Thursday, May 03, 2012

Farewell, Son Of Woobie ...


Once upon a time, I had a sweatshirt. From Eddie Bauer. But not a sweatshirt like we think of sweatshirts. It didn't have a banded bottom. It did have vents on the side. I'm sure some catalog writer had a more clever name for it, but it was like a sweatshirt. But better. Softer. Heavy.

It was like my woobie.

(Remember that scene, from "Mr. Mom"? When Michael Keaton talks his son into giving up his woobie? By the way, don't let the YouTube link confuse you. "Woobie" is the proper spelling, not "wooby." I checked.)

I loved that sweatshirt. It was sage green. It grew softer over time. It was the closest I ever came to wearing pajamas in the real world.

I washed it and dried it too many times to count. The cuffs began to fray. Holes began to form. I didn't care.

My mom cared, but I didn't care. I loved it.

But one day, I realized that I could no longer wear it out into the world. It was beyond ratty. I'm surprised Stacy and Clinton didn't cart me away.

I saved it for a time, thinking that someday I would cut a swatch from the body of it, which was still intact, and make a pillow. But eventually, I let it go.

I returned to Eddie Bauer to buy a replacement, but of course, they were no longer there. Lines change. People – people who are not me – move on.

But I found one that was similar. Similar in color, similar in cut. I bought him and brought him home.

He was stiffer, not as comfy. But I knew I'd grow to appreciate him over time.

One day, I noticed an odd splotch on him. And then another. I realized that where I had been pouring detergent on him, he'd been losing a bit of color. That was strange. I don't remember buying any detergent with bleach. But it kept happening. Eventually, he looked a bit like camouflage.

He was never the same as my first sweatshirt, but I loved him, too.

We were together for a long time.

Until today.

I did a load of laundry, and as I sat folding it, I looked at him and his forlornness, and I knew it was time to say goodbye. No longer could I justify turning the cuffs back multiple times to hide his wounds. Even though he had long ago been relegated to sleepwear.

Change is good. I need to move on. There will be other sweatshirts. They won't be the same, of course, but I'll learn to love them.

So, farewell, son of woobie. May you find your father, somewhere in the great beyond.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the favorite sweatshirt (or t-shirt). I feel your pain. I once had an old college one that was ultimately only held together by the rubbery iron-on logo. I think my family secretly disposed of it. :o(

10:55 AM  

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