Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just How Clean Is Clean

My new friend Linda and I laugh and giggle at our blue jeans. They are clean. Wink wink. We acquiesce that clean is relative.

"I tell my friends I wear these three days before washing," Linda leans toward me and grins, then winks. I tell her "I can get a good two weeks out of mine!"

"Oh, but ..." she says. I'm missing the point. Clean takes on a new meaning here at the sandy, wet beach, where we're boondocking for a few months. Boondocking means access to laundry facilities is as limited as our access to power and fresh running water.

So, clean means nothing smells, nothing shows and nothing stands up by itself. Even if it takes more than two weeks to do so.

Our girlfriends back home might translate our new meaning of clean into "filth." They'd be offended by our clean. They comprehend the old meaning of clean only. It's the one accompanied by a washer and dryer downstairs and fresh water on command; hot water as desired.

Linda and I chuckle and nod conspiratorially and become fast friends. In our clean/dirty jeans. In this private club of understanding. We share the new meaning of clean. We are of the same school, buddies, partners. We're not offended by our clean. AND we protect our friends at home from knowing about it.

So why, then, when I dress to go shopping with her this morning do I feel compelled to pull on a old-meaning clean pair of jeans?

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