The Happiest Girl in the World

I found my favorite orange sweater!!!! (So many exclamation points!!)

Last night I was looking for a scarf to take on an overnight to San Francisco in case it got chilly because, well, it always gets chilly. I pulled one out that I hadn’t worn for a while, and there it was: my orange sweater. First I thought it was too good to be true – this orange ball the exact shade and texture of the sweater I’d lost over five months ago and had quietly mourned after ever since.

But nope, I knew. This was my sweater. I pulled it out and unfolded it with a flourish, ta daaaaa!! My orange sweater! I put it on immediately and hugged it around me, thrilled and happy – much happier than a simple old-man cardigan sweater should make me. But it did, and I was.

Sweater!
Sweater!

I drove to Paulie’s house with a smile on my face and when I walked in the door I said “Look! Looooook!!’ then threw my arms out and twirled. I saw him desperately searching for what might be new, so I saved him and said “I found my orange sweater! I’m so happy!” His face lit up and he said “oh yeah! Hey, that’s great!”

I’d lost the sweater after my friend Henry and I went bowling. He was trying to cheer me up after my recent breakup with Paulie (which obviously didn’t stick).

Henry was very good to me during that time, often checking in on me and inviting me to go do things. One night he invited me  to come along  and watch a band he was in in the city – I’d forgotten my phone and didn’t know anyone but my friend on stage, so I got drunk and then volunteered to sit and sell CD’s for another band. Instead I ended up crying into the mouth of a 22-year-old wearing an ugly crocheted hat, who later told me I was amazing and he’d do anything for me, which made me cry more.

Another time I was invited to help Henry with his laundry, with the promise of Mexican food as a reward. I wasn’t hungry – I’d just eaten microwaved frozen Trader Joe’s cheese enchiladas on my couch – but I was trying to force myself out of the house so I went, and I ordered more cheese enchiladas, which I ate sitting across from Henry and our shared chips n’ salsa while his clothes tumbled in the dryer at the laundromat next door.

That is not my shirt
That is not my shirt

On this night he invited me to go bowling, and told me that I could have as many beers as I wanted. So I had many.

At some point we traded shirts, for good luck, he said. It was fun and I bowled terribly, but I almost always bowl terribly so I didn’t take it too harshly. When I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t find my sweater.

I did the usual things – looked everywhere, called the bowling alley. When they said they couldn’t find it I didn’t believe them, so I fantasized about driving down there to look myself, then going to the bar to drown my sorrows when I couldn’t find it, only to see the cute tattooed hipster bartender wearing my sweater, so I’d have to confront her and, when she refused to give it up because it was the best old-man cardigan ever, I’d have to bitch-fight her!

I didn’t do that, though. Instead I just wallowed, occasionally looking online for something comparable, pausing longer over the orange sections in the used shops where I shopped for clothes, hoping to find a piece of knitwear that could take its place. But no, I found nothing.

Until I found my sweater, that is.

Now all is right with the world. I donned it proudly this morning while Paulie and I walked in the San Francisco rain with our warm paper coffee cups, checking out the wares and whatnot being offered by the eclectic mix of Saturday morning vendors outside the ferry building. Perhaps sensing my emanating delight, the bakery man gave me two free chocolate croissants when we stopped by to admire his flaky treats. It was a perfect morning.

Everything felt right. Everything clicked. My sweater looked extra-orange.

And I felt so damn good.

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