Saying goodbye to summer is never hard for me. After all, the advent of fall weather means I can put away my capri pants, flip flops and [let’s be honest] my razor. And it means I can pull out my comfiest sweaters and favorite jeans. That, of course, can be good and bad.

The bad part of jeans weather reared its ugly head last week. No pun intended.

Though I had “buy new jeans” on my to-do list (along with “balance checkbook,” “trim nails” and “organize scrapbooking stuff”), I hadn’t gotten around to it. Instead, I was making do with two pairs of jeans (neither of which fit well), my weekly wardrobe was depending on a precarious schedule of washing, drying and repeated wearing.

I woke up on a Tuesday morning, grabbed the jeans draped over the foot of my bed and pulled them on. I’d worn them the day before as I ran errands, attended a meeting and laughed with friends over a Chinese dinner. So imagine my surprise when I smoothed my shirt down around my hips and discovered A HUGE HOLE IN THE BACK OF MY JEANS!

I wore those jeans. In public. All day long. And nobody said a word.

After chucking the ruined jeans in the trash and pulling my other pair out of the dryer, I posted about this mortifying discovery on Facebook. I said, “To preserve my dignity and my sanity, I’m assuming that this tear just occurred yesterday and NOBODY NOTICED. Whatever you do, please do not correct these assumptions!”

This, of course, led to a humorous discussion and many kind reassurances from friends who actually have no idea if I’ve been walking around with holey jeans for weeks (and one promise from a friend who did see me the day before but didn’t notice the giant rip between my pockets).

Later, I thought about how desperately I wanted to believe that nobody noticed that tear. And I thought about how I sometimes react the same way to mistakes I make or struggles I can’t seem to beat.

Surely they didn’t notice what I said . . .
Nobody noticed that I messed up again, right?
I’m just going to pretend like that didn’t happen!

Been there? Done that? I have. Many times. It’s as if, when I come face to face with a sin or struggle, I revert to childhood, stick my fingers in my ears and sing, “Lalala! I can’t hear you!” If I act like I don’t know about the problem, after all, maybe everyone else will play along.

But while I want my friends to reassure me that nobody noticed the rip in my jeans (or salad dressing on my shirt or huge zit on my chin), I don’t really want them to play along when I try to hide and ignore mistakes or struggles.

It’s why I’m thankful for friends who say things like, “Do you think you need to talk to someone about that?” or “Maybe you should try journaling about that . . .” or “I’m not sure that she meant it the way you heard it.”

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
~ Proverbs 27:17

Do you have friends like that? Are you a friend like that?


By: Mary, Giving Up on Perfect

Photo source

  • Kimberly

    I’m so glad you’ve given up on perfect because this post made me smile. Okay, I laughed;) Thank God for good friends who will erase all embarrassing moments from their memories when asked!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Erase them from their memories – or at least keep the laughing to a minimum! :)

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  • http://www, Kathy

    I gave up on perfect looooong ago….thank goodness too…life is so much less stressful.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      So true, Kathy! :)

  • kris scorza-sobieski

    mary…such a great way to highlight iron sharpening iron. and a truth about spiritual maturity…how you actually do want to know or hear the truth because on the other side is growth or freedom. love it. thank you for sharing such a personal moment we can relate to! –kris

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Yes, I’ve had some growing pains this year, learning how to truly want that kind of feedback. It is way easier said than done!

  • Sundi Jo

    I love having friends like that. I usually figured out they’ve noticed the zit, however, when they stop making eye contact while I’m talking and are staring right at it.

    Friends open up the Altoids box and ask if you want one.

    Best friends say, “Here, you need an altoid.”

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Hahaha! That is SO TRUE!

  • Kristin

    First of all, I totally had to throw away my favorite jeans this week because the small hole near the back pocket was getting bigger, and I didn’t want it to become some sort of embarrassing incident. I wanted to keep wearing them, but I knew that wasn’t the best idea. :)

    Secondly, I love this post. I’m thankful for these kind of friends and I strive to be this kind of friend. Some days are better than others, as with everything.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Smart idea, throwing away those jeans. I have to laugh because I have no idea how long the hole was forming in my jeans. I mean, surely the material was wearing thin for a while, right? And I didn’t notice?!

  • Kimberly Amici

    I had to smile when I saw this post. I too have only 2 pairs of jeans to where that are about to wear through any day now and I keep telling myself I have to go shopping.
    I have a friend who will always sharpens me like iron. I try to be a friend like that too but find that often there are people in my life that are not all that interested in being sharpened. I long for more friends that care enough to tell you like it is especially in light of the Word of God.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      You’ve made me think about whether or not I really try to be this kind of friend. I think, actually, that as hard as it is to receive accountability, it’s even harder to give it!

  • Diane Bailey

    Oh girl, you are singing my song!

  • Beth Cranford

    I feel the same way about not wanting my close friends to ignore my sins and struggles. Recently I asked for accountability in a specific situation and to my surprise, not one of the 4 friends I told about the issue ever asked about it again, it’s been many months.

    In my desire to share accountability, I made what I now see to be an error in judgement. I very gently pointed out a different perspective to something a friend was ranting about online. What I got in return was nothing short of an unrelenting attack.

    Now I’m wondering, how do we move into the kind of friendships where we will put forth the effort to “watch each others’ backs” and have the humility to listen to our friends when our behavior sets off warning signs in their heads?

