So there’s this cardigan.
It’s my sister’s.
It is black and long, and made of a cotton knit.
It comes to about mid-thigh.
And I guess I have some things to say about this cardigan.
First of all, I need it to be mine.
It’s like those cardigans in the movies, where the girl gets a call in the middle of the night about a fire in her office, or an emergency with her boyfriend’s stepdaughter, or maybe she receives a call that she needs to jailbreak her sister for the night (her sister is most likely in jail for impersonating a lab technician or perhaps for embezzlement) so she rushes to the scene! She throws on some pants or leggings and a shirt that she just finds on the floor, and for footwear probably some boots. And granted, with this woman, the shirt she finds on the floor is probably equivalent to my nicest shirt and not, say, a free t-shirt I got from a grad fair I wasn’t invited to that I also use to clean the sink on occasion. And the pants are probably real pants and not gym shorts with paint stains on the crotch. Not that that’s something I have, but you know, it is. And the gym shorts are necessary because jeans take forever to put on, plus I swear I gain weight in my sleep. But that’s another matter.
Okay, anyway, the point is, she grabs all this stuff manufactured to look unplanned but still nice. But it’s not complete yet. What? Oh no, it’s chilly outside, so she grabs the black cardigan from the closet that is long and perfect and suddenly there is effortless class. Like, oh whoops, I didn’t do anything, but suddenly everything is fantastic and I look fantastic and life is just fantastic and now she’s ready to face the angry neighbor who is holding her dog ransom because the dog kept peeing in his (the neighbor, Mr. Leg or something) mailbox. This is a magic cardigan. And best of all it swishes.
I usually call it the swish-swish cardigan. Because when she arrives at the auditorium at the local kid’s club she manages that had a bomb in it, it is cold. So you take both sides…
It’s perfect. I love to swish-swish. When I wear the cardigan, I rarely do anything but swish-swish. It’s just like in the movies. I look so classy. And that’s not an adjective I pretty much ever apply to…well, anything associated with myself. But let me tell you. The swish-swish makes everybody classy. I just sit there in church and swish-swish, and then I toss my hair at the jealous people around me. Natalie Portman would swish-swish this cardigan. Nicole Kidman would swish-swish. Also I have this feeling that Will Ferrell would swish-swish the exact cardigan I am wearing, and that he’d probably rock it too. See! This is what I’m talking about! Versatility.
Okay, but also here’s the thing: I’m talking about how it makes casual things classy, but it also predictably makes nice clothes nicer. One of my biggest problems with dressing up in the winter is what to wear over the nicey-nice clothes. I have an all-purpose XXXL hoodie that I took from a lost and found (and by that I obviously mean…well, I took it from a lost and found. You know what? Sue me) that has always smelled vaguely of toast and on special days mildew. This both confuses and upsets me.
Anyway, I have that hoodie and it has served me well, but…well, I’ve received feedback that it’s “gross” and “ugly” and been instructed to “stop wearing that”. My sister tells me these things. She thinks it will change my mind. She thinks it will help the world. No. No. What will happen is, I will not wear the toast hoodie with nice clothes (fine) and take the swish-swish cardigan with me. HA!! That’s not a win, Annie! I still wear the toast hoodie! And I will swish-swish my life away in bliss.
The execution of this plan is going to be difficult, though. I know my sister. She likes her clothes. She keeps track of them. And she knows I covet the cardigan. I tried hiding it when we lived together, and thinking maybe one day she’d be like, “Oh, have you seen that one cardigan?” and I’d say “what? Keep track of your stuuuuuuuff…” like she always says to me. But my efforts were fruitless. None of my plans panned out. The swish-swish cardigan is not in my life. And let me tell you, IT WOULD CHANGE MY LIFE. Just like the blue sweater did, that short time I had it…
The blue sweater appeared in my dorm my freshman year. Just appeared. This happens from time to time, but I don’t question it. Because then it might, you know. Not be mine anymore. And a lot of good stuff has appeared in my room over my life. However, It was the incident with the blue sweater that taught me to adopt the “don’t-tell-people-when-you-find-new-clothes-in-your-room-because-people-will-steal-your-happiness” policy.
Like I said, the sweater appeared in my room. It was near my bed, but I didn’t touch it for a day or two just in case it was my roommate’s, who I feared. Not that I had reason to fear her, but listen…I did. One day I casually picked it up and was like, “what? wha–is this your sweater?” She shook her head. Hmmm. Later, under cover of darkness, after the roommate had left to see her friends, I tried it on. I looked in the mirror and what I saw was magic mixed with rainbows and joy. It fit so perfectly. I’d never loved anything like I loved that sweater. I ran around Provo with my arms stretched out, wearing pure joy! I was on top of the world! The peak of happiness! Nothing could bring me down!
INTERJECTION: Just to clarify, I’m not actually obsessed with clothes in general, I just attach to certain things. Certain pieces of clothing, on occasion. It’s like in Twilight. I imprint. On inanimate objects. It’s a thing. I develop this weird obsession, and then all I can think about is how much I need that shirt, or stuffed animal, or piece of chicken, or bottle of water. This is a real thing that happens. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Anyway. Fast forward two weeks. I think it’s Thanksgiving. My sister and I are at my parent’s house. I’m excitedly telling her about the blue sweater made of love and rainbows, and I rush to show it to her. Then she was all, “That’s my sweater. Give it back.” I started to scream and back away from her, thinking I might be able to make a run for it. There was a struggle! She’s deceptively strong, especially when it comes to getting her clothes back that I’ve imprinted on. Blood was drawn. Limbs were broken! It’s possible that those last two things are not true, but it’s also possible that one of them is. Long, gruesome story made short, I lost. She won. The fat lady sang. That’s all she wrote. Whatever.
The glory days were over. I’ve been mourning ever since.
The point of this is that I can’t make that mistake again. It might be too late for the sweater (she does not let me near it anymore, though once she let me wear it on Christmas for 24 hours), but not for the cardigan. I will find a way, and when I get it, I will walk around and swish-swish, and maybe let some people try it on that are not fortunate enough to have such a cardigan. But you know what, we’ll just have to see how generous I am feeling. You know? We will just have to see.