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Question of the Week - Swiping Good Stuff

My family does Secret Santa every year for Christmas for the adults. For those who don't know, Secret Santa is where each person draws the name of another person, and that's the person for whom they buy a gift. Everyone is supposed to keep it a secret until after the presents are opened, which is on Christmas for us.

This year, my dad got me (and I got my dad). He got me a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt with the logo from where he used to work. This may sound ho hum as a present, but it was actually extremely thoughtful and very meaningful.

You see, years and years ago, my dad had a similar pair of sweatpants. It turns out that they were very comfortable. So comfortable that my sister "borrowed" them from him and didn't give them back. But one year she forgot them when she left for college. So I tried them on. And discovered just how amazingly comfortable they were! And didn't give them back!

All through college, I kept these pants. All through grad school. When the bottoms of the legs got holes in them from my heels walking on them (I'm really short) and I kept tripping on them, I was so upset thinking I had to get rid of them. But Londo suggested that I just cut off the bottoms so they came to my ankles (like normal pants), and that gave them new life.

Over a decade later, I'm still wearing these sweatpants, but they are falling apart. I have known that they can't take much more wear or washing. Soon, I will have to retire them forever. As it is, I wear them only occasionally to help extend their life.

My dad knows all this and long ago resigned himself to the loss of his pants. I have requested another pair, but that they had to be the same kind so they have the certain aspects that make them so comfortable. Alas, the company he worked for has not had them in many, many years.

Until just a few weeks ago! He happened by the company's store and checked in (as he always does), and lo and behold! The pants! Almost exactly the same! And matching sweatshirt! AND he happened to have me for Secret Santa! It was a Christmas miracle!!

So this week's question of the week is:
What is the best item you have "borrowed" from a family member?

Those pants were definitely the best for me, but a close second is another pair of pants I "borrowed" from my poor dad last winter. We were on vacation in Florida and I had forgotten those sweatpants or really any pants to sleep in. My dad let me borrow a light-weight pair of navy blue pants. And when I was packing to go home, I told my mom that if my dad was looking for the pants that he shouldn't bother. Hehe. My dad and I have been joking about that for a year. Hey, is it my fault that my dad finds the most comfortable pants and then lends them to me or leaves them around where I can find them?

How about you? Have you shared clothes with someone only to not return them? Have you snuck into a parent's closet and swiped a coveted item? Have you sneaked items out of the kitchen because you just can't find one just like the one you had growing up? What have swiped from family?


Anonymous said…
Before I left for college I swiped an amaaaazing pink/white floral handmade dress from my mom from the 1950s. I justified it because she didn't fit in it anymore and it was retro and retro was so cool in the late 80s.

It was smoking! and when I first wore that dress at a college dance, a guy who then became my first college boyfriend went out of his way to compliment me on it.

God, how I wish I could fit in that thing again.

When I dated a postal worker I permanently borrowed his postal uniform sweater (with his permission) which has too much polyester in it to make it comfy but it is very hip. It was a great conversation starter at parties.

I love your sweats story!! What a great dad!
caramama said…
@geeksinrome - I love the story of the dress! And the postal uniform sweater reminds me of another great swipe I had. When I dated a guy in the Army, I "borrowed" his zip-up Army sweatshirt (with his permission). I loved that sweatshirt, and it was cool to have the ARMY letters across the front. Alas, Londo was not happy with me wearing it once we were together, so it went to my sister. Who knows where it is now.
Londo said…
RE: the Army sweatshirt, I love the Army, and have many friends in the armed forces due to my line of work. However, it was like looking at a sweatshirt that might as well have read "ex-boyfriend." Cara is sweet for accommodating my silliness in that regard.

My favorite swiped item is probably a really nice long dress coat that my dad bought (or more likely my Mom bought for my dad) which he never wore. He doesn't have to wear suits to work anymore and therefore rarely dresses up so it was going to waste. I wear it all the time and think of my dad every time I put it on.
Anonymous said…
@army sweatshirt: I can see that. In fact my postal sweater is safely mothballed away at my mom's house. I think I might give it to my hubby one day, though. He knows I dated the postal guy, but they get along so well. I think hubs might feel honored... (to get the sweater AND the girl hee hee).
Back when I was a teenager in Seattle in the "grunge" era, wearing too-long men's shirts (especially anything with a lumberjack look to it) was THE THING. So to be cool in high school, I borrowed a red corduroy LL Bean shirt from my dad, which I wore unbuttoned over worn-out t-shirts.

I also borrowed an old tan 1970s-style suede jacket, which, the first time I wore it to school, got the highest compliment from one of my girlfriends: "Hey, that looks like something Eddie Vedder would wear!"

My dad complained loudly about the loss of his shirt, but I think he was secretly happy to have it adopted as a special clothing item by his teenage daughter (who otherwise didn't exactly equate her dad with "hip" or "cool"). It became sort of a joke between us, and when I'd come back from college he'd ask for his shirt back ("Uh, Dad, it's kind of all beat-up now...")

And last Christmas, a special present came for le Petit. I opened it up and Dad had found a tiny toddler-sized red corduroy shirt, just like the one I'd borrowed all those years ago!

"I made sure it's too small for you to steal," Dad told me, and I assured him the grunge look wasn't "in" in Paris in 2009 anyway. But it looked adorable on le Petit, and I loved that my dad remembered the story...

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