Lynn Hummel: The curse of the mom jeans
It was May and Vladimir Putin had just “annexed” Crimea from the grip of Ukraine. Sarah Palin, former half-term governor of Alaska, was angry and blamed President Obama because he wasn’t firm enough (presumably because he didn’t talk tough or threaten to send American troops, tanks, or bombers) and she blew off steam. “People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil; they look at our President who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”
I chuckled, although I didn’t know what mom jeans were, I knew the bear wrestling story. The Russian press reported that Putin saw a grizzly bear approaching a mechanically disabled bus full of new and expectant mothers who were crying for help. Putin to the rescue. As the story is told, Putin first tried to reason with the bear, giving the grizzly a chance to leave the area unharmed. The bear refused. So, in the space of 30 seconds, Putin overwhelmed the bear “with the force of a thousand men,” flattening it on its back and snapping its neck. Then, “once the bear was neutralized, I repaired the bus and drove the women and children to their destination. Everyone in Mother Russia has the right to live free of fear.” After the incident, Putin was reported to be modest about his unbelievable performance. He said, “I was just doing what anyone would do in the same situation. I am a leader. As far as I’m concerned, this is just part of the job.” (If you think I’m exaggerating, you can look this up.) No wonder Palin is impressed by the Russian leader.
I had pretty much forgotten the incident until about two days ago when Eartha took a look at me and said, “Where did you get those jeans — they look like mom jeans.”
“They’re my cool Wranglers and what are mom jeans?”
“Mom jeans are what President Obama was wearing when he threw out the first pitch at the beginning of the baseball season. They’re entirely too comfortable — not tailored and not slim enough. Definitely not at the top of the fashion chain.”
“I saw a clip of our left-handed President throwing out that first pitch and I thought he looked fit, athletic and great. And my jeans are just like what my friend Barack was wearing, and if he looked good in them, then I ...”
“Wait a minute, hot shot. President Obama is younger, taller, slimmer and better looking than you. No, I admit he looked OK, but I’m taking a good, hard look at you right now in those jeans, and trust me, you’re no President Obama.”
Stunned, I almost said, “And you’re no Sarah Palin either,” but we’ve celebrated too many anniversaries for a stupid statement like that.
The morals of the story are these: comfortable jeans may not be fashionable — but they’re comfortable; American troops do not belong in Ukraine; Sarah Palin may not know how to equivocate, but she knows how to bloviate; it is impossible to reason with a grizzly bear; and, a closed mouth celebrates many anniversaries.