These are my old teaching jeans. They were my favorite pair for the longest time. Until they fell out of style. Your aunt actually told me to get rid of them like 10 years ago.”

Cori holds them in front of her legs like she is modeling them without actually putting them on. 

The legs: straight. The zipper: gold. The waistband: fitted. The once outdated and vintage jeans are now the perfect pair. 

“I want those,” I say with excitement in my voice and a smile on my face.

“What do you mean,” my mother says, confused by my statement.

 “Those jeans are so trendy right now. They would look pretty cool with my new sneakers,” I reply, informing her that she is currently holding a very fashionable item. 

My mom was too proud of her jeans to give them to me. So, sadly the jeans have not been added to my wardrobe. Instead, they are left to collect dust in my mom’s closet — along with the 10 skirts that all look the same, the nine pairs of plain black heels, the three pairs of slacks, and the six blouses for me that aren’t even my size.