Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Little Italy

It was love at first sight. Really, it was. But no great love story comes without its doubts. Or its share of games. There's always the phase of playing hard-to-get. Of who likes who, and who will break first and make the move. I window-shopped this sweater for days, passing the store and eyeing its pinkness. Often I would stare, lingering and longingly, and then eventually move along. Go on my merry way. No pun intended, but I try not to buy into retail therapy. No, really. I try. I didn't want to get hurt, again. But like all great love stories, we fall. And when we fall, we fall hard.

To be fair, I wasn't in prime trying-on-clothing mode. It was the end of my long, sweaty walk on a hot day. And, to top it off, I had shallots, garlic and a sweet potato in my possession (in my pocket) from the market. Don't ask (and don't worry, I paid). Anyway, it was the sweater, not my state, that stopped me in my tracks. For the first time, I actually paused to look at it on the mannequin. Just off my "Mad Men Season 3" binge, I dug its 60's flair. In terms of time and place, I needed to be that mannequin.

And then I thought, woah petite. Like, Marilyn Monroe petite. Well, petite in the way that Marilyn Monroe's sweater looks in the movie "Wonder Boys." Tobey Maguire, the lonely and sad fiction writer, drools over the Hollywood heirloom that hangs before him: the sweater that Marilyn wore on her wedding day. He tells his English professor, "She was small. Most people don't know that. The shoulder's are so small. It looks so perfect. I bet it's the only time she wore it. That day. She must have felt so happy."

Yes, I had to rewind to that scene in order to fully make this blog post complete, but seriously: my sweater. love. at. first. sight. Walked in, off mannequin, on me. And, as garments often have when they come from a vintage clothing store, there's even a romantic-ish origin story...emphasis on the -ish. The saleswoman said they found this sweater at an estate sale and that it had once belonged to an Italian woman who lived in the Mission. Some people might recoil. Or be bored. I wore it out of the store and told the salesperson I didn't think I'd ever take it off.

When I said I didn't want to get hurt again, I meant it. I've been burned. Many of you probably don't know, but the 1st week I moved to San Francisco I lost my favorite sweater. My very favorite sweater. One moment it was there and the next, gone. Poof, like that. I think it fell out of my car somewhere in Potrero. So as you can imagine, there is baggage that comes with this package. It will never be a replacement, as no love could ever be. It's simply another love to try on. And look at that. It fits me just as nice.


  1. i love this so much. just teared up a little. you are a fabulous writer, dear. beautiful pics too.

  2. LOVE reading your story. so good!! and the sweater is super cozy.

  3. sweet pea,

    my reading is on the 16th, followed by my 26th birthday party! please do come. :)

    i miss you and need to see your cute face. oh, and i love your posts too.



  4. sissy - your most epic, poetic, coz blog post to date. love. in love. xoxox

  5. though my comment is far from original, it's no less sincere. Love this post. And love you, so much.

    Remember Phish?


  6. just re-read this. near tears. jeana and ellen both came to gallery tonight and talked about how much they love it.