Thursday, February 10, 2011
I ♥ my old sweater...
Regress with me to 1988...it's a cold, dreary day in February, by which time the relentless ice and snow of winter have turned everyone into a mental case. I am in the process of divorce, and custodial parent of sons, ages eight and four. Between doing the mother thing--balancing child-care and two horribly-paid college teaching jobs in two cities fifty miles apart--and burdened with a Greek chorus of doomsaying relatives and the ex-husband from hell, between talking interminably to lawyers and therapists and trying to reinvent my life, post-divorce, I am, shall we say, a bit tense?
Then, for reasons long forgotten, I find myself surprisingly alone in the car, near an outlet store in Needham, Massachusetts called De Celle, and all the fibers of my being tilt into shopping mode. An inner voice tells me to buy, to buy, to buy, though I have little money and no real need for anything to wear. As if in a dream, I enter De Celle's, my body automatically propelled through its glassy doors, past the handbags and hats, the umbrellas and dresses, to the section demarcated "Ladies Tops." A while later, I emerge with this sweater, which once (but no longer) had an inner label stating "hand-knitted in Great Britain."
I wear it every Valentine's Day. And also whenever I feel a strong need for protective magic.
The sweater has sustained some moth damage over the past twenty-three years. But it's been a stalwart friend, and I love it still.