A few months ago, I went shopping (weird, I know) and found some really awesome deals at Ann Taylor Loft, a store that I can't really afford UNLESS I find things on the clearance racks, which I did. I bought this super cute mustard yellow cardigan (one of the "in" colors of the fall, so I'm told) to match the super cute yellow mustard Gianni Bini buckled flats that I found on clearance at Macy's. I feel like "the sweater" and I had a very special bond, right from the start and were destined to be together.
I bought the yellow shoes first with absolutely nothing to wear them with and with absolutely no need for them. I haven't read Suze Orman's book about women and money that my parents bought me years ago, but I'm assuming she would say buying a pair of shoes simply because you want them and think they are cute makes perfect sense. So after I bought the shoes, I went out on a mission to find the perfect yellow mustard shirt to go with them. The first store I entered was Ann Taylor Loft and as soon as I made my way back to the clearance rack, I saw "the sweater." It was the only one in the store and happened to be in my size (petite and all) and it was only $20! Obviously, it was love at first sight.
I wore the cardigan once to work soon after buying it and got a lot of compliments on it (and the shoes).One student told me, "Oh, Mrs. Robinson - that color is really "in" this fall." I responded with a simple thank you, as in, duh... I already knew that but what I was really thinking was, awesome! I had no idea because I'm terrible with fashion! As the compliments kept coming, the bond I felt with the sweater grew stronger.
And then it happened. I remember that fateful night like it was yesterday. I went to empty the dryer from the load of laundry Pat had put in there. As I was grabbing clothes out of the dryer, I saw "the sweater." My stomach sank. I knew based on the material, the way "the sweater" fit, etc. that this was for sure an item of clothing with "lay flat to dry" instructions. I immediately looked to see what setting the dryer was on... it was dried on HIGH. I grabbed the sweater and gave it a once over. I could tell that it was significantly smaller than the last time I had seen it. I checked the label to confirm my hunch that "the sweater" should have never been exposed to the extreme heat of a dryer on high.
Once I saw it in writing "lay flat to dry," I marched upstairs. All I could think about on my way up there was the many conversations Pat and I have had about how easily my clothes shrink and the extra caution that needs to take place before putting my shirts, especially sweaters, in the dryer. I was fuming mad and kept thinking to myself, I'm not asking him to do anything I wouldn't do for him. I DO take great care in the way I handle his laundry.
I'm not sure exactly what words were spoken or who started yelling first but many loud words were exchanged. I marched back downstairs to try on the sweater and prove to him that it wasn't "fine" as he kept insisting it was. When I put it on, the sleeves were SKIN, no circulation getting to your arms, TIGHT. He tried to lie to me and tell me that it didn't look "that bad," but we both knew the truth. I wanted to cry. "The sweater" was ruined and unless I lost 20 pounds and about 2 inches of flab on my arms, I would never be wearing it again. I sprayed it with wrinkle spray and tried to stretch out the sleeves as best I could, and then simply hung it back in my closet where I expected it to remain until I gained enough strength to get rid of it.
I know what you're thinking. At least my husband does laundry and helps me out around the house. And you are right, you're absolutely right. And looking back over the situation a month later, I feel the same way. AND, he's made a huge effort to put any and all of my shirts on the drying rack instead of the dryer and he has requested that I keep any "delicates" separate from the rest of the laundry so that he never has to read labels. I plan to try to implement this as well.
It is also with great pleasure that I announce to you the silver lining of this whole situation. After writing the blog last night, and bringing the painful wounds of "the sweater" incident back to the surface, I decided I was going to try and wear it to work today and it FITS! It seems that wetting the shirt and stretching the sleeves really worked (I can assure you - I did not lose 20 lbs. or 2 inches of flab on my arms).
Who doesn't love a happy ending?
On a side note, if you want to see what "the sweater" looks like, you can check it out here.