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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Gentille Life of a Black Cashmere V-Neck

It's time again for another lovely December short story submission! Here's a compelling story about a cashmere sweater by Eve West Bessier.

She bought me as a luxury, a softness against her skin at a time of loss and loneliness. I was a splurge in a lean year, an investment in better fortunes ahead. I fit her exactly the way she loves, not too tightly, not baggy or with a look that says, “this sweater belongs on someone else’s body, in someone else’s life.” I’m all hers, expressing an innate radiance with signature elegance. Yes, I know, I’m glowing. I’m all over this woman!

I am so light that my warmth comes as a surprise to her. Right away she discovers that I am more versatile than she’d imagined, not just a black basic for an upscale event worn with a silver and turquoise pendant. When she hikes, she takes me along as that essential layer to ward off the chill in a sudden shift of weather. I am never left behind when she leaves town for a weekend adventure. And I am washed with great care and hung to dry only in the mildest of sunlight.

I never irritate her skin, and I know how much she appreciates this by the way she pulls me on over a sleeveless camisole or tank top. I am timeless in my styling, so she will wear me with fondness long after other sweaters begin to show their passé appeal.

Last month, she attended a reunion luncheon with some of her high school classmates. I was honored that she wore me with her leopard-patterned skirt, looking sophisticated yet artsy. I was happy to be there, keeping her warm in the slightly over-cooled banquet room and whispering to her softly with my gentle caress, at any hint of insecurity. I told her to have confidence. “You look great! Time has given you grace. Give yourself a lot of credit!” I like to remind her that small luxuries are well deserved. It’s part of my job as a cashmere sweater to uphold the tradition we sweaters carry to bring to our wearers a sense of well-being and presence. We are members of the “fine washables” family, but not so needy as to be “dry clean only.”

I like that I’m a classic V-neck, a bit sporty with a slight edge of the masculine and a nod to the Ivy League. I’ve always found a round neckline to be a bit too pearly girlish, especially in powder-pink or white. Don’t get me wrong, I support all cashmeres as a cut above the crowds of cotton and, dare I say it, more prestigious than lamb’s wool, which can itch a bit at the neck and cuffs. Angora is adorable but let’s face it, it sheds something dreadful! Go with cashmere, my Dear!

Let me close by telling you this most touching vignette. She’s chosen me to be her Christmas sweater this year, accented by a hand-beaded strand of colored balls as delicate as daydreams. I will be at the Christmas Eve party, hob-knobbing with the other cashmeres and eyeing those gaudy teddy bear sweaters with glee and an ever-so-gentle reproach! Ha! Ha! Ho! Watch out for the mistletoe!

Oh, she’s just hung me up in her closet on that soft, padded satin hanger on which I love to rest, knowing my shoulders will stay neat and rounded and my downy softness will not be too hard pressed against the rest of her wardrobe.

I think she loves me best of all. Oh, how my heart flutters to know it. So let me show my gratitude by wishing Merry Christmas to all, and to all (even the poly-blends among you) a goodnight!

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