Are you in the market for a husband, preferably one that is easily dazzled by shiny bits of metal/plastic? Are you also cold? If you answered, "Goddamn fucking right I am" to either of these questions, then you're in luck because there's still time to start a bidding war on a "Magic, Beaded, Husband-finding*, Sparkly Bronze Sweater" on ebay, though, as even the hilarious description admits, its talismanic metallic bits probably won't help you find a husband. Maybe tetanus? Tetanus could really use a companion — it's pretty forlorn.
*husband not guaranteed
Of all the memories of Christmas Past, this sweater ushers in perhaps my favorite.
I'll never forget opening the package and peeling back the delicate tissue paper to reveal the sparkly bronze beaded mock turtleneck sweater that was clearly something I was going to wear never. As in, ever. As in, if we were plunged into another ice age and all the warm clothing on the planet had been engulfed in a tsunami and there was no choice but to wear this sweater or freeze to death, chances are you'd be reading my obituary right now.
"Thanks, Mom," I said, as I started to put the lid back on the box.
"Let's see how it looks," she replied, full of holiday cheer, the joy of giving, and her third eggnog which she had augmented with an extra shot of Southern Comfort. She then read my mind (which was not hard, since its contents were clearly displayed on my face) and added, "I tore up the tags. You are not returning it."
Sometimes it's easier just to capitulate, and it was Christmas after all, so I went into the bathroom and pulled the slender sweater over my head and zipped up the back. Yep, it was everything I thought it might be. You see, I'm not a big girl. In fact, I'm fairly skinny, but I was blessed with a couple of cantaloupes that could make Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine speculate as to whether or not they're real. They are. They're also spectacular. They are not, however, suitable to be covered in tight, beaded knit.
I came out and Mom gasped, overcome by the sheer loveliness of my ensemble. By now, she had decided to forego the eggnog portion of her drink ("too many calories") and had moved on to straight SoCo on the rocks. Her eyes welled in motherly, drunken tears.
"I know you hate it, but if you would just start wearing things like this, you are sure to find a husband."
"It's very figure flattering."
"I look like a milk cow on the end of a lollipop."
"Men find that attractive!"
At this point, my twice-divorced sister and her teenage children were rolling on the floor laughing. I think Pepsi shot out of my niece's nose.
And I tried. Dear Lord, I tried not to laugh as well, knowing how hurt my poor mother would be, who merely wanted the happiness that only a man could bring to her 34-year old, international corporate banker daughter. But I couldn't stop myself. Some things are just too funny. Literally, I laughed in her face.
Yes, she was as hurt as I had predicted. She shouted back at us as she stormed up the stairs, "Fine. Return the sweater. Die old and alone for all I care. I was just trying to help! Merry Christmas!!"
Sadly, that just resulted in more gales of laughter...
So, looking back from 40, having just found this sweater in its box in the back of a closet as my husband and I pack up my old place and move into our new home, I kind of love it. I at least love the thought of it. But that doesn't mean I want it in my house.
It did not help me find a husband. Your results may vary.
Summer's over — it's time to suit up for the long, cold, lonely winter months. With this hideous sweater.