Winter is not my favorite season. As a girl with low blood pressure (an idiosyncratic trait of introverts), I always struggle to stay warm. Which is probably why I have a huge penchant for sweaters. I'm a sweater aficionado really. Some are too scratchy. Others too sheer. And don't even get me started on those stupid little pills that form that need to be shaved off. Even Santa knows how much I hate those, apparently. Because he gifted me a sweater shaver last Christmas.
So, my sister-in-law, Donna, was in town for just one night from Chicago. She, like me, loves to thrift shop. We formulated a very ambitious plan of thrift shopping, Garden of the Gods hiking, olive oil scoring and lunch at my favorite restaurant, Adam's Mountain Cafe. But first things first, thrifting.
As with every store, I have a unique pattern to tackle the layout. Except this time, I broke with tradition and went straight to the kids section to look for something for my youngest daughter. That's when I saw it. Crumpled in the baby seat section of a cart in a heap. A beautiful shade of green knitted and pearled to perfection. I couldn't tell what it looked like, but I was intrigued. More than intrigued. My curiosity must be satiated. I needed to know exactly how jealous I should be that someone else discovered it first.
I had no self control. Who could blame me? THE FATE OF A SWEATER IS AT STAKE HERE! Covertly, I did a 360 degree scan of the entire store. No one was looking. So quickly, I gingerly lifted it to see its design. Oh MY god. It's gorgeous! I have never seen another sweater quite like it. It's feminine, but not too feminine. Stylish, but not too trendy. Classic really. But alas, it is someone else's to love and cherish. So I walked away, determined to forget it. Convincing myself I could live without it. It's just a sweater for god's sake!
Browsing t-shirts would perk me up. I'd go there and find a cute vintage one to numb the pain of my loss. Which I did. But, it didn't become comfortably numb. So I went back, like a moth to the flame. The cart was still there. Still unattended. I checked that no one was looking, stuck it under the other clothes I'd acquired and headed to the dressing room. Oh, I'd return it to the cart when I was done. It was probably too small for me anyway and this would just prove to me that it wasn't meant to be.
Of course that's not what happened at all.
It fit like it was made for me.
Holy crap! What am I going to do now?
I went back and returned it to the cart. That was still sitting there. Now, if someone had to take a kid to the bathroom, they would have returned by now. Even if the kid had an accident. If she forgot her wallet in the car she would have returned by now. If she took a short nap in the dressing room, same thing. I was considering all of this when I saw Donna. "Come here!" I shout whispered with the come hither finger. And I explained the whole story.
She promptly picked up everything in her cart and we buried the sweater on the bottom to sneak it to the cash register. Just in case someone came looking for it. My heart was beating so fast when we put it on the counter. And I checked for sweater creepers as I tried to shield it from view.
It's mine! It's totally mine!
I'm gonna wear it everywhere!
All the time!
But what if I run into a woman who says,
"I had a sweater just like that in my cart at the thrift store once, before some bitch stole it…."?