Thursday, November 02, 2006

outward adornment: not my specialty

This morning, desperate NOT to wear my Oxford sweatshirt to school for yet another day, I sought in my closet my fairly-new angora sweater.

It is fairly new, and rarely worn.

The first time I tried wearing it was a sort of
Pigpen experience, only with a cloud of rabbit hair instead of dirt. I guess most of the hairs that wanted to fly off did that first day, as the sweater hasn't had quite the same problem since.

It's also a kind of too-big sweater, which I suppose isn't the most flattering thing around. But by the time I realized the extent of its too-bigness, a bunch of the hairs and the tags had already come off, so it was too late to do anything about it.

All that to say that when I did find it and put it on again, I was pleasantly surprised by its being all-around better than I had remembered. And I was happy.

Until about twenty minutes ago, when No. 2 and a Concordian classmate entered the house.

"Where did you get THAT?" asked No. 2.

"My sweater? It's a nice sweater!" I offered gently, and with great humility of spirit.

No. 2 only snickered.

I looked forlornly down to the ground, but on the way down the front cover of the magazine I was holding caught my eye.

"It looks like Karl Barth's!"

"Well, if that's what you're going for, congratulations," retorted the Concordian classmate.

At this moment I had one of those kinds of epiphanies of self-revelation that some people pay psychiatrists to discover:

It is what I was hoping for.

While other kids were singing "Won't You Be My Neighbor," I was learning how to spell c-a-r-d-i-g-a-n for my Christmas wish list.

When, watching "My Fair Lady," the other little girls wanted a princess dress like Eliza Dolittle, I dreamed of having a sweater like Henry Higgins (oh for one with pockets!).

When other junior highers were discovering boys and lipstick, I was teaching piano lessons and saving up to buy a long black Lands' End cardigan (with patch pockets!) marketed to the over-40 crowd (true story; I still have the cardigan).

Two of my favorite words in the clothing world are "pleats" and "tweed."

And now I know, thanks to the intervention of my sister and co., that somewhere deep down in my subconscious, I want to dress like Karl Barth.



No. 3 said...

I actually really like your sweater. Too bad I didn't tell you earlier or this post could have been about me.

Emily said...

You were destined for academia from the start.

Hmmm...I'd be interested in your perspective on sweater vests.

mle said...

I'm kind of afraid to give my perspective on sweater vests. :] But I will say that they go awfully well with pleats and tweed . . .

mle said...

Just to clarify - sweater vests that button down the front are NOT good. It's important to distinguish these from the nice ones with cables.