“Dungahrees ah fah fahmahs!”

momandJohnThat’s what my step-dad, originally from East Boston, used to say whenever someone called him “dressed-up.”  “Fahmahs” is Bonstonese for farmers. When he went out to dinner, he put on khakis and a good button-up shirt, sometimes pink.  I guess this is dressed-up for Florida.  I don’t think I ever saw the man in jeans, other than denim shorts (“shots”) when he was painting or gardening.

My step-dad has been dead for 13 years now, but his sayings and philosophies still live in my brain.  I swear I could hear him comment on “dungahrees” when I was at the mall a few weeks ago.  I was sitting on a bench, sipping some kind of liquid candy bar from Starbucks, and waiting for my son to finish a training session at the Apple store.  I had already checked FaceBook on my phone and caught up on Words With Friends, so I just decided to people watch, or really denim watch.

EVERYONE was wearing jeans.  There were people wearing jeans with boots, heals, loafers, and sneakers. They paired their denim with nice shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, leather jackets, jeweled belts, and sometimes big sparkly necklaces.  There was dark denim, faded denim, holey denim, tight jeans, loose jeans, skinny jeans, and even pajama jeans, for those who have given up.

I know I’m starting to sound like Bubba talking about shrimp, but people seem to have more ways to wear jeans than he had ways to prepare shrimp.  I guess it strikes me as odd because I don’t understand why.  As a non-jean person, I have asked people why they love jeans so much, and I have gotten the same answer – comfort.

Um, really?  Maybe I am spoiled from 8 years of working from home, but when I think comfort I don’t think denim.  I think flannel pajamas.  Though, unlike many Wal-Mart shoppers, I don’t wear them in public.  Leggings and big sweaters are a close second, and acceptable in public, followed by long skirts.  Even dress pants are more comfortable than jeans.  Denim, unless it is pajama “denim,” is stiff and thick, not really comfy.  It’s durable.  That’s why “fahmahs” wear it.  They need something tough because they work hard.  Walking the mall is not hard work.

3 thoughts on ““Dungahrees ah fah fahmahs!”

  1. When I was younger, and MUCH thinner… “blue jeans” were the fad… disliking fads altogether, as soon as I could wear black jeans that’s what I did. I was flexible, in good physical shape… and it was okay… I really didn’t think about it much. I never liked breaking them in for reasons you stated…. too stiff!!! School clothes were special… NEVER jeans…. visiting on holidays…. going to church (very infrequently like for a wedding or something)… those were all off limits for jeans. PJs were maximum comfort always but my mom wouldn’t let me hang out in them…. “Go outside! Its a beautiful day!” she would say. I don’t think we have as many of those anymore. Your dad sounds like a man who knew what comfort was meant for… you lost him about the same time I lost my mom. I think I still own some … what did you call them… pajama jeans for those who have given up? I haven’t worn them in forever but they are current enough that if for some ridiculous reason I needed them, I’d have them… duh… odd ball reason if you ask me. I rarely go anywhere… everything is too costly… flannel pjs are the pick of most days… VERY soft fabric pants in winter and long skirts in summer. I’ve been dealing with health issues that have made mobility more difficult so I rarely have to bother caring too much what I look like unless we go out with friends or I have a doctors appointment then I’ll clean up pretty well…I have stayed on top of my manicure but my hair is way too long… my sister is trained to trim hair so I should ask her to lop off about a foot… haven’t cut it in two years…. its NEVER been this long… yeah I know. but when there aren’t any reasons… you tend to not… product is expensive and mobility finds me sleeping a lot… not that you’d know from the flood of FB postings… laptops in bed are a saving grace… it keeps me in the world, at least virtually. Plus, I have to do something with my brain or it will end up as a sponge on the sink or a lufa in the shower.

  2. Dee, your comment cracked me up. I LOVED Gloria Vanderbilt black denim jeans. I only owned one pair, and they were a gift from my mom’s boss. They were too expensive for us. I wonder if I can find them on Amazon. 🙂

    1. Vanderbilt perfume and bath powder were my guilty pleasures. I loved Liz Claiborne and Talbot clothes $$$$ but reality hits in your mid forties… I went to Sears, then Fashion Bug (notice a trend?) Lane Bryant…. now I’m finding the treasures of Goodwill!!! Oh how far I have fallen…. or maybe I’m just not a selfish conspicuous consumer spending enough for forty lashes for all the starving children and neglected, abandoned, or abused pets I could have helped. There is something good to be learned regarding humility and what’s important and what’s more flexible.

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