6 Aug 2012
My red and cream Remo stripey thing has been my constant companion for the past 16 years. I was wearing it when my first nephew was born. I wore it soon after my own baby was born, it was the first piece of clothing I wore at home after Benedict was born. I’ve worn it for all occasions, almost, for all of those years. I own a Remo stripey thing bought during the “Good Buy Sale” of 1996. I’d wanted one since 1988, but before 1996 I was too student poor to own one, as modestly priced as they were, if you price them per wear.
Now both elbows have worn through, just in the past week. First one, and then the other.
The tragic part is that during the past three years I bought two new blue and white versions, one regular size and then one larger size to accommodate my expanding pregnant self, but I don’t love them nearly as much. I’ve tried but they are just not the same. The wearing of the red and cream one was rationed, judicious during the first year of Benedict’s life, as I saw it ageing, it wearing thin. I did break out from my own strictures occasionally.
I tried to routinely wear the blue and white versions, to wear them to the same stretch, to the same amount of ‘lived in’ as the red and cream, but the blue two were never the same, no matter how much I wore them. They were never exactly the same size, length or weight as the original. They were great, but not the same, the weight and the length were not quite the same as the original ‘one size fits all’ version. The red felt like a second skin.
Now it is so worn, its seams are coming apart. Its elbows worn out by leaning, by resting on tables, while reading the paper, drinking coffee, cooking the dinner and much more besides. It was always my weekend garment of choice. It was my after work first choice. And now it is worn out. Soon, it will just fall the pieces out of the wash. I will pull it out of the machine and it will just rent, from the sheer exhaustion of being loved to collapse. I can’t get a new one. Remo General Store is now no more.
That’s it for my favourite piece of clothing of all time. It’s now to be retired in case it tears any more. I will keep it, carefully, stashed away, because sentimentally, I can’t part with it.