A few years ago I went through a box in the attic kneewall marked “Memories — Dona” and found a number of items, many of which will be making an appearance on this blog. Lucky you. Somehow one of the items was given to Clare (instead of the rubbish heap or Goodwill). I’d pretty much forgotten about this item until we moved her belongings from Bronxville to Bethesda. She had it in a pile of clothes she was leaving there (which included her first “formal” and a cape my mom made for her back when Clare was into capes.) Of course I challenged her on the formal and cape and she admitted to not realizing they were in that pile (college kids these days!). She didn’t make the same claim on the item in question. As for me, if I had not come across the item, I would not have missed it. But, alas, I did. And now you get to hear all about it.
First, a bit of history of this item. As you may or may not know, I’m a bit of an Anglophile and was chastely engaged to a young man from England for a number of years in my late teens and early twenties. During one of those years my family and I visited my grandparents in Chetek. My other grandmother was along for the trip and one day we were shopping in downtown Chetek and I found a t-shirt I had to have. I don’t remember the price, but I didn’t’ have enough money and my mother would not give me the extra cash so I could own the t-shirt. When my mother walked away, my grandmother (not the one who lived in Chetek) asked me how much money I needed. I told her and she gave me the amount so I could buy the shirt. I didn’t hesitate, and possibly didn’t even thank her (kids those days!), and took the money and bought the shirt. I was elated. Until mom found out that my grandmother gave me the money. It kind of spoiled the moment.
However, I wore the shirt with pride — a few times. But I kept it. It traveled with me to Pittsburgh and Virginia and finally Maryland where it stayed until it then traveled with my daughter to New York and then (barely) back to Maryland. Here it will stay until at some point my kids have to go through my stuff after I die and wonder why I kept such a thing. (I suppose I could put it in my will that it must be kept or they lose their inheritance.)
I know you are waiting to see this item. You’ll wish you had one too. I know it.