I wasn’t planning on writing today, but my blue fleece was stolen.
Monetarily, the fleece is worthless. It’s over 10 years old, worn out, and has holes. It’s the perfect worn out article of clothing you would use for throwaway clothes for races. And yet, I never chose it. I kept it. It was my go-to outerwear when I needed something light to wear when it was just chilly enough to warrant something more than a long sleeve, but not a full jacket. It was my inner layer when it was brutally cold outside and I needed to WEAR ALL THE CLOTHES. It was the one that I abused more times than I can count by stuffing it a backpack, tying around my waist, dropping it on the ground, using it as a mop to clean up messes, or whatever else I could think of. I took it with me on countless camping trips, hikes, and travels.
I didn’t even like it all that much when I first bought it. It wasn’t as warm as I wanted it to be. I kept it around because I paid for it and I couldn’t bear to waste money. I figured that one day I would wear it out and then buy a new one. It stuck with me for a lot longer than I would have thought. I mean, I’ve had this fleece for way longer than I’ve been with Ben.
It was a little nippy this morning, so as usual, I wore the fleece to the park. I took off the fleece and hid it in the tree hole near where I start my run in Prospect Park. Ben and I have hidden our jackets there a million times over the years. I’ve left my jacket there for hours once because I was doing a long run. Today, I didn’t even run for a full hour. When I went back to the tree to retrieve my jacket, I was greeted with an empty hole. No fleece.
Someone took it.
There was nothing in the pockets so they didn’t take anything of value. I have plenty of other running jackets and stuff to wear, so it’s not like I have to replace it. But dang it, it was my fleece.
It bothers me more than I thought it would that someone took an old worthless fleece. As I walked home cold, I mourned for it. Actually, it’s more the fact that I mourn that they took away the easy comfort that I used to have in having a “safe” place to stash a jacket when I didn’t need it. I can always use the lockers to store my belongings, but they’re farther away. There was something nice in the fact that I walked to the park, took off my jacket, hid it in the hole, and then I went out and ran. Easy peasy. Now I either have to run with the jacket tied around my waist or I have to walk over to the lockers, which aren’t as convenient.
The only thing that’s of comfort to me is the thought that perhaps whoever took it, needed it more than I do.
What’s your oldest article of clothing that you still wear?