Clothes Fake the Man

My favorite part of having seasonal clothing is the part where you idealize your lifestyle for the coming months. For as long as I can remember I've enjoyed boxing up sweaters and corduroys in March, and every year I leave out one or two warmer items in anticipation of cool-weather activities that surely will happen to me during the summer. "Oh, I won't pack away this hooded sweatshirt. I know it's bulky, but I may need it if we have a late-night bonfire on the beach. This fleecy collar will protect me from the bracing sea breeze rolling in under the stars, and Penny will curl up against me for warmth as the distant crests of breaking waves glimmer in the moonlight, making soft rushing noises to accompany the soft strumming of an old guitar someone brought."

Like my life's a J. Crew catalog or something. I don't have a summer house, or an old guitar, and I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. The nearest beach is four hours away and abuts Lake Michigan.

So you see, as do I, that the spectacular unlikelihood of my needing clothes for such an event does nothing to deter me from preparing for it. It's like packing for vacation, really. You bring a couple pairs of shorts, and some t-shirts, and oh, maybe a nice pair of pants in case we go out somewhere ritzy one evening. And might as well bring these binoculars; never know what you might see from the hotel room's balcony - it has a balcony, right? Or - ooh! - from the airplane window! That'll be scenic. Yep; better bring the binoculars.

It's ridiculous. But it's our privilege.

I expect and hope to be still doing this in March 2050, my elderly hands brushing over the woolen collars of heavy winter sweaters, the well-worn path in my mind welcoming the same fanciful, familiar notion: "Don't think I'd better pack up this one. It's warm and cozy, and you never know what life might have in store. I bet that wind is chilly, coming in off the lake."

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