The Red Robe of My Youth (What Now?)

posted in: Day In The Life, Family 17
Illustration of medieval dressing. Source: Wikipedia.
Illustration of medieval dressing. Source: Wikipedia.



I’m a robe person. I have to be, because my fantasy of The Perfect Morning has a robe in it.

My Perfect Morning begins with my eyelids fluttering open at the early-bird-but-let’s-not-be-ridiculous hour of seven o’clock. I stretch long in my foofy, all-white bed and I pause mid-yawn because — is someone making bacon? It must be [INSERT BACON GENIUS HERE] come to visit me and make me bacon! I decide I’d better get up and comb my hair except it’s already fabulous. Did someone do my hair in the night?? I guess these things happen.

Now with all this extra time, I scratch my ribs and delight in remembering the witty, witty thing I said at the cocktail party the night before and how I was home and asleep by eleven because I always get eight hours — don’t you? Then I swing my long, long legs over the bed and sink my feet into the plush carpet — I bought the kind that vacuums itself — and I whisk! my robe off the hook nearby, except that I call it “my dressing gown” in the fantasy.

Really it’s just a robe — which brings me back to reality. I have a robe problem.

I presently have two. The white, terry monstrosity is fine, if a little scruffy; it went to New York to D.C. and back again, poor thing.) The other robe is the problem: a berry red, heavy twill L.L. Bean number that used to be my mom’s. I saw that woman drink pots of coffee in that robe every day for years and when I appropriated a couple years ago, aside from a little wear on the cuffs, it was in perfect condition. I found it in the guest bedroom at the house in Iowa. I asked my mother, who was wearing a pajamas and a robe at the time, if I could have it, and she said “That’s weird, sure.”

You know how moms are better at laundry? I don’t know what I’ve done wrong, but the red robe has fallen apart in my care. It’s faded. I ripped the sleeve when I was reaching for my tea canister because I didn’t realize I was stepping on the hem. A button on the sash popped off. In general, this once mighty item of loungewear has become droopy and sad. After probably 10 or more years of cumulative use, it’s time to let it go.

But I can’t trash it, yet. It’s such a great red. What should I do with it? Maybe there’s a church nearby who needs a Wise Man costume this year — it is literally the color of a poinsettia. The fabric is far too thick to use in a quilt. I could make a pillow, but I have so many.

I’ll ask Pendennis, but if you think of anything, please let me know. And who was making that bacon, by the way?



17 Responses

  1. Colleen
    | Reply

    I say patch that red robe up and down and sideways. I was 8-10 and had a thread bare mu mu that was red repaired many times and my mother rather than send it through the wash another time or fix another rip trashed my favorite night wear mumu it was so comfortable and comforting so as long as you are wearing and loving that robe repair it and love it

  2. Marianne ten Kate
    | Reply

    Here’s what I think you should do with the robe, and I think Pendennis would agree. You make it up, with some Small Wonders fabrics, into pincushions. You should be able to make LOADS. Then you offer them in exchange for sponsorship for your MA. Knowing that you made them and that both you and your lovely mother wore the twilly side and you designed the fabric on t’other, would make them part of quilting history. But you can’t sell ’em cheap. I’d say sponsorship should start at $100. I’m not saying that you first year’s tuition would be covered by this venture, but it would make a dent!! Count me in!

  3. Sue Norton
    | Reply

    Yummmmm bacon! I will make you bacon.

  4. Rebecca
    | Reply

    I’ve seen (but never made) a bathroom rug out of towels cut into strips and then worked into a mesh grid(?) like a shag hook rug. It could live a few years more that way.

  5. Elaine
    | Reply

    How about a ‘bed jacket’ or a small throw for the couch. You would still have the cuddliness but not the bulk.

  6. Linda
    | Reply

    Use it to make a rug or a basket to store your jelly rolls or scraps. I think the basket idea is best. It won’t wear out and you’ll always think of your mom when you look at it. Not that you need a reminder but someday it will give you warm fuzzy feelings for all sorts of reasons.. Hmm…. yes, a basket!

  7. Kristin
    | Reply

    How about making it into a throw? Or embroider something on it and make it a decorative towel? Or… terry cloth always makes great burp cloths / baby shower gifts.. Add a piece of delicious fabric to the back side!

  8. Susan Skuda
    | Reply

    It’s time to spread the love. Share the robe. Imagine the places it will go!

  9. Gina
    | Reply

    I have missed something….who or what is Pendennis?

    • Mary
      | Reply

      My dear Gina, Pendennis is my sock monkey. I try not to be weird about it — I’m a 37-year-old woman, after all — but I love that lil’ monkee so much. He’s my sidekick and the PaperGirl mascot, of course!

  10. Britiney
    | Reply

    Maybe you could make it into something else? A skirt? A vest? A BAG! Yes! A bag!!! And trim it and line it with your darling fabrics! My mind is reeling with the possibilities!

  11. Denise
    | Reply

    Use it in one of those homemade rugs..:-)

  12. Dale Odberg
    | Reply

    Wise Man costume for sure!

  13. Barbara
    | Reply

    Delivery room guy!

  14. Lee H
    | Reply

    I would take a scrap to the hardware store and get a gallon of paint made in that color and pick one wall to make into the robe.

  15. Bobbie
    | Reply

    Cover your art portfolio with it. Then all your graduate school creations will be protected by love.

  16. PhyllisY
    | Reply

    Whatever you eventually do with it, first you have to take a photo of it and send that with this post to LL Bean for the archives. Maybe they’ll even send you a new robe.

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