12 November 2010

Batwing Returns

Have you ever noticed that Life has no sense of appropriateness? It mixes the deadly serious with the absurd without even an attempt at apology. Well, I figure if Life can do it, perhaps I could get away with it, as well.

You know the saying that "History Repeats Itself"? It does, oh boy, does it ever. Hence Remembrance Day, because if we remember, perhaps there are certain aspects of history, the ones that really matter, we might not be doomed to live over again. At least that is our hope and prayer.

But then there are other aspects that we seem to be unable to get away from. I was looking at the Sears catalogue this morning, and noticed that the batwing sleeve is making a comeback. (What can I say; that's where I get my fashion info. I'm a geek.) Wow, a style I recognize! And then the realization burst on me that, just for once, I'm already ahead of the game! I hotfooted it to the basement, crawled into the storage space under the stairs (something smells down there. A dead mouse, perhaps?), and pulled out the box labelled "handmade sweaters". And sure enough, it was in there: the batwing sweater that my grandmother knitted for me about twenty-five years ago, the last time batwings were in style. Yes, I know this dates me; but if you haven't figured out yet what the "1967" in my blog address means, anyway, I'm not going to spell it out for you.

And yes, this was the very grandmother I mentioned in my last post. By the time I knew her, her black hair had gone all grey. She was an inveterate knitter, but only ever on weekdays- knitting was work, and so not to be done on Sundays. I don't know how many sweaters she made for me and her seven other grandchildren; I can think of at least five for me during my teen years alone. One of them had a gorgeous fair isle pattern around the neck and shoulders and cuffs. My sister got the same one, the colours in reverse of mine; hers had a white body with the pattern in navy blue and burgundy; mine was the dark navy in the body with the white and burgundy on the pattern. Oma said she'd never knit with a yarn that dark again; trying to see the stitches was really hard on her eyes. I remember feeling vaguely guilty about that, as it was my sweater... It was a beautiful sweater; I wore it a lot. I believe I wore it out or outgrew it, which is why I no longer have it.

But I kept the batwing one. And now I'll be in style again for a little while. Or maybe my daughter might wear it, if she wants; she's the same age now as I was when Oma made it for me. History repeats itself, and sometimes, that's a good thing. But please- please!- let's not bring back the mullet. It was a bad hairstyle in the 80's, and wouldn't be any better today. That's one case where history had best be forgotten.

Oh, and one more thing: I did still get a poppy to wear this year, for the first time. And I was glad to wear it.

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