Saturday, January 24, 2009

R.I.P. Dear Jacket

This is an ode to my black jean jacket. I have finally accepted that it is gone and never coming back. I know I shouldn't care so much for an item of clothing, but I do.

I love clothes. My husband can't keep his clothes in our bedroom because my clothes take up the whole closet. And that's just shirts, dresses, skirts and pants. I have a five-drawer dresser full of bed shirts, shorts, more skirts, and my delicates. Then there's the hope chest full of pajama bottoms, sweats, and velour pants. Like I said, I love clothes.

I also love shopping. I relish in getting a great deal. I am the best when it comes to buying quality clothes at the most amazing price. I was recently at Gottschalks and picked out some clothes for my mom to buy me for my upcoming 25th birthday. I found the cutest blue and white polka dot sun dress for only $3. Yes, you read right, $3 at a nice department store. It's a true skill I have, this shopping I do.

I can still picture the day I met my jacket. For some time I had coveted a black Dickies jean jacket, but I wasn't willing to shell out $50 for a little jean jacket. I am thrifty to boot.

Then on a sunny May day in 2004, May 30th, to be exact, I went to the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee with my mother and brother. We've been going ever since I was in a stroller. We always enter the festivities through the Downtown Plaza mall. My mom and I often get distracted by the stores, driving my older brother insane. I stopped in at Copeland because I had $21 credit there. As soon as I walked in, I spotted a clearance rack. And there it was, just waiting for me to find: a Fox Racing brand black woman's jean jacket, size small! I tried it on. It was the perfect fit. In 2004, I was the tiniest little thing and this jacket was just made for my petite Audrey Hepburn like silhouette. Even better, it was marked down from $60 to just $30. With my $21 credit, I only had to shell out $9 for the perfect jacket. I was in love. I could care less that it wasn't Dickies brand.

I wore my jacket on so many cool summer nights. I believe I wore it on my first date with my husband that June. I decorated it with my collection of buttons of my favorite bands, movies, and cute quotes like, "Kiss me, I'm straight edge." Sometimes I safety-pinned patches of my favorite bands on the back, like The Clash and Anti-Flag. My little jean jacket was perfect for shows in the winter. I hate having to hold a heavy jacket when I'm trying to enjoy live music, so my lightweight jacket was ideal for the situation. I was wearing my jacket on June 19, 2005, when my husband proposed on the one year anniversary of our first date. A lot of memories are wrapped up in that jacket.

Whenever it came time to wash my jacket, I'd carefully remove all my buttons before tossing the jacket into the washing machine. After the jacket was again clean, I'd sit on the floor, with all my buttons spread out, making sure to put every button back on in its exact place. I am very particular about these things.

Then, I lost track of the jacket. The last I remember of it, I had set it aside to wash. This was at least a year ago. I remember searching for the jacket in the laundry and on top of the dryer in the garage of my duplex where I sometimes set aside clothes I had sorted. I didn't come across it then, but I figured it would show up soon enough. Then I remember starting the search over again this summer. I looked everywhere and it was still nowhere to be found. We moved in June, so I thought for sure it would show up then. It didn't, but I was too busy setting up a new house and working a relatively new job that I didn't have time to spend too much time worrying about this jacket I love. Last night I went in search, once more, of my little black jean jacket, and also my Adeline Records zip up hoodie. I found my sweatshirt, in a place I'd looked at least twice before. But still, no beloved jacket. I went through my husband's clothes, even searching his dirty laundry. I found my blue socks and red socks, but no black jacket.

It's forever lost. Hope is gone. I'm grieving for a jacket. It doesn't matter that I'm more than 20 pounds heavier than when I first bought the jacket and that it probably would no longer fit. I would have kept that jacket forever, for the memories. The pants or the shirts I wore on my first date or the night my husband proposed? Those aren't special. It was all about the jacket: The jacket I wore when the hot Sacramento days turned into the cool nights I spent at the park with my soul mate enjoying the simple thrill of being pushed on a swing while discussing our love for The Ramones.

I smiled so brightly wearing that jacket once I stopped hyperventilating and said, "Yes" to Aaron's marriage proposal.

The jacket was just right for window shopping at the mall with my best friends.

In college, I'd slip on the jacket to walk my dog outside my apartment complex before heading to bed for the night.

I wore that jacket to so many great shows. I specifically remember taking these pictures after Danny Secretion's birthday show in 2006.

Luckily I still have my buttons. I've lost many of them throughout the years, but I don't think there were any buttons on jacket when it disappeared from my life. But tonight I'm mourning for a jacket. At a time when I should be blogging about how inspired I was to see Barack Obama become the 44th president and what I hope to see accomplished in an Obama administration, I'm thinking about a jacket I found in a sports store on the way to the jazz festival.

Wherever you are little jacket, thanks for the memories. We had some good times together. I'll never forget you.

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