A few years back, I was at the grocery store. I kept passing a woman who seemed to recognize me. Finally, she stopped me and asked if I was so-and-so because I looked familiar.
“Yes, I am he!” I responded, and I realized I knew who she was, too, which she verified. Time hadn’t been good to either of us, and thanks to illnesses, we both looked like older versions of ourselves who’d been through recent hell, an apt description of our circumstances then. (I assure you, we now look like 20-year-old versions of ourselves, we are so well-preserved! Yeah.)
My newly rediscovered friend said, “I thought it was you because I recognized the scarf. You always wore that scarf.”
Guilty as charged!
The scarf has history going back to October of my freshman year at the University of Nebraska. I bought it in 1966, making it nearly 48 years old! It amazes me to realize this.
Yeah, it’s getting a little more frayed on the edge. You can see that in the picture above, or more easily in the one below:
It was expensive when I bought it, but you pay for quality. Or, at least, if you pay a steep price, you expect quality, and this scarf passes the quality test of time.
The first time I realized it might be a bit historic was when I sat wearing it at a conference table in a cold room. I looked around the table, and saw only one person older than the scarf. Most of the eight people in the meeting – 75%, specifically – were at least five years younger than this knit scarf warming my neck! (No one knew what made me laugh…!)
Wives and girlfriends know men tend not to get rid of clothing when it starts to get ratty, but usually have to be egged on by the women in their lives to dump such items…or else! “Or else”, of course, is a midnight raid on the guy’s closet to find, capture, then toss the offending rag where the guy can’t find it to retrieve it…
“Ha! Ha!” says moi: I have no women in my life just now to make that decision for me, so the scarf stays around my neck till I no longer can hide the frayed edge that makes me look a bit like a homeless person. Why not? Hey, it’s good still for a few more years!
Post script: Back when I was just out of the US Army, Mom made a quilt out of ratty jeans I’d just broken in to that “just so” state guys prize. This is a variation on the theme but kinder because I may not have the ratty jeans, but I do have that jeans quilt that Mom made. She didn’t ask me if she could do this, of course. She just did it!