Once, briefly, I possessed the perfect cardigan. Two deep pockets, soft thin fabric perfect for layering, in a deep and soothing blue. The cardigan fell perfectly about the body and made every outfit I had work. The cardigan cost $7.99 at Forever 21, but was definitely the most valuable part of my wardrobe. I was engaged to be married, it was spring, the world was new, and my cardigan was perfect. The world was beautiful.
Sadly, my time with the perfect cardigan was brief.
I don’t know if you have sisters, or if any of them steal your clothes, but I doubt that any sisters out there hold a candle to my sister Mary when it comes to blatant sartorial thievery.
Oh, Mary. She looks sweet and speaks softly. She wears flowers in her hair and cares for small children and bakes pies and cookies for the whole world- but when it comes to her sister’s clothing, that girl is entirely cold blooded. When I am visiting, Mary will upend and sort through all my clothing, deriding and ridiculing the pieces she does not approve of, and making mental notes on the ones she is interested in. Shortly before I leave she will creep in and liberate those pieces, stealing them so smoothly that I am 500 miles away before I notice. She has no shame, and a total belief that any item of clothing that belongs to her sisters should belong to her if she wants it, AND she is infuriated if you borrow any of her clothing without telling her. But the perfect cardigan brought Mary’s unfortunate clothing habits to a new level.
First, she stole it. Then she took it with her on a missionary trip to Vladivostok, Russia. THEN SHE DONATED IT TO ORPHANS. Might I add at this point that though the cardigan was perfect for me (and apparently for Mary as well) it was cheap and thin and not warm at all. NOT the perfect item of clothing for a Russian orphan in the winter, at ALL. The final touch, adding insult to injury, is that every time this topic comes up Mary sniffs and says sweetly that she can’t imagine why I am SO selfish and materialistic and unwilling to help the poor.
I have been searching for a new perfect cardigan ever since. It has been a long, futile hunt and I now possess a ripped blue cardigan sweater, a short sleeved long green cardigan, a fuzzy black hideous but extremely useful cardigan, and a red australian wool cardigan that I meant to take home to Wisconsin this winter so Mary could steal it because it is pretty and well made but has no pockets. However, all my searching has been in vain. Nothing could replace that blue cardigan.
Until, last weekend, I went looking for an air mattress at Target and took a slight detour to the clothing section of the store.
It turns out my new perfect cardigan isn’t blue after all. It’s somewhere between citrine and chartreuse.
And since I’m not planning to see Mary for several months, maybe I can keep it for awhile.