|me in my blue CMA hoodie, a couple years back...|
People started identifying me by saying "she's the woman that wears the blue hoodie from the aquarium".
This last month or so, I started thinking about driving (for 8 hours) to go get a new one. Oh, I could go at Whale Fiesta (it was a better excuse) but I couldn't see my life without it.
And today the zipper broke.
It didn't make sense, considering its condition, to replace the zipper.
Today, silly as it may seem to some, I feel like I've lost a friend. I feel like a door has somehow closed on my past. I always thought I'd have it, some tangible tie to the one thing that has meant the most to me in California. It's not that my Outstanding Achievement Award from the volunteer dinner isn't wonderful (I'm very proud) and I do have my cap still, as well as a couple t-shirts, but somehow that jacket, something I could wear every day, something I wore under my whale watch coat in cold weather, over my t-shirts in warm weather, and around the apartment almost every day, carried with me to restaurants (because I get chilled), something that was an incidental but constant part of my identity became so emotionally charged for me.
I'm not even sure they still carry these hoodies in the gift shop (I hope they do!). I keep looking at the calendar, and trying to figure out how to afford a trip to San Pedro, which would make a new hoodie the single most expensive garment I've ever bought (even more expensive than my wedding dress!). But the odd thing is, for once, I'm not thinking about the expense, just thinking about being back in my happy place for another day, and bringing another little piece of my happy place back to Petaluma.