Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Introducing my sweater theory: And happy holidays!

Here is an old family Christmas photo, circa 1964 (I'm guessing). I'm a red-clad chubby chunkster with low metabolism, while my skinny and hyperactive sister is the Hanover College fan. Grandma Kimmel got all of her children and their spouses identical sweaters that year (the ones my mom and dad are wearing). A good sweater is an inspired gift. My parents wore these sweaters for a long time, and then Les and I got our use out of them. I wore one of these sweaters through high school and college.

The Sweater Theory
Oh, yeah, the sweater theory. The sweater theory is:

There are no unattractive men. There are just men who have not found the right sweater.

Here's a story to prove it...

When I was an undergrad, I worked with a grad student, Tim N., in the psychology dept at Purdue. He was tall and pear-shaped. He had an unfortunate haircut à la Pete Rose back in the day. His personality was nothing notable (to be fair, he was busy with his dissertation).

We all went home for Christmas break. When I came back in January, I went to return an APA Manual he had loaned me. He was wearing a new sweater, almost certainly a Christmas gift. The soft, heavy knit, blue/brown, tweedy, soft, generously sized turtleneck would make women swoon sitting on a hanger. As I handed Tim the book, I admired the sweater, then looked at Tim. It struck me that Tim had really blue eyes, and a striking (if not handsome) broad face. Transfixed, I stood there until I realized he was staring at me staring at him. I glanced away, thanked him for loaning me the book, and left. Why was he suddenly so cute? I wondered later. It was the sweater.

I ran into him again years later at an airport, He was wearing earth shoes and a t-shirt that made his arms look spindly. Spell broken.

Never underestimate that transformative power of a good sweater.


  1. Hi Stacey - My Dad, who died this past summer at the age of 83, graduated from Hanover College after serving in World War II. The photograph caught my eye because of the Hanover College sweatshirt. I also have to admit to you that he was a IU fan! Love your blog - I'm trying to learn to ride as a middle aged woman - egads it's hard!

  2. Wonder if men see women in sweaters with the same kind of perception.

    Tim sounds like one nice the sweater, at least. A case of "clothes make the man," for sure.

  3. Clearly I've been missing out living in the South. But the right suit... mmm mmm!

  4. May all your sweaters be good ones!

  5. oh all to true, when will they catch on? love your blog by the by. and merry christmas!

  6. Great post! And, oh, so true! Funny how just the littlest thing can transform someone from a "Not" to "Hot" even for just a moment!


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