Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hoodie Therapy

My ex-boyfriend bought me this hoodie.

No, I take it back. My friend Jimmy bought me this hoodie. He wanted to date me, and I wanted to date him, but I wouldn't let it happen. 1% of me always resisted, and I always accepted it. 

He bought it for me when we first met. I was in high school and going through a break up from Adam. He took me to a Tenacious D/Weezer concert and he didn't know it, but he bought me a $42 dollar hoodie that made me think of Adam. I wore the sweatshirt every moment I could, so I could think of Adam.

I was in college before I wore it and thought of Jimmy. I wore it on almost every lazy day and thought of him.

Years later, I'd see Addie wearing the same sweatshirt. I'd try to start conversation with him over it, and he'd shoot me down. More years later, I'd emerge from the bathroom in the basement apartment we shared, only find us both wearing our matching hoodies, playfully arguing about who should change first.

I used it to pack dishes when I moved out of that apartment, knowing I wouldn't see it again for a long time. 

When I unpacked my dishes last year, and discovered it wrapped amongst coffee cups I hadn't seen in a long time, I felt nothing. Not a fleeting glimpse of 2001, Adam. 2005, Jimmy. 2007, Addie. Not even a shrug of oh there it is relief. An unremarkable reunion. I tossed it into the laundry hamper, where it stayed until it made its way into the washer, and then to the hoodie basket, where it found its way to the bottom.

And then, Saturday. I reached into the hoodie basket, and without looking, pulled out the big red wonder.

I hadn't worn it for years, but when I tried it on, it instantly fit, the way it always instantly fit from the moment I tried it on at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore. Not too big and not too small. A couple of paint stains on the left sleeve. Cuts along the hood line where the draw strings meet. Break marks within the silk screened "Cleveland Steamers" logo. Lived in and loved. It was hard to believe I'd forgotten about it. This hoodie that I invested so much time in, so much life in, was nothing more than a piece of excess clothing. Nothing more than packing materials. 

Lounging around in it all morning on Saturday, and all day Sunday, I felt nothing but comfort, nothing but familiarity. And it felt nice.

I haven't known this disconnect before. I've always been the one who's crippled by nostalgia. By picking at seams. By stalling on what-ifs and if-onlys. Fixated on the men I've fallen in love with. Turning things like hoodies into instruments of guilt, keeping them around as some sort of penance. Hoping one day to magically be ok with the choices I've made. All of this working toward my detriment.

But, I'm ok, now. Looking at this hoodie as something that I love because it's a part of me and a part of my past, and not because it's from him or reminds me of him or connects to him, is a welcome change. I'm finally at a place in my life where I can accept the past and move forward, which is something I've been working toward for a long time now. Loving this hoodie for what it is looks like a small step, but it's so huge. 

I love this hoodie because it belongs to me.

I love this hoodie because it's comfortable as shit.

Most people don't get hit with a sweater full of introspection when they go through their hoodie basket. And most people don't have a basket dedicated to hoodies. But that's ok. I'll take my therapy where I can get it.

Even in the form of a Tenacious D hoodie. 

1 comment:

Kim said...

Nice! I love that hoodie!!!

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