All of us, at one time or another, has had that perfect piece of clothing, or even an entire outfit. You know the ones. They not only feel comfortable, and fit perfectly, but they make you look fantastic! You could look like the Frankenstein monster on a bad hair day, and frighten innocent young children with impressionable minds; but put on the incredibly flattering attire, and you immediately have paparazzi reaching for their cameras, after mistaking you for a famous Hollywood movie star. Many of us, will futilely search our entire lifetimes for the perfect set of clothing, only to come up empty. Others, will by some miracle, acquire the magical combination of comfort, and beauty, but lose it along the way, and be left with only a wonderful memory.
A few years back, my wife had found a stunning outfit, at a small women’s clothing store, on the main avenue of a quiet, out-of-the-way village. The simple, yet magnificent ensemble, consisted of a silk blouse with an exquisite lavender floral pattern, a solid-colored, light gray knee-length skirt, and a matching jacket with padding to give the illusion of much broader shoulders. The outfit, was not only soft, and comfortable, but accentuated her classic beauty, appeared to take ten pounds off her already slim shape, and provided for a tiny waist, along with slightly wider hips, and a posterior which put Kim Kardashian’s to shame. I swear, it even made her look taller. I think I loved that outfit more than she did. When she wore it to work, I would often wait at the front door when she got home. I would then ask about her day, as I followed her around the house like a wide-eyed, tail-wagging puppy, begging for treats.
As with everything in life; good things never last forever. I guess I should tell you that on a warm spring afternoon, I was cleaning out my garage. In my haste to finish, I had left a rather sharp item protruding from a nearby storage shelf. To make a long story short; my wife arrived home, my favorite outfit caught on the aforementioned object, and suffered swift and irreparable damage. I did hold a simple, candle-lit ceremony, before disposing of the items. I’m not ashamed to say that more than a few, wet, salty tears were shed, as I gently laid the neatly folded clothes in the trash can.
Women aren’t the only ones who hold onto extremely comfortable clothing. Men also do it. The only difference is, ours are – ugly looking! Not only are they hideous to people with 20-20 vision, but they are usually tattered, faded, threadbare, mismatched, and often outdated. We still love them and keep them, even after decades of hard use, and thousands of trips through the washing machine. I still have a fantastic, lime green leisure suit hanging in the back of my closet. I can even now, close my eyes and think about the good times we shared on the dance floor, under flashing disco balls, as we comfortably and stylishly moved to the incredible vocals of the incomparable Bee Gees. I’d still be wearing my old suit, if I could just get that darn zipper pulled up, and sew the split backside, from the time I tried it on five years, and twenty pounds ago.
Do you know that spouses like to give their husbands comfortable clothing to charity? It’s sad, but true. If you don’t believe me; go to any Goodwill thrift shop, and witness all the people fighting over the racks filled with men’s used clothing. Most of them are guys trying to buy back that favorite ugly sweater, bright blue Hawaiian shirt, old corduroy pants, four waist sizes too big, or those soft and comfy orange sweat pants they lovingly wore for over twenty years. Have any of you men, seen a homeless guy wearing some of your old comfortable clothes? Did you try to buy them back? Did he say, “Sorry, I wouldn’t give them to you for a thousand bucks? I may be hungry, haven’t a place to live, and probably don’t have an ounce of fashion sense; but these clothes are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn in my life.” You may have also noticed that special, comfortable, well-fitting clothing are always the first to get torn, ripped along the seam, shrunk in the dryer, get inadvertently bleached, or are drug away and chewed up by the family dog. Personally, I think it’s some kind of cosmic curse or something.
I’m not kidding. Pull a loose thread on a stiff, starched, tight-fitting shirt that makes you look like a dressed up monkey, and see what happens. You’re right – nothing. Pull a tiny thread on that amazing cardigan you’ve had since your college days, and the entire sleeve unravels and falls to the floor. I was leaving work the other day, looked down, and noticed my favorite polo shirt, which makes my stomach look much smaller than it really is, had a big black ink spot on the pocket. I’ll bet, I could put on an ugly, scratchy pink shirt, and a pair of clown pants, and then fall off the side of cliff, roll a hundred yards over razor-sharp rocks, land in a ravine full of barbed wire, and the clothes would look like they were brand new. On the other hand, I could sneeze, and those magnificent velvet lounging pants I’ve had since the 80’s, would disintegrate into dust.
Have any of you had your comfortable clothes, mysteriously disappear? No, I’m not talking about when your spouse, partner, or significant other, accidentally pours gasoline on them while filling the lawnmower, and then inadvertently drops a match on them, while lighting a scented candle. After an hours-long, and very intense search, did you finally find them? Where they in the trash can, in a sealed box in a corner of the basement, or behind the clothes dryer? How did you feel, when you held them close, inhaled their familiar scent, and then quickly dressed in them before hitting the recliner for some television? Was it like having a cherished pet get lost, putting flyers up around the neighborhood, and then coming home to find a tired, hungry and bedraggled, but safe, furry companion, waiting at your front door?
I think I better move on to my next simple observation. I’ve been a little depressed lately. Over the past few days, I’ve lead an extensive, but futile search for my favorite flannel shirt. I received it years ago as a Christmas present, and this past December, we celebrated our sixteenth year together. Flannel shirts like it, just don’t come along every day. Besides being an exquisite and colorful pattern of red and blue, it was made of the finest material. I’m not sure, but it might have been meticulously crafted by skilled artisans, high in the Andes Mountains, out of the underbelly fur of majestic llamas. I also, have some fond memories of my wife and I, being a little frisky, and me putting on my flannel attire, along with a pair of sturdy work boots. We would then play a married couples game, we affectionately called, “The lumberjack, and the lost hiker.” I know my flannel shirt was faded, getting tight around my middle, and had small tears beneath each underarm, but it was sooo…… comfortable. It even made it easier to apply deodorant if I was in a hurry. Excuse me. I have to go now. I think I smell something burning in the back yard.