We’ve gradually been purging the clothes from my closet. I have a tendency to never throw away (or give away) any garment, especially those I love. If a shirt becomes a favorite, I keep it for years, no matter how tattered it becomes.
One of my favorite pieces of clothing is a tattered old blue FILA hooded sweatshirt. It’s cottony soft, has a zip-up front, has an ample hood with drawstrings, and feels comfy on a chilly autumn day. But the thing is a rag. The cuffs are frayed and falling apart. The hood is tearing away from the body of the sweatshirt. Kris is embarrassed for me to wear it in public.
I’ve spent the past year trying to find a replacement, but I’ve never found anything suitable. No sweatshirt possesses the same qualities. Some have hoods, some are made of cotton, some feel comfy, but none combine all of these things in one. I check Costco every time I’m there, but no luck. (Costco’s where I bought the sweatshirt originally.)
Last night, Tiffany came over for dinner. Every time she comes over, she returns things she’s borrowed, or offers things she no longer wants. Last night was no different. But at the end of the list, she held out a piece of black clothing. “Do you want this?” she asked.
“What is it?” I said, and I unfolded it. It was a hooded sweatshirt. A FILA hooded sweatshirt with a zip-up front. “Huh?” I said, like a character from a Japanese cartoon. I ran upstairs to fetch my precious blue hooded sweatshirt, which Kris and just that morning put in the “throw away forever” pile.
I compared the two sweatshirts. They were both from FILA. They were both the same size. They both had the exact same tags. They were the same sweatshirt, but the old one was blue and the new one was black.
“Where’d you get this?” I asked Tiffany.
“Costco,” she said. “A few years ago, we were driving back from [some place in California], and I was cold, so we stopped at Costco. This was the only thing I could find.”
“It’s the exact same as my old sweatshirt, except that it’s black,” I said. “Thank you.”
“Yes, thank you,” Kris said. “Now maybe we can throw that old one away.”
Tiffany, as always, just laughed at us. I think that for her, visiting the Roth-Gates household is like visiting a foreign country, where the people are just a little strange. But the people in this country are happy now, though. They have a precious new sweatshirt.