My 6-inch reflector telescope is older, a few dozen of my books are older, a couple of my dishes are older, and of course I have photographs dating to the 1950’s, but by far the oldest article of clothing I own is a brown leather bomber’s jacket that my parents gave to me for Christmas in 1982.
Yes. It’s 30 years old this year. But I can’t just take a picture of the beast. No, I have to get fancy and artsy-fartsy and do the artsy-fartsy and fancy closeups. Sheesh. I’m such an embarrassment to real artists.
Sorry about that.
Whenever my 30 year old masterpiece of wear shows itself in public, it draws looks of admiration, smiles and nods. Sometimes an admirer will strike up this conversation with me–the exact same conversation every time.
“Man, love your jacket!”
“The stressed and aged look is awesome! Looks so real!”
“So where did you buy that, man?”
“It was a Christmas present from my parents in 1982.”
“You mean, it looks naturally stressed and aged–because it’s old?!”
“Naturally stressed because it is naturally stressed.”
At which point the reaction is always the same: a curl of the upper lip, a tight clenching of the lower jaw, and a frown more appropriate to children who have just learned that a schoolmate has highly contagious cooties that can jump great distances. Followed, of course, by a rapid backing-away motion.
Ah, well. A toast, ladies and gentlemen, to my 30-year-old brown leather jacket, both cool and uncool because it’s so old.
Vonn Scott Bair