A Change of Attire

orange mohair sweaterSteph and I had Labor Day brunch at the neighbors, and we ate on the back porch dressed in shorts and sweatshirts. Josie mentioned the cool air always got her looking forward to breaking out the fall wardrobe.

I get a similar feeling  this time of year. I think it harkens back to the days of wearing my new back to school clothes for the first time. But it wasn’t always unbridled anticipation—there were fashion faux pas even then. The one featuring Eddie C. and the black and yellow jacket is probably the most tragic.

Back in fifth grade, Eddie C. was about the coolest cat there was. He was a small kid, with hair coiffed in the manner of David Cassidy. Part Portuguese, he looked tan year-round. He lived in a big house with columns, in a new development that his father built. His mom was tall and blond, and Eddie was always dressed in the latest thing.

One day he came to school in a black “Mac” jacket with a big wide yellow stripe around the middle. This was a very smart jacket, and I did not hesitate to express my admiration. That very day, I came home from school and my mom told me she had picked up a new coat for me. The elation at seeing the black jacket with the yellow stripe lying on my mom’s bed lasted exactly as long as it takes a fifth grade brain to figure the social consequences of showing up the next day with the same black and yellow coat you had been praising on your friend the day before.

This mohair sweater I picked up at a flea market many years ago, even though the orange is not great with my skin tone. It’s a bit Mr. Rogers (Can you say ‘sweater?’ Sure you can.) and I don’t wear it all that much, but I do like it. I wonder what Eddie C. would think.

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