Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I form attachments to useless items--worn, sad items that have absolutely no market value. But I'm not a hoarder, I swear, so it's an interesting contradiction. I still have my feather pillow from childhood, one that I can frankly pick out by smell alone because it's a really old feather pillow that you can't wash, but I still use it every day. In other words, it has an interesting fragrance. Other things I've actually parted with, either throwing away or giving away. Some of which I've regretted disposing of, and others weren't even mine in the first place.


I just read a fun book that was a collection of short excerpts with a picture of a piece of clothing and then the reason why that piece of clothing is so special to its owner. The sentimental part of me loves this kind of book that shows how people can be attached by memories to a piece of clothing.


So I wanted to do something like that. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures because I don't own them anymore…or never owned them.


Purple velcro sneakers - As a little kid (circa ages 6-7), I loved these sneakers. It was probably just because they were velcro and a cool shade of purple. I wore them with everything. I kept insisting I fit into them even after it was logistically impossible for my feet to fit into them. I literally cried when my mom threw them away. I think those shoes were my first love.


My first boyfriend's brown leather jacket - He always wore that leather jacket unless it was 90 degrees or warmer. I loved everything about it. It had an identifiable smell. My boyfriend smoked, but tried to hide it under waves of cologne, so it had a vaguely smoky, cologne-y, sweaty, intoxicating smell. I think my boyfriend loved all its storage space because he had just about everything in it, and consequently it had the weight of one of those lead coats they put on you at the dentist office to protect you from the X-rays. I always wondered what he carried around in that jacket, so I'd just watch--captivated--when he searched it. If I ever observed him rooting through his pockets for something, I'd see stray pieces of paper, a tiny memo book, pens, a utility knife, chapstick, things that he seemed much too old to be carrying (rocks he liked), and things he seemed too young to be carrying. His jacket was a study of him, complicated, jumbled, so close to me yet so out of reach. The collar of the jacket was slightly darker from his skin and body oils. It was so inextricably linked to him in my mind, and I wished I had it as a reminder of him.


His jacket also reminds me of kissing. We kissed so much while he was wearing that jacket. He liked to kiss, and it didn't matter where we were. We were on the bus for over an hour a day, we waited for the bus for a chunk of time, we had lunch together. We were one of those obnoxious PDA couples that spent over half their time in public kissing. It's still this odd automatic response that if I see a guy in a brown leather jacket, I feel an urge to kiss him, which could be a rather odd scene if I ever let myself go on automatic pilot.


Navy hoodie - I still own this hoodie, so I could supply a picture. I bought this in the late 90s toward the end of college after my five-year flannel shirt phase died down. The advantage of the flannel phase was that it covered my chest. Once I gave up the flannels, I was left with small shirts, relatively speaking, and I felt uncomfortable. So I went to Target, back when Target had the Honors brand, and bought this hoodie. I usually run hot, which meant I tried to get the thinnest hoodie because the purpose was to mainly disguise myself. I wore it…a lot…and now it's seriously stretched out from almost 20 years of wear. It's so stretched out that I have to zip it up most of the way; otherwise, it just falls off my shoulders. It's seen me through college classes, dating a few guys, it was what I'd wear after getting home from my first job, I wore it hiking, I wore it during my pregnancy (let's be honest, that's probably what stretched it out). It symbolizes the everyday-ness of life. I wasn't wearing it when anything "special" happened to me--after all, it's simply a hoodie and not appropriate for special occasions. Even so, it's experienced so much of my everyday life that I feel so very attached to it.




jojo cucina cucina said...

I love the vivid description of your boyfriend's leather jacket! Also I have a forest green hoodie that I know I have had since 1997 because that is when I started flyfishing and I wore it under my waders. I still have that hoodie and like yours , it is thinner fabric which is best. I still wear it to our little trips to the ocean where fashion doesn't count and it's a good color I wear well.

I do like getting rid of old clothes mostly though. Each season I dump stuff from my closet if I haven't worn it in two years. I always feel lighter , almost physically lighter. And only once have I wished I saved something I gave to Goodwill: a pair of olive green Jag cropped jeans that i liked wearing in summer. ( I thought the cropped pants made my short legs look shorter but now I am wearing them all this season and have two pairs.

B said...

You do like green. ;)

Like you I'm a purger. I still occasionally wear clothes from high school and college, but it's mainly because they still fit.