Tag Archives: East Boston

“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.