Good jeans are nice, but joy is better

Bought another pair of second-hand blue jeans a couple of weeks back. These jeans look a lot like my preferred everyday pair of second-hand blue jeans, but differ in one important respect, they’re not my preferred everyday pair of second-hand blue jeans. These are my other pair. These are my work jeans, my rough pants. I take no pains to protect these jeans. When I’m toiling in the garden in these jeans I don’t hesitate to kneel in the dirt. When I’m working on the cabin in these jeans I wipe my tacky hands on them, let paint and varnish dry in place and stiffen the fabric. When I’m chainsawing firewood I won’t worry about a splash of chain oil at the hem of these jeans. Better still, these jeans only cost me a dollar. Priced at $12, the cashier only charged me $1. Neither of us realised at the time, I noticed only as I was filling in my ledger at the end of the week. These jeans are better than the best jeans, better than my good jeans, more joyful than either.

The title is a riff on a Good genes are nice, but joy is better from the Harvard Gazette, a good introduction to the long running and far reaching Harvard Study of Adult Development.

“Do you want to swap?” We’re sat watching the waves roll up the beach at Moturoa. Somehow we’ve ended up in each other’s chairs, hers is a little cramped for me, forces me to hunch forward a little. Still, I don’t want to swap.

“Are you warm enough?” There’s a fresh breeze coming off the waves, not a gale, just enough to remind you that autumn has come, even in our sunny Nelson. Perhaps I should have brought a fleece, but still I say I’m warm enough. A little discomfort is preferable to a fuss. For a stubborn fool anyway.