Monday, July 24, 2017

All Fads Come to an End--or Do They?

Sacchi Green

Otherwise, they’re not fads, right? Not that I’m any expert. I’ve always been so behind the times that if I happen to notice a fad and check it out it’s about to become soooo last week/month/year. Most of them sail by without me noticing them at all, or did until social media made everything known by everyone every minute. Way back in ancient times I was only vaguely aware of Pet Stones (a Fake Fad if ever there was one,) but collecting virtual Pokemon critters couldn’t be missed. That one is still going on, apparently; one doesn’t hear so much about it any more, but I just saw a news article about a Pokemon convention in big trouble because something went wrong and the attendees couldn’t log on or plug in or whatever it was they’d come to do. Hell hath no fury like a fad’s tru-fans deprived of their promised treats.

I’ve probably partaken of fads without even realizing it, but the first one I can really identify was in college, when “wheat jeans” were all the rage. Clothing is a fertile field for fads—I suspect the term  “fads” is the flighty offspring of “fashion”—and while I couldn’t afford to pay much attention to fashion, one did have to have jeans, and the non-blue natural cotton color ones weren’t all that expensive, so even in my cut-rate co-op dorm at an elite womens’ college (we did all or most of the housework for a reduction in fees, and were the go-to group when there were temporary campus jobs available or babysitting for faculty offspring or pretty much anything to finance taking a train or bus to Yale or Harvard for the weekend) most of us managed to not be behind the times by stuffing our behinds into snug “wheat” colored jeans. In fact on our dorm’s page in the college yearbook that year we featured a photo of a row of our pale-garbed behinds as we posed leaning over as though looking out the wide front window. Years later when the fad for “designer jeans” came along, I realized how lucky we’d been in our impecunious youthful innocence to have a fad we could afford to indulge in. Although the even later fad for “distressed” jeans (holes in the knees, gaps here and there, threadbare patches) would have been still cheaper, since we could easily “distress” our own. I’ve noticed lately that the holey jeans have come back in fashion, which means, of course, that they must be on the way out again if I finally noticed.

Since I’m personally tone-deaf when it comes to fads, the characters n my stories aren’t particularly aware of them either, but all this reminiscing about jeans has reminded me about one story where the main character came close to losing hers. So, herewith, I present snippets from one of my pet stories.
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Bull Rider
Sacchi Green

Amsterdam.
Am-ster-god-fucking-damn!
Sin City of the 70's, still sizzling in the 80's. Cheap pot you could smoke in the coffeehouses, but that's not what lit my fire. Sex shows and leather-toy shops? Coming a whole lot closer; but what really ignited a slow burn low in my Levis were stories of the working girls displaying their wares behind lace-curtained windows. Something about the dissonance between elegance and raunch struck a chord.

(snip)

I still needed to drown my sorrows in whatever fleshpots I could find. I was not going to leave Europe without at least a taste of decadence.
You don't get to taste much, though, without a few guilders clinking in the pockets of your jeans. Which I didn't have. Damn near didn't even have the jeans. First French-tourist jerk-off to point at my ass and say, "'Ow much?" came close to losing his business hand. "Chienne! Pour les Levis!" he hissed, rubbing his numbed wrist.
"More than you've got!" I stepped away, and he scurried in front of me with a fistful of bills. "No way," I said, lengthening my stride until he dropped back. Before I made it across the Centraal Station plaza I'd had two more offers, Spanish and Japanese, and damnsure would have taken one if I'd had any alternate covering for my BVD's. But, after that fiasco at the Equestrian Tournament, I'd left behind everything except my hat, buckskin pants, and fringed jacket. And I'd pawned the leathers to raise plane fare home. Too damn cheaply, if even torn jeans reeking of horses and stable muck were in this much demand.
Maybe the stable muck was the selling point. Authenticity. I could've made a fortune if I'd known enough to dirty more jeans! The question now was, could I parlay all that authenticity into getting laid? I had 24 hours before my flight to find out. And a conniving little preppie to purge from my system.

(snipping all the good parts about riding a mechanical bull in a bar in Amsterdam, moving along to a houseboat on a canal)

By morning, when Margaretha dropped off some coffee and hot rolls and my hat filled with cash, we were both sore and exhausted. And as high if we'd just won the gold.
"Take all this." I dumped the money on the bed between Anneke's splayed legs. "If my half is enough, could you get my leathers out of hock and send them to me? I'll find the pawn ticket...in a minute...if I ever manage to move..."
"Maybe I shall find a way to deliver them in person." Anneke rolled over to straddle my thigh. "You won't mind, Toby, if I wear those snug trousers a bit, maybe ride in them? And think of you, and get them very, very wet?"
"We could send them back and forth," I said, "until they're seasoned enough to travel on their own. But in person would be a damn sight better." I found the energy to flip her over; maybe the coffee was kicking in. I nuzzled my face into the pale-gold fur adorning her finely seasoned pussy. "Just how wet did you have in mind?" Exhaustion forgotten, I was ready to ride again.
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Okay, the pants under discussion at the end were buckskin leathers, not jeans, but the jeans were hanging around somewhere, probably under the bed. Come to think of it, jeans in one form or another have become such staples of wardrobes everywhere that if they were ever a fad (yes, I know they began as sturdy work clothes about the time of the California Gold Rush, but they weren’t fashionable, as such, until much later) they can’t be dsimissed as a fad anymore, so, in a sense, I was right in my title here. All fads come to an end, sometimes because they’re not fads any more, they’re classics.  







     

7 comments:

  1. Remember mini-skirts? Maxi-skirts? Mondrian prints? Courreges boots? In high school, at least, fashion fads used to be unforgiving! How I pestered my mother (who very rationally resisted most of my pleas).

    Now my favorite clothes are in some cases 25 or 30 years old -- comfortable pieces that have stood the test of time.

    When my jeans get ripped, I toss them out! (Though living in the steamy tropics, I hardly ever wear jeans.)

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  2. I remembered this story, but I'd forgotten the image of the sexed-up pants traveling back and forth across the ocean unescorted! I love that both for its raunchy eroticism and its Seussian autonomous-pantsness.

    In fact on our dorm’s page in the college yearbook that year we featured a photo of a row of our pale-garbed behinds as we posed leaning over as though looking out the wide front window.

    I'm sure you meant to include that photo in your post, but it doesn't seem to have loaded. I'll be waiting here while you fix that (because, um, I'm interested in 1960s fashions).

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    1. Well, that would require actually finding my old yearbook, scanning the page, and posting it, which I don't have time to do right now. If I do happen across it I might arrange a private showing for you.

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  3. P.S. Here's some (inconclusive) info about the origin of the word fad:

    http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=fad

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  4. I had plans to go to Amsterdam this Summer but decided against it. It was to be just a week and I couldn't justify either the cash or jet lag to travel there. Once I'd be rid of the jet lag, I'd be time to go home and experience more jet lag. Amsterdam sounds like fun, though. Maybe If I were a few years younger. Plus, I already have the weed. ;>)

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  5. The problem with distressed jeans is that they're damn expensive, and it can be hard to find jeans that aren't distressed...

    At some point I realized that if I were the hoarder type I could always be in fashion. Just keep my clothes until the fad comes back around...

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