A startling bunch of coincidences piled up today that might add up to destiny.  This morning my daughter asked me to look through any old clothes I had for vintage-like finds for her. I knew there wasn’t much worth finding, but did come upon one of my favorite possessions–a classic t-shirt that I’ve meant to frame instead of bury in the bottom of a plastic bin for years. My daughter, who has excellent taste in clothes, knew a find when she saw one.

A few hours later I called my older sister since her birthday landed today, strangely enough, just like every other June 7th since 1958. While we were chatting, she mentioned that she would be heading up to Worcester, MA for her 30th reunion from our alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross,  this next weekend. She pined a bit for the classic t-shirt she remembered me having from my Worcester days (after I pissed her off and followed her to Woo-town and lived there afterwards in Worcester’s hey-day that never quite was).  She was referring to the very same vintage piece my daughter had commandeered this morning:

alas, those really weren't the days

How cute and sad and funny–just like Worcester. Bold inferiority and hopeless swagger and bright red cotton go so well together.  The great old Tatnuck Bookseller in Tatnuck Square put that slogan out there and ran with it–doubt it got as far as Lake Quinsig, but it always brought a smile to my face. When I was the confirmation sponsor for my young sister-in-law during that hopeful, light-filled era–when Worcester was neck-and-neck with Paris and I still knew what the inside of a church looked like, I gave the then 10th grader the perfect confirmation gift–this t-shirt in navy blue, I believe–it was a solemn occasion after all.

And the last coincidence of them all was that the very same sister-in-law was visiting here just yesterday on her way to Taiwan for a few years. Out of the blue, we talked about meeting in Paris this Christmas. I’ve already spent many a Christmas in Worcester. Perhaps destiny will lead me to the real Paris this next one. There are worse ways to go through life than following the subtext of one’s old t-shirts.

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