*This article was first published on National Review.
I may be a little late to the party on making fun of the $425 Nordstrom jeans, fashioned to appear caked with mud to showcase a man who is “not afraid to down and dirty,” but I simply must weigh in. As my husband left this morning at 7am to head over to Home Depot in his actual dirty jeans, I remembered these fake jeans that caused such a ruckus on social media this week.
Since we bought our first home a year ago, my husband has been wearing out his old jeans like crazy. They’re torn and damaged forever more, splattered with paint from belt loops to ragged cuffs from dragging through the dirt.
Though an accountant by trade, he took last week off work to spend working on our house. He pulled out old bushes and weeds, planted new trees, landscaped the front garden, fixed the flailing brick wall in the back, covered and organized everything that needed mulch. He planted flowers, cleaned out the garage, washed my car, fixed my tail light, aired up my tires, checked my oil, fixed the the toilet, mowed the lawn — and oh yeah, he also mowed the neighbor’s lawn because she was having trouble with her lawnmower.
I can’t tell you the amount of t-shirts ruined by his hard work, the jeans (approximate price $50) now “heavily distressed” (the Nordstrom description of their pricey version) by rain, mud, paint, and probably baby spit. That’s right, did I mention he’s also pretty much the world’s greatest dad?
Last summer, when our baby was only 6 months old or so, he would come from work every day, strap on the baby carrier and go out to water the flowers, pull the weeds and fix random things like the fence while carrying our son around while I finished up working for the day. He dutifully follows our 1-year-old around the house, playing any and every game with him for hours. He spent more time up in the night with our newborn than I did.
My husband doesn’t love his job. But he loves his family, he works hard and he has overcome more in life than almost anyone you’ll ever meet (another column for another day). He’s also a veteran, which makes me the most proud wife of all. The fact that Nordstrom thinks any man needs to buy fake “Americana workwear” is a sad statement on our culture. It doesn’t matter if you are a banker or a roofer (which my Dad was so I grew up with tar paint stains on our carpet not to mention every pair of jeans in our home) — no man should have need to buy fake dirty jeans. But, if you are that kind of guy does, we’ll sell you my husband’s old ones for real cheap.