As of this year I am officially the keeper of my family's oldest, coziest, best-loved clothes. They call to each other, I think, and once I accumulated a few of them the rest started to come to me unbidden. The first one that I remember is borrowing my mother's circa-1970 polyester star-and-stripes shirt for a costume for an elementary-school musical. I never gave it back because she never asked for it, which I now find is because she'd forgotten who had it. The same thing happened with my dad's sky-blue hoodie, circa 1980. I found it in the closet of my old room on one visit home, and was totally unsecretive about wearing it to the airport on my way out of town. To judge by my dad's expression when I mentioned still having it, this was recalled by nobody but me.
These twin revelations were occasioned on this visit by my mother suddenly bequeathing to me her brother's parochial-school uniform sweater. It was somewhat unexpected -- I appeared in the living room rocking the same disheveled-schoolboy collar-and-sweater combo I'm always rocking, and mom disappeared into her room and emerged with the softest, comfiest, most delightfully v-necked late 1970s heather-blue sweater to give to me. (Sidenote: I just looked up Chaminade College Preparatory, the school of the sweater's origin, and found that (a) I'm thrilled to have not gone there and (b) they no longer permit sweaters on campus at all, which is interesting. How is it a Catholic school at all if it doesn't have girls in tight sweaters and little ties and short short skirts that give the nuns fainting spells? Can they even have nuns if there are no sweaters? What self-respecting nun would teach a bunch of kids in polos and sweatshirts?)
I'm going to make a point of keeping my cozy treasures all together in my closet to maximize their accretional potential. The sweater and the hoodie and the polyester shirt will hang out in a special corner with my grandmother's Chinese dress from World War II and my sister's cartoon-animal shirt from 1983, and once they've gotten to know each other I will start introducing my thrift-store treasures from other people's closet corners. The paper-thin t-shirts, the soft holey sweaters, the flowing flowery picnic dress, their voices will all join together to call the world's comfy idiosyncratic things to me. If you own anything old and interesting and don't intend to give it to me, you may want to consider closet door locks at this point. I don't think DuPont invented MysteriousAccretionalEnergyGard for fabrics until at least 1985.Posted by dianna at December 27, 2007 10:01 AM