Monday, October 11, 2004

526 How do you fix a broken zipper?

It all began on a Thursday in 1982 and ended on a Saturday in 2004. That’s a long time for a pair of khaki slacks to survive homemaking, career, travels, weight changes and fashion trends. I found them in a small “dress shop” in Kenny Center (it disappeared years ago along with dresses) that carried over-stocks and out-of-season sportswear. The zipper broke sometime during last Saturday’s yard sale when the metal clasp jumped the track of the nylon treads. Out of season--yes, indeed, twenty two years out.

The children were not only out-growing their clothes that year, but becoming very conscious of fashion faux pas and fads. So I probably really debated about the extravagance of buying something for myself. Straight leg slacks and jeans with a natural waist and small front pleats were all the rage. My hip hugger flares were definitely out of style, so they were off to the “missionary barrel.”

My daughter calls the 80s our “beige years.” I was driving a 1977 beige Buick, and our second car was a lighter beige Fiesta. We were living in a beige house, with beige walls and carpet. So why not beige slacks to complete the ensemble? I was a Democrat and Ronald Reagan was President. The children both entered high school that year, 9th and 10th grade as the school system changed from a three year to a four year high school.

That was most likely the year our son started smoking--it was allowed in school in those days, and it was a way for a lowly Freshman to hang out and be accepted by the upper classmen. Thank you, UA Board of Education, for a habit he still can’t kick.

I’d need to check a resume to see if and where I was working--but I think I was clerking at Pickwick Discount Books on Lane Avenue to see if I really wanted to open a book store. I didn’t, I discovered. Being a librarian was far easier, and less physically demanding. I couldn’t figure out the cash register, or the ordering system and I learned that the truck drivers delivered those heavy cartons of books only to the front door and dumped them. We employees had to carry them to the basement. We had to accept the pornographic magazines along with the regular consumer titles (we hid them in the basement until it was time for returns).

I do remember the day my daughter called me at the bookstore (I had ridden my bike to work and she had the beige Buick) and said, “Mom, don’t worry, I’ve cleaned up all the blood, but we need to go to the ER.” Her brother had forgotten his key and in an attempt to crawl through a window, he had broken it and sliced his wrist on jagged glass.

So maybe I bought myself those slacks as a reward. I didn’t know in 1982 the worst was yet to come with the teen years, but we all survived and so did the slacks. The khakis traveled to library conferences in Boston, Missouri, and Texas; went on summer vacations at Lake Erie and northern Illinois. Last year they rode Amtrak to California and back, and this year they traveled by bus to Buffalo and Canada.

There’s probably a few good years of wear left; they are hardly broken in. Anyone know how to fix a zipper?

Leaving california Posted by Hello


Brenda said...

I've been sewing for 31 years and the way I fix a broken zipper is to trash the pants and purchase a new pair. Sorry, I can't offer another suggestion, I have just found that it took more time to replace the zipper and for what I charge per hour, it was just as cheap to purchase a new pair of pants. There are seamstress who can do this as they have been doing it many times over and can replace one in no time, you might ask about it at your dry cleaners. Good luck!

Norma said...

I was pretty sure it wasn't cost effective. My newest pair (Wal-Mart, on sale) was $3.00. So your method will work best.