Tuesday, October 28, 2008
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
My brother arrived at Mater's house last evening, newly shorn, a gleam in his eye, a question on his lips.
"Guess what I'm wearing under my jacket?" Hardly had he stepped inside the door before he posed the riddle for which Mater could not possibly provide an answer.
My brother heaved up his hefty jacket and Mater saw that he was wearing a sweater of wool. She recognised the garment as being one his grandmother had bought for him when he was a boy of ten.
Its colour had not faded; not a single thread was pulled out of place. My brother, whose height topped six feet a long time ago, wore the sweater with ease as he had done infrequently for the past twenty one years. It had grown, somehow, along with him, stretching when it needed to and retaining its most essential qualities.
Setting aside the astonishing fact of longevity, it is notable that my brother kept possession of the sweater for more than two decades: he never felt the need to dispose of the item based on age or length of use or its slipping out of fashion.
In an era where everything seems transient and disposable, it is increasingly difficult to put practicality before vanity; and so I commend my sibling for clinging to a perfectly fine woolen sweater when a fickle society would suggest he do otherwise.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 4:39 PM