“There Shawl Be Others.”

posted in: Day In The Life 15
This was not my scarf, but it is a vintage Hermes and you get the idea. Photo: eBay.
This was not my scarf, but it is a vintage Hermes and you get the idea. Photