My birthday’s coming up, and I bought myself a dreamy present. I’ve been doing this every year for a long time. But I’m not the only one who does this… am I?
It arrived today, and when I put it on I realized two things: First it fit and looked better than I’d hoped. And second it fulfilled a long ago desire. I hadn’t thought about this year’s gift until I saw this cream-colored, v-neck, cable-knit sweater with crimson and navy trim by Lauren Ralph Lauren.
I didn’t see it coming, but it’s a 50-year flashback. That’s right, 1968. My junior year in high school when all I wanted for my birthday was “The Sweater” all the cool girls were wearing. A British “cricket sweater.” Remember those? I dropped hints for weeks and even showed it to my sisters. That year on my birthday I was thrilled when the cake and gifts were brought out, and I spied a box from Charlotte Shop, the nicest women’s clothing store in town.
At school everyone else wore their sweaters with pleated, preppy skirts and loafers, but I pictured how cool it was going to look with my big bell-bottoms and clogs. Maybe some beads and red-ball earrings. I was so excited as I tore open the wrapping… and so disappointed when I saw a banana, shawl-collared, cable-knit cardigan with brown wood buttons. But you probably saw that coming, didn’t you?
I hated that sweater. I was stunned. How could my parents know so little about me? Had no one picked up any of the million hints I’d dropped? And to top it off, my Dad was upset that I was upset…
My 17th birthday may have been the inception for what grew into my joyous, yearly tradition of buying myself “the gift I really want” for my birthday.
Maybe I was subconsciously following advice I’d learned at a personal growth seminar years ago. People were discussing life’s disappointments, and the literal and figurative pony we never got, when the facilitator told everyone it was time to “let it go and buy our own pony.” One woman actually bought herself the horse she’d always wanted! There were also a few guys who bought themselves a sports car.
Now here I am, all of these years later, with the perfect sweater!