I suppose someone provided me with a first pair of jeans when I started riding a Shetland pony at eight years old. Anyhow I grew up wearing jeans whenever I could get away with it. When we moved from Colorado to Los Alamos, we wore jeans to school on Fridays. No one missed that opportunity. When I moved to Florida as a married woman with children, I gave jeans up and went for knit pants. Eventually someone came along who loved clothes and loved to shop and she straightened me out. Jeans wanted me.
After a while I hit another snag for which I needed the help of friends. Apparently my jeans bagged now that I had lost weight. My friends tactfully explained about Mrs. Q. and her skills as a tailor and sent me to see her.
I had a number of clothes that needed to be fitted, so I took them all. When you enter Mrs. Q’s small shop it’s as if you’ve come home. Her finished work hangs on a rack along the south wall with Mrs. Q’s counter in front. At the back of the room you see three large sewing machines with a small man sitting at one. Mr. and Mrs. Q. are from Vietnam. Both of their fathers tailored clothes for a living, and now they are carrying on the tradition. They are good at what they do. Mrs. Q. and I talk over every aspect of an alteration. Mr. Q. never opens his mouth. I’ll bet he gets an earful, with all the girl-talk that goes on.
Last August, I bought a pair of white jeans with diamonds on the back pockets. I knew the jewels would never be seen because I always wear my tee-shirts on the outside. I had these jeans for several months before I took them to Mrs. Q. to shorten. When I laid them on the counter we both saw that the security tag, still attached. Mrs. Q. tugged on it and then shook her head saying, “Better take them back to the store and let them take it off.”
When I got home, I thought I’d force the tag off, but it wouldn’t budge. The next time I went out I visited the two stores where I thought I might have purchased the jeans.
“No, our store doesn’t carry this brand, but don’t try to force it because it has ink in it and it will stain the jeans,” store 1 associate.
At the next store the only associate in sight tried to help even though she knew right away that the jeans hadn’t come from their store, either. Apparently every brand of store has a magnetic key to open their own tags. She couldn’t budge it. “Be sure not to force it open, I had an accident with one and it stained my purse and my hands with bright green ink,” store 2 associate.
While she fiddled with the problem, though, I realized the tag hung from the belt loop, so I decided to cut off the loop and throw it and the tag away.
I took the jeans back to Mrs. Q. and told her about my fix. She shook her head with a worried frown until I persuaded her no one but us would ever see the loopless spot.
As I got ready to leave, I remembered to warn Mrs. Q. about the trap. “Oh, yes, I know. Ink. Green. That’s the reason I told you to take it back to the store.”
I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who didn’t know about security tags and ink. But instead of feeling ignorant I thanked the Lord for sending helpers my way. We all need help with one thing or another. It feels good to be kind and it feels good to receive kindness.
Bill and I met our computer-programmer grandson in one of the prettiest and ritziest downtowns I’ve seen. I wore my well-fitting jeans and felt like I fit in. For one of our conversation topics, he helped with a computer problem we’d had. I believe the world has more good people in it than bad ones, but maybe that’s because I rarely meet anyone bad, as far as I know.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4: 7.