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  • The Sweater

    December 12, 2008

    The following post was originally published November 2007.

    * * * * *

    I have a love-hate relationship. With sweaters.

    They catch my eye in the store. They are so pretty. They call to me, “Pssst! Hey you! Over here! Touch me! You know you want to – I’m soft, you’ll like it. Trust me.”

    Never trust a sweater, trust ME on this.

    And like a sailor who can’t resist the call of the Sirens, I am unable to resist the call of the sweaters.

    So I sidle over to the rack and pull out just the sleeve of one lovely limey green cashmere and yes, I confess, I pet it, right there in TJMaxx. And then I rub it lightly on my cheek. I pull it from the rack and free it from the acrylic and cable knits and the lesser sweaters. I hold it up. To my heart. I sniff it! I embrace it! And yes! Yes! Yes! It is soft. It is beautiful. And then I imagine for a moment that I too will be soft and beautiful wearing it.

    I waltz The Sweater to the register, stopping to dip only once. Then I hand over my credit card signifying my promise to love The Sweater forever. I place the new limey green love of my life right next to me on the car seat, patting and stroking it as I drive it home where we will begin our life together. Joy abounds.

    When I get The Sweater home, I put it on. I look in the mirror. I am soft and not altogether hideous beautiful in The Sweater. We are a lovely couple, The Sweater and I. Even Antique Daddy thinks so. He cannot resist The Sweater either. He wants to pet it too. But then again, he likes to pet the coffee stained t-shirt I wear. Yet, still. It is my new sweater and I am in love.

    The next day, things begin to sour between The Sweater and me.  The Sweater is high maintenance.  The Sweater is needy. The Sweater wants to be washed. By hand. With special soap. Or better yet, The Sweater wants to be taken to the dry cleaners, which we all know is just a spa for sweaters. If anyone is going to the spa, it’s me and not The Sweater.

    I sigh loudly and then I run a warm bubble bath for The Sweater.

    The Sweater can’t go in the dryer like the other laundry. Oh no, The Sweater wants to be laid out flat to dry, on a special little hammock, not for just one, but two days. The Sweater needs to reshape in a quiet place. The Sweater must not be disturbed. Shhh! Be quiet! Do not talk to The Sweater – it is lying flat and reshaping and can not be bothered.

    After The Sweater has fully recovered from its singular wearing experience, I must now find The Sweater a suitable abode. The Sweater cannot just move in with the t-shirts! No, The Sweater has to have its own place, preferably something with cedar.

    And that’s when I have had enough of The Sweater. The Sweater no longer controls me.

    I slam dunk The Sweater into a plastic bin, along with Sweaters past, and then I shove the lid down tight so I can’t hear their screams.  I turn and walk away. I no longer care about the needs of The Sweater. I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling for The Sweater, for all sweaters.  I promise myself that I won’t be fooled by a sweater again.

    I still have feelings for Hanes.


    1. Jeana says:

      I remember this one! It’s still funny, and still true. The sweater is still crazy after all these years.

      December 12th, 2008 at 7:42 am

    2. JanMary, N Ireland says:

      “If anyone is going to the spa, it’s me and not The Sweater.” LOL!!!

      The only sweaters I love are the cute Santa and Snowmen Christmas sweaters my 4 year old wears.

      December 12th, 2008 at 8:19 am

    3. Wendy says:

      I, too, prefer to have low maintenance relationships with my clothing. Glad you’re back!

      December 12th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    4. Mary says:

      Too cute!

      December 12th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    5. Natalie says:

      that was amazingly clever. well done.

      December 12th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    6. To Walk on Fertile Ground says:

      If you could see the tear rolling down my face…you’d bring out a sweater just so I can wipe my face of the teary laughter!!
      Merry Christmas!

      December 12th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    7. Stretch Mark Mama says:

      And then the sweater starts to send little fluffies up to tickle your face. And then the sleeves dangle in the dishwater. And get covered in flour. And grease. And then there are those days where the sweater just doesn’t fit right. Too tight. Too baggy. Too bunchy.

      There are reasons why I wear a plain cotton shirt covered by a fleece jacket EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE.

      December 12th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    8. Sam says:

      hey – you’re back!!!! I know exactly what you mean about special sweaters! Fortunately I don’t have any of those!! I am a rough and ready girl!!

      December 12th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    9. Krista says:

      And then there was The Sweater that my brother (who never gets me good gifts) got my for Christmas from Old Navy. It was tan wool and I loved it. And then I washed it and it shrunk. And so I had to go buy a new one so he wouldn’t know that I shrunk his sweater after wearing it only once!
      And now years later I still have it, but I wear it usually once a winter and then it languishes in the bottom of my laundry basket waiting for the special hand wash, which usually comes in the spring after it’s too warm to be worn again!

      December 12th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    10. WeaselMomma says:

      It is so nice to know that I am not the only nutcase around here.

      December 13th, 2008 at 8:13 am

    11. Joni says:

      Sweaters are traitors when you get them home they become HOT (temperature hot) to wear! You like to die in them even in cold Illinois. They are also clingy. Clingy is another story. However, I have owned that perfect comfy sweater twice maybe 3 times in my lifetime. I do miss them. I still don’t share the sweater love though.

      December 13th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    12. bee says:

      A classic!

      December 13th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    13. Lucy says:

      I love sweaters. I still wear them. They probably do not look good on me anymore but who am I trying to impress. I always wanted a cashmere. And not a knock-off please. A real from an animal that make cashmere itself, cashmere sweater. I never have. The price always scared me. Maybe the next life. Do they have cashmere sweaters up there?

      December 13th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    14. Amiee says:

      Oh I just LOVE sweaters! But…they must be ones that can washed, in the washing machine, and then I line dry them. No handwashing or spa-like treatments =P

      December 13th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    15. Lysa TerKeurst says:

      so true!

      And then there’s that whole thing with the nubbies that form on the sweater!

      I’ve gonna shave something in the winter, I want it to be my legs- not my sweaters!

      The end.

      December 13th, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    16. Jeanne A says:

      While we were without power I was loving the new long underwear that my sister sent for my b-day that had arrived earlier this week. Wonderful timing—!! Best long underwear I ever had. Gotta get more! Works great with or without sweaters.

      December 13th, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    17. Sue says:

      Only worse than hand-wash (let’s try the delicate cycle on that tho,) is the dry-clean that increases the cost every time the item is worn. At $7 for each cleaning of dry-clean-only slacks, we have resorted to pressing them inside-out with a pressing cloth. That is not recommended, except when my son wants to wear those pants and there’s no time for dry-cleaning. We no longer have a dry cleaner’s in town, so figuring out about a wk ahead that those pants will be needed is necessary. Do college-age boys– or any of us– think that far ahead? Give me wash and wear clothes– and oh, for the wash-and-wear hair some have been blessed with. At least I have hair, so I am blessed, too!

      December 13th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    18. HarryJacksMom says:

      HA, I feel your pain. My love of sweaters began when I saw MS’s amazing sweater armoire in Kramer vs. Kramer….of course I cried at the park scene, but I was forever changed by that glimpse of her armoire – it’s a sickness, and I’m glad to have someone who understands. I hope you found a lovely Christmas Sweater this year…hehehe

      December 14th, 2008 at 9:11 am

    19. Dianne says:

      ROTFL!!! Leave it to you, AM, to weave such a creatively told ode of a sweater. Love it! 😀

      December 16th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    20. Alpaca Farmgirl says:

      My sweaters don’t get away with being such divas. lol. But I live in Alabama. So I am so excited to even be able to wear one that I’d put up with the high maintenance of a sweater.

      December 17th, 2008 at 12:12 am

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