Love at First Sight

by C. M. Albrecht

Yesterday I happened to wander into a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. Lots of interesting stuff in there. As I strolled around my attention was drawn to a ratty-looking blazer hanging among other jackets.

Something about it caught my eye. Maybe it was because it was loud. The words ‘horse blanket’ come to mind. Nevertheless, I was drawn to take a closer look. It had a green tag on it that read, $3.75 As-Is.

I looked at it more closely. Something about it, but…I walked away. After all it was moth-eaten and had lost its shape, although it appeared to have been constructed as a very casual jacket. Something prompted me to turn back.  I peeked inside. Pendleton Woolen Mills. Well, I know the Pendleton logo is like a Rolls Royce logo. Their stuff is built to last forever, and this jacket, although perhaps mistreated in its lifetime, was still going strong. Still…

I wandered around looking at some limp neckties and then some kitchen utensils. You never know what gem of a utensil will turn up in a thrift shop. I looked at glassware and wandered into the library three rooms removed from the jacket. I was looking over titles of once popular books when thought I heard a faint voice calling. I stopped browsing and listened.

It was that damned horse blanket.

Okay, I’d go give it another look. I looked at it closely. It had several tiny moth holes in it. It hadn’t been cleaned or pressed in ages. I found a B&W coupon from a pack of Raleigh cigarettes in a pocket. This jacket must be about fifty years old.

Reluctantly I tried it on. A perfect fit. I felt as if I’d been wearing it myself for these past forty years.

I showed it to my wife who didn’t say ‘no way’.

Turned out the green tag was 25% off.  As a veteran I got an additional 10% off and as a (well maintained) senior citizen I earned an additional 10%.

So with 45% off $3.75 I only had to cough up $2.06.

What can I say? I have some nice clothes, but this ratty old jacket is a perfect fit. Most comfortable jacket I’ve tried on in ages and I don’t have to worry for a moment about getting it wrinkled. I slip it on and relax. Just one of those crazy love at first sight moments, and my wife isn’t even jealous.