    I know that accountability has been used as a weapon. I pray for it to be restored to its rightful place of being a powerful piece of armor in this very real spiritual war we’re fighting.

    • Barbara

      A description of my relationships to a tee here. I’m praying or the restoration too.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      What a prayer, Beth! We should all be longing for and striving for that kind of friendship, I think!

  • Lisa

    I want to be a friend like that! On a reassuring note for you…I guess no one was looking at your behind. ;)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Haha – you’re right. That IS a reassuring thought!

  • Phyllis Lipford

    Excellent piece … Wise counsel.

  • Miriam

    RIGHT ON!!!! ! I’ve learned so much from friends that spoke the truth!
    (…Like that an iv pole in my living room was kind of freaky!) I know that sounds weird…but sometimes life is just way too weird!
    It Isn’t easy-at all. But each time I think it helps peel away another layer of denial and pride. I don’t like pain, but I do want to “decrease” and find the joy that comes in His increasing!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Oh, you are so right. We have So Many of those layers, don’t we?!

  • Ashley Ditto

    Love this post, and just in time. I needed this today. God bless you!!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      So glad it was helpful for you, Ashley!

  • amanda

    I am so encouraged by this post. (I do hope I have honest friends to tell me the truth about my jeans! :) I am reminded of a day in 5th grade where on the walk to the playground A GUY told me that my skirt was tucked inside my pantyhose! Nightmare! He was really mature about it, thankfully.

    On the deeper, I identify with others that commented about wanting deeper/truer friendships with women who will make it a priority to sharpen/hold each other accountable. Many times I feel that women are too insecure about themselves to be honest about their struggles/shortcomings. I have my insecurities, but strive to not let them hold me back from seeking to be a more godly influence on my family and friends. I desire to no longer be “one that shrinks back”. Not to be a “weak willed woman” who is swayed by popular opinion.

    Maybe a forum should be created to find women from here and there who desire to be REAL!

    I’m going to blog about this issue and link your post, if that’s ok. :)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Oh my word, Amanda, I am dying to think of 5th grade you!!! But yes, it’s interesting how many of us desire an authentic, accountable friendship…while at the same time, most of us are afraid of those kind of friendships, too!

      (And it’s always okay to link to my posts. :) )

  • Doris Swift

    Love this post! Amen girlfriend…iron sharpens iron…I do have friends that will tell me about the spinach in my teeth; when my skirt is tucked into my underwear (lol); and when I need to turn emotional eating over to God :) I do strive to be that kind of friend to others as well. Having sisters in Christ to be accountable to can do wonders for our spiritual growth…going deep and staying rooted in the word of God…Praise Jesus :)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      So glad you have friends who tell you the truth and the Truth, Doris!!

  • Kristen Strong

    Ahh, Mary! You encourage and make me laugh at the same time. I adore you.

    I do have a few good friends who aren’t afraid to give me honest advice about those sticky things. They are invaluable!

    And if it makes you feel any better, I sat through my kids’ first parent/teacher conference at their current school with my zipper down. {Shudder} I still get hot in the face when I think about it!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Oh, Kristen. Oh my. I am just certain that nobody noticed your unzipped pants. Right? Nobody!

  • Barbara

    Oh how I long for more of those friends! I try to be one, in a not too intrusive way….but find more rejection than acceptance in it.
    Please, send me an email link to that forum when it gets created Amanda! Lol.
    I’m ok with the rejection in all honesty, if its something they can’t handle in me, I can’t take it personally. I tell myself that they are just not at that stage in life yet, and one day they will have an ah-ha moment and see where I was coming from in our relationship communications. I’m so beyond the “where I’d u get those jeans, or boots, or necklace, or hair colouring?” Stage….that’s the first two minutes of my time with you, the next hour+ is more on what God is putting on your heart.
    I’m praying for God to bless me with friends who get me….even just one more would do! Lol. It would give the one or two I have a little more relief from my boisterous and outgoing self. ;-). God knew what he was doing when he made me, so he also knows what I need! :-)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Barbara, that is so true – God DOES know what we need! And I’m with you. Small talk is so awkward and I’d much rather dive deep than talk about the weather or your jeans!

  • Claire

    I’m sure if anyone DID notice, they thought you were on the cutting edge of some new hot trend, and they wished they had enough confidence to wear a pair of jeans with a rip between the pockets. :)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Haha, you are too kind! But I like this theory!

  • Camilla Blue

    Thank you. Spoke to my heart.

  • Beth Williams

    I gave up/never tried for perfect! Martha Stewart doesn’t live with me!!! :)

    I long for true blue friends who would tell me the truth no matter what & I long to be that same kind of friend for them!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Love that. Thankfully, Martha Stewart doesn’t live with me either!

  • Nia

    Funny thing is I just found a couple holes in my jeans and I’m not sure how long they’ve been there either.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      They JUST happened. I’m sure of it.

  • Ibukun

    I’m not going to say much except that I hope you ROCKED those jeans while you had them on!Lol

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

      Awww, you’re sweet. I’m not sure that’s true, but I’ll take it!

  • Sarah

    Yeah, I do have friends like that. I don’t always agree that I should talk to someone, because only God and I can change me; other people can’t do it, but I definitely appreciate friends wanting to help and give me advice.