Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's a gray sweater day

Some of you will understand this and some of you won't, but it is a gray sweater today. Yes. No doubt about it.

In my junior year of college I lived in a dingy, musty house that had been converted into apartments in the University district a short walk from campus. I have great memories of this place. It was the year I got in about 600 trillion hours of Yahtzee. And it was also the year of the gray sweater. I don't know how it happened exactly. It just slowly came on and before I knew it, I was wearing this sweater almost every day of the week. I'd get dressed in the morning and would think to myself, "What would make this outfit complete? The gray sweater of course." It was a misshapen wool cardigan that eventually needed to be patched at the elbows, but this did not matter. I wore it over pajamas. I wore it over dresses. If I had a date (did I date back then?!) no doubt I would have worn it. And today, I woke up thinking, "I need to wear a gray sweater." And so I did.

Today was an exceptionally long day and after agonizingly long church meetings that started at 8 and did not end until midnight it dawned on me, "Yep Carmen, you are now a professional religious person." No way getting around it. They even gave me a clergy card today at the Presbytery meeting. Hmmm. Clergy card.

My friend Ross from the drama department at the University of Washington used to wear a purple sweatshirt almost every day. It was one that he had worn since the 6th grade and he said it was a magic sweatshirt. He said it could actually give him the power to fly if it ever became necessary. I am pretty certain that Ross is about 60% crazy. And I love this about him.

On my way home in a taxi tonight the driver, who was from Yemen, told me that the world would be a safer, happier place if there were more strict rules. For example, he told me that in Yemen adulterers are stoned to death if they are caught in the act by at least two witnesses. He says this rarely happens in actuality, but the threat keeps people in line (or at least hiding really well). I pondered this for a bit, but quickly wrinkled my nose in disdain, paid the fare and slid out onto the sidewalk.

More happiness and peace in the world? Today I just needed a gray sweater.

Here are a couple pictures from Sunday. Some of my fav Princeton friends (aren't they good looking?!?!) came to hear me present on Zambia. Thanks Emily for the beautiful gift!


Doanz said...

I get it. My "gray sweater" is brown and very blah- but it serves the same purpose- providing comfort and security, or even just staving off melancholy days. There is nothing like it- maybe I should see if it is "magic" and I can fly too. :)

Anonymous said...

It might interest you to know that I am wearing a gray sweater as we speak. It is definately a "go-to" item in the closet. :)Going out or staying in, I can always count on the gray sweater.
Ps- I love the pictures of Dumler, Travis, Nate and Elaine. It reminds me of fun and wonderful friends. Miss you!

The Mendes Family said...

Carmen, my "gray sweater" is a black fleece jacket. I can wear it every day of the week and it looks good with everything! (at least I think so!) Yay for gray sweater days!

Peg said...

Yep - black fleece for me too - in fact my 11-yr-old neighbor said "you always wear black -- black, black, black!" Hmmm...apparently I should expand my wardrobe - at least when I think I'll see Anna! :). AND...I remember that gray sweater of yours - yes, you did wear it a lot.

Tonyalynne said...

ah, how i love my gray sweatshirt. it's been with me through a lot and knows all my secrets.