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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Hoodie

You might be surprised to know that my favorite article of clothing is a hoodie.

Of course, in 2010, the hoodie is easily the most ubiquitous and obligatory element of clothing for people my age, and ten years younger, and older. Christ, every asshole you meet these days is wearing one, whether they're male or female. It's great because, in today's world, if somebody pisses you off, or tries to steal your purse and make a break for it, just grab onto their hoodie and choke the balls off of them.

The hoodie is like the leash and choke-chain of humanity. It's great.

Lots of people who wear hoodies look like hoodlums-- and I guess it's no accident that you can't say "hoodlum" without "hood." I don't think, personally, that I look like much of a hoodlum in my hoodie. Then again, I wear it over a dress-shirt and neck tie, and nice pants. Not only that, but, on the left breast section of the hoodie, I wear an enamel pin from the late 19th century with a beautiful rendering of the Union Jack and the words "Victoria League" engraved on it, which significantly deceases any potential hoodlumness. I don't think neckties and Victorian man-jewelry are the traditional accessories for those who typically don hoodies. I would never wear a white hoodie, because I think I'd look too much like a K.K.K. member with an identity crisis.

My hoodie is green, Philadelphia Eagles green, actually, though that is not the reason why I like it so much. You know me-- I could give as much of a shit about the Eagles as I do about Icelandic tap-dancing. My hoodie was given to me by my father, and maybe that's why I like wearing it so much. I don't wear everything he gives me, though. He's in the garment-making business, like all Israelis who aren't engaged in diamond-smuggling, camera sales or international espionage. He once gave me a pair of boxer-briefs to wear that his company made and I wore them once for six minutes and promptly threw them in the trash.

"They were crawling up my asshole like a tactical assault team," I complained. "No thank you."

But I do like the hoodie. A lot. I'm beginning to think, maybe too much.

When I look at pictures of me on Facebook, or pictures that wind up on other people's cameras, I find that I am wearing the green hoodie with uncomfortable regularity. There I am, sporting it in Pittsuburgh on my sister-in-law's couch!

Oh, there I am, shoveling snow in my green hoodie.

Hey-- I'm on vacation in beautiful, sunny Maine in my hoodie.

And now my hoodie goes to the Poconos! Looks great with my new green pants-- I'm a fucking St. Patrick's Day float.

When my wife taught pre-school at a small, Quaker elementary school, there was a child who had some definite Aspergian tendencies-- very rigid and literal. Oh, and he wore the same coat to school every single day, regardless of the weather, and regardless of whatever odor happened to be emanating from the coat-- he was oblivious to everything but his unalterable desire to be thus attired. In the Indian/Pakistani comedy, "East Is East" there's a young child who also exhibits this constant need to be attired in a huge, puffy coat with a fur hood, in spite of the contraindicated temperature. And his father routinely refers to his mother as a "bah-stad beetch," which is nice.

I worry sometimes that my irrational childhood tendency to obsess over a particular food or article of clothing or car have not transferred over into my adult life, because that could mean several unsettling things about who I am. I can justify it however I want-- I don't like wearing big coats, and the hoodie is insulated. It hangs on one of my bedposts and it's just so easy to throw on. It serves the purpose of a coat and a hat.

Um... I'm obsessed with it?

I suppose I'm not completely obsessed with it. I mean, I'm not wearing it today, and that shows that I can take a break, right? I wash it regularly, so I know it doesn't smell of salad dressing and generalized funk. I've never reached into the pocket and had the sensation that some insect or small mammal was crawling all over my hand. And that's good, right?

When I was a boy, I had a quilty piece. It had once been a quilt, but when the quilt had been loved and worried into near oblivion, all that was left was the quilty piece, a ratty, gray, smelly, knotted thing about the length of two inchworms having sex. When my father decided it was time for me to stop sucking my thumb, an activity always done in concert with fondling the quilty piece, he hid the damned quilty piece from me. Several times. I always found, of course, my eyes lighting up like the heavens as soon as they laid eyes on it, under some books, or inside his bedside table. Now I feel like it's almost time for some responsible adult to hide my hoodie from me, though I know I'll be very sad that.

Not as sad as I was when my quilty piece was M.I.A., of course.


  1. It's really too bad that you don't have your quilty piece because you could have sewn it onto the hoodie. That would be like worlds colliding but maybe in a good way.

    And I totally prefer a hoodie over a jacket. It just seems more versatile. :)

  2. Oh, S.A.S.-- I still have my quilty piece. It resides in an eyeglasses case, comfortably held all day and night by a neon green-colored pipe-cleaner man made by my wife.

    Just don't tell my father.

  3. There is nothing wrong with being obsessive compulsive. Sometimes its quite nice. For instance, I'm very easy to feed since I do the same thing only with food items. I spent about a year eating pretty much nothing but macaroni and cheese with balsamic vinegar, once. But I made up for the lack of nutrition by following up with a black bean and spinach obsession.

  4. This asshole is currently wearing a hoodie. How timely!

  5. My best friend wore her school jacket every day of third grade. Although it wasn't because she was unreasonably attached. She grew boobs that year and was embarrassed. Dumb ass. I'm twenty nine and still waiting for them to come in.

    We live in Florida, so it's a little more impressive than it sounds.

  6. Laurie--

    Look up Philadelphia-area singer/songwriter Deirdre Flint's song, "The Boob Fairy."

    And I'll send up a prayer to her for you, too.

  7. I wear a hoodie when I am bloated or trying to hide "fatness". I have been on a diet since january and have stuck to it. I am more than willing to let my hoodie stay in the closet while I show off my less curvy body.

    (although I do use my front pocket to hide my guineapig when I bring her to work. shhhhhh)


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