Thursday, June 14, 2012

Letterman Jacket

While I'm on the subject of nostalgia and items from my adolescence...

I found my Letterman jacket!!

I have tons of memories wrapped up with this thing.  I remember my parents being extraordinarily compliant about getting it for me, AND getting me a class ring.  You're a high school senior only once, right?  It's like spending hundreds of dollars on a wedding dress.

Okay, maybe not, but you get the gist.

I also remember getting measured for it at a shop three doors down from The Golden Dragon on State Street (there was a furniture store and a used book store in between, as I recall), telling the tailor that I wanted it a size bigger because I liked the extra room, waiting impatiently while he made it and the patches to go on it, finally picking it up and being warned not to wear it in rain too often, and to not wash it in the machine at home lest the leather crack.

As disgusting as it sounds, I have actually never had this washed.  NO, it doesn't smell, but I can see dirt and navy bleeding on the off-white leather sleeves.  I should really find a cleaners here that can do leather, but the embroidery around the collar on one side and a bit on one wrist is unraveling, so I have to fix those spots first.  I'm very protective of my jacket.  I haven't officially worn it in about ten years - it's been at the bottom of my costume box (yes, I have a giant plastic tub designated as my "costume box," don't judge me!), waiting for a Halloween when I dress up as a jock or a cheerleader.

I finally pulled it out about two weeks ago to give it some air and make room for my Ren Faire pieces, but also because I figure, hey, I might not wear it around town, but that sucker is WARM, and winters in the desert can be frigging COLD, especially if you work from home and have a husband that doesn't like turning on the heater because it makes our electricity bill spike.  Love you, honey! :P

I used to wear this all the time after I got it.  I'm not sure if I was more proud of how awesome I looked in it (I still look awesome in it, esp. on our motorcycle with my blue and white full face helmet), or because I finally had something to wear outside of the court that identified me with the largest clique in my school: the jocks.  I was more brain and theatre geek than sports nut, but this made me feel part of the larger whole that was our athletics department.  This gave me some connection to the people that ignored or bullied me - with this, they HAD to acknowledge the part I played in making our school known for winning.

I played volleyball at the time, and whenever we had an away game, we wore our Letterman jackets into that gym and out of it, making us look a coordinated force with which to be reckoned.

At football games, those of us not on the field would sit in large groups, staining the bleachers in navy blue and teal splotches.  The girls even wore complimenting ribbons in our hair.

Oh, and don't get me started on pep rallies.  We all rolled our eyes when we had to pile into our small gym and listen to the same-styled speeches, but there were occasional high points, like when the cheerleaders would do a new half-time routine preview for us.  Spirit week was especially vivid in the colors department.  Before getting Letterman jackets, the students would either wear their team jerseys on School Colors Day, or the non-sports kids would have to scrounge for ribbons or teal shirts (wear that with blue jeans with white shoes, and there you go).  After getting the jackets, we'd just don those and some jeans, and voila.

Heh, Spirit Week.  I'll have to tell y'all more about that sometime.

Anyway, after I pulled out my jacket and ribbons (I kept them from the homecoming game I attended my freshman year of college), I put on some pins I still have from high school, tokens of academic achievement, like high marks in History and Bible and, get this, Driver Education. :D  They might not be related to sports, but it's somewhere to put them.  I didn't have many patches on the Varsity side of my jacket because I didn't commit myself to getting to that level, so I pinned these little tokens just below the pocket because, let's face it, I was a Varsity level in my studies. :)

Does that make me a Varsity Nerd?

I kinda wish the guy who made this had a Theatre patch.  I'd put that on the Varsity side, too.

Oh, and kids?  If your parents ask you "When are you ever going to wear that again after high school?" tell them this from your Auntie CLynn:  "At 23, when I'm living in a run-down apartment without a heater in winter."


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