Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wearing Plaid

by Janet Yung

Norman found the blue plaid polyester pants of a previous decade to be the perfect article of clothing -- nearly indestructible fabric suited for any season with an elastic beltline designed to accommodate an expanding waist. He had no desire to rid them from his wardrobe, although that appeared to be his daughter Allison’s goal.

“Dad, tell me you don’t wear these things in public.” She dangled the tired looking trousers over the pile marked “trash”, helping him sort out the household her parents had shared until her mother’s death the previous spring.

Now, Norman was moving into a retirement community where he could be with people “his own age,” the way Allison described the occupants of the building converted from convent to apartments with older tenants in mind. The segment of the population largely avoided and ignored by everyone else, lest old age be contagious -- Norman‘s take on the situation, but a lot of what Allison said made sense, sounding more like her ever practical mother.

“Your mother bought those for me,” he said softly.

And, with that revelation, she folded them neatly, adding them to the “keep” pile, imploring, “Please don’t wear them outside your room.”

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