The little flannel shirt.
I have been raiding my eight year old son’s closet and I’m worried about my sartorial impulses. It all started rather innocently a couple weeks ago at the pool. It was freezing, we were diehards in the name of squeezing the last juices out of summer and the only warm thing on hand was Saint James’ gray hoodie. I shoved my giant Foo Fighter arms into it and scuttled to the bathroom with my sauv blanc (that’s what the kids working the snack bar call it) in hand to make sure I didn’t look entirely too absurd. It didn’t exactly “fit”, but it fit, so I zipped it up and didn’t give it another thought (until Saint James got out of the pool, teeth a’chatter and I had to give it up).
And just now when I was pretending to look for dirty laundry on a Friday night while waiting for Doctor Dash and Supergirl to come back from their collective run/bike and sit down to the lovely dinner I have prepared, I found a softy soft green flannel shirt that I bought for Saint James in Ann Arbor for when he was bigger and the tag says “10” and I put it on and it’s dreamy and comfy and perfectly shrunken à la Wes Anderson and although I would never buy myself a flannel shirt now, there is something about a flannel shirt that feels so perfectly perfect now that the weather is cooling and there also must be something tugging at my gut-strings considering I spent most of my drunkest and happiest and most carefree years shimmying around in flannel and since Saint James has a uniform now and quite dislikes shirts with collars, chances are this particular collared flannel would never get worn by him and the tag says it cost ten dollars and was originally forty-eight dollars, which is absurdly expensive for a shirt for a boy, but is probably why I bought it in the first place because that’s what I call a shopping triumph, and I love love LOVE a shopping triumph (although I much prefer shopping triumphs that result in something new for me) and so this shirt is mine even though the sleeves barely reach past my elbows and even though tomorrow, without my sauv blanc in hand, I may rethink this.
* Southbend Indiana, circa 1991. You can be sure that the photographer also had a dueling flannel on -probably in red – which she got from J. Crew. Next to an adorably apple-cheeked Doctor Dash is our good friend the Fox who is going to come visit us soon with his family, and next to the Fox is McPhee who we haven’t talked to in years but should, and next to McPhee is Boots, or Botas, so named because he used to stride around campus in knee-high suede fringed Davy Crocket boots and a pair of smallish cut-off denim shorts. So good. Where are you Botas?