I have this recurring dream.

In it I’m reunited with my favorite pair of Levi’s. The ones my brother abandoned and I took over, wearing on repeat through nights at Barry T’s (for all you old school YEG-ers) and days slogging to Romance Linguistics, the smell of Molson Dry on my breath. *Répétez après moi* how the hell no one ever keeled over in my presence remains a mystery to this day.

Come to think of it, it was probably the jeans.

The act of religiously wearing them transformed them into a thing of beauty. Girls asked where I got them. A famous football player who shall remain nameless sent his friend over with a bottle of champlagne in thanks for my booty in the jeans. Kinda sexist when you think about it, but when you’re 21 and still learning about football players and champagne and men in general, the result is a memory that sticks around fondly.

Back to the jeans.

They were just starting to wear a tiny hole near the right rear pocket, something I was insanely proud of. The frayed hems from my scissor job looked just as good with gladiators as they did with my faded black suede cowboy boots. I had arrived, a member of the paper thin Levi’s club.

Then I went home one weekend to hang with the parents and my mom took hold of the dirty laundry. When it came time to pack up, my laundry basket was parked by the door, its contents fluffy, folded and clean. Thanks mom! At the top sat my Levi’s, safe and sound beneath a bag containing a few dozen homemade perogies. I hit the road back to Edmonton.

When I got to my place the Levi’s were missing. PANIC AT THE DISCO. I called my mom in a frenzy after retracing my steps to and from the car (10x) without any luck. My mom went outside with a flashlight and looked all over the lawn. Nada.

She went back inside and checked the dryer over my agonizing wails of, “Nooooo mommmmm they were IN the basket!!”

Clearly I was going to need pills.

I went back outside again dragging my mother on the end of the line as far as the phone cord would reach.

It was time to face facts: my brother’s ragamuffin girlfriend and her sisters had stolen my beloved jeans from the laundry basket before I’d left the house. It was the only explanation. Even my mother agreed and she is not one to get on board with notions of this nature that I have been known to come up with (correctly I might add) throughout my time on earth.

It was time to get sleuthing. She swore she would scour their asses for my jeans every time they came over. My brother was still living at home so his gang of thieves was over there on the regular. This went on for three years to no avail.

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It’s been 20 years and I still think about those jeans. I’ve tried to put them out of my mind, but I can’t. We were at the Echo Park Craft Fair a couple weekends ago and it seemed like every cute hipster girl had on a pair of vintage Levi’s. It felt like ice picks in my eyeballs.

I’m spilling all this because I’m back on the quest for a pair of vintage Levi’s. I refuse to spend $300 on a reworked pair. I’m convinced I can score a pair at a flea market and wear them in, even though my trial this weekend was pretty much a bust. Why didn’t I take the guy up on his offer to try a pair on in the back of his u-haul with the door closed? Images of Silence of the Lambs and the sound proof box on The Family, that’s why.

Given that everyone and their mother is now hot on the trail for a pair of these jeans, I decided to cast a wide net and also buy a couple pairs off The Nasty Gal in hopes one might be the magic pair.  Today I spent the entire day hitting refresh on my phone. If a tracking number could light on fire, I’m pretty sure the one I got would’ve been a pile of ash about three days ago.

This might be the thing that finally finishes me off.