Things you need to know about this sweatshirt:
- It is 23 years old.
- It came from my mother-in-law’s closet.
- I made it.
The Christmas of 1989 my wife and I had been married for a total of four months. I was a junior in college working as a part-time youth director at a great United Methodist Church. My wife was a college graduate, but worked at Woolworth’s Department Store as the receiving manager. She made $4.11 an hour and I made less. We were broke.
It was also a time in history where fabric paints were the range among crafters and broke people. Woolworth’s provided an employee discount and payroll deduction benefit to their employees: we’ll pay you, sell you stuff at a slight discount, and then deduct the cost from your paycheck…brilliant, the money never leaves their store. Anyway, white sweatshirts were cheap and tubes of slick fabric paint were plentiful. We probably made 10 that year, including personalized ones for our young nieces and nephew – which their parents NEVER let them wear. I am still bitter. But we’ve come full circle. My oldest niece was searching work some tackiness to wear to a holiday party and what better place to look than her grandmother’s closet? Seriously, her closet represents fashion from more decades than the Smithsonian Museum owns – except her’s stop at about 1990. I digress. My niece finds this work of art and her fashion savvy husband snags it immediately. He knows quality when he sees it. I think he wears it well.
This was a fun one for me. I had completely forgotten about the sweatshirts of 1989. It is humbling to know that while I may be documenting the holiday sweater phenomenon, I too have made contributions. Perhaps in some small way my creations made a real difference to the world. I hope so.
Merry Christmas Adam (Adam comes before Eve).