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[personal profile] ifeelbetter
Home for the holidays is such a mixed-bag of awesome and extreme emotions of every stripe. There used to be a tradition in my family that my mom would buy my dad clothes for Christmas--they'd be these beautiful cashmere sweaters from Brooks Brothers or a new suit from J. Crew or monogrammed handkerchiefs. They were all very glam, very snazzy, very smart. He still wears everything she gave him and he puffs with pride when someone mentions a shirt or his hat or whatever--he's a pretty dour guy most of the time but he gets a tad pink-in-the-cheeks and says something about the kind of taste my mom had.

My mom died a little over a year ago. Last Christmas, rather than just ignoring the issue altogether, my sister stepped up to the plate and bought him some clothes. She's been doing odd-and-ends kind of clothes purchases for his birthday for years--a tie here, some argyle socks there--he's honestly such a pleasure to buy menswear for because he really can be quite dapper when he wants to be--so it wasn't too much of stretch. And he LOVED it. He--because this is actually the kind of person he is--wore everything from that batch of presents last year all on the same day when my sister arrived last week. Just to show her how much he likes them. And he sends us all an e-mail recounting the praise he gets for each item every time he wears it.

I joined the game this year. I got to wander the J. Crew suiting area for about an hour with my sister yesterday. We contemplated sweaters and the different prints to the Oxford shirts and hats...it was lovely.

My dad is the loveliest of men. He worried and worried about appropriate presents for all us kidlets this year--also because my mom used to direct him far more accurately, having a finger on the pulse of our materialist desires far more than he ever has--and it feels just wonderful to contribute to the collection of nice clothes he wears with such obvious pride. It's such a lovely simple way to make him happy.

So, there you go, J. Crew. You are the bringer of domestic happiness and the true holiday spirit.

PS - On the other end of the holiday spirit, I may just murder my brother before the holidays are over. No joke. I want to shish-kebab him, like Buffy used to do to vampires. He has taken to making fun of the way I talk because, apparently, I sound more midwestern now that I live in Michigan. I don't, of course, but he likes to repeat whole sentences and insist that it's so affected. That, and he wastes no opportunity to call me pretentious, snobby, mean, and supercilious. Just because--shock of shocks--I don't think mocking his teachers is so funny, you know, being a teacher as I am.


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August 2012

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