Everyone has one. That article of clothing that you just love beyond all reason. Even after it gets torn and stained, and faded with bleach. After the fraying and holes and rips, it is still the first thing in the laundry and first thing you put on while it is still warm from the laundry.
Mine was a Polo sweatshirt, thick, grey, and yes, a bit of a mess. During Christmas, I pulled it on still warm and the cuff tore until it was quite literally, hanging by a thread or two. At one point, I asked a guest to shove up my sleeve (what was left of my sleeve) as the cuff was getting in my way. Ann asked why I didn't just trow it away. (Blasphemy!)
It became clear, however, after that last December washing, that the Polo sweatshirt would not survive. While my little blue pony was still galloping along, the fabric around him was disintegrating into oblivion. I folded up my favorite sweatshirt and longingly watched it as it lay on the table, lifeless. Ann called and abruptly asked it I had thrown it away. No!
Then, this week, I received a large box with a Happy New Year note. Inside were two, yes two, brand new grey Polo sweatshirts. I am wearing one now. It is soft, but not that soft. The cuffs are intact and gripping my wrists. The tag is scratching my neck. I am sure that after a few hundred washings, it will shape up.
Until then, goodbye old friend.