Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reflections on a Polyester Shirt


There’s a shirt hanging in my closet. It wouldn’t be a big deal to you. I didn’t buy it at a fancy boutique in So-Ho. Nor does it come with a cool story like how I found it searching through vintage shops along the pacific northwest corridor while touring memorable Nirvana sites (that actually never happened.)

But the shirt?
It’s polyester.
It’s navy blue.
And it has small white polka-dots.
Most importantly, it was my grandmothers.

It hangs in my closet, waiting for its day in the sun. It doesn’t really fit. I’m much too busty from breastfeeding right now, and if I were to don the thing I think I might resemble Mrs. Whitney from Eastwood Elementary fame. (She was the queen of polyester shirts that pulled open at the buttons of her enormous old-lady bosoms.)

The thing is, out of everything in my closet… that shirt probably belongs there the most. Because my closet, once my grandma’s closet, was the original location of that shirt’s domicile.

I bet it has really cool stories.
Like how to make really good wheat bread, made from real wheat my grandpa ground.
Or the secret recipe for vegetable soup… which I’m pretty sure includes a disproportionate amount of real butter.

I bet it could tell me about my grandma’s thoughts on the depression… and why she hung on to glass jars, buttons and sheet music.

Or how to make a party with three people and two apples.
Or the rare arts of crocheting, sewing… I bet that shirt knows how to darn socks.

In the end, I don’t think the shirt was worn very recently by my Grandma. I think, like me, she was waiting for the day that she’d ‘fit’ into it again.

So I’ll wait too.

She passed away a year ago in February. . . we bought her house just a few month’s after. I bet her shirt is happy to be back in this home. I know I am.

6 comments:

WIKKY said...

Love this entire post! I always love when people reflect on their amazing grandparents. You know... don't you wish you could do half of the things they did??? I can't even sew on Josh's cub scout patches for heaven's sakes.

They are and will always be an example of how simple we could be living!

I can't wait to see you in that shirt! Post a pic.....

Cicely said...

That was beautiful.

spencerandkellie said...

This post was so sweet. I miss grandma. I'm glad you get to take care of her home for her. I bet it has the sweetest spirit. I can't wait to wrap my arms around her once again!

Meesh said...

That was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. Both my grandmothers passed away before I got to know them well and I am so jealous of those who knew and had relationships with theirs. That post will be one Holden will treasure! You are a witty writer, I love to read your stuff.

aimee heff said...

I loved these words.

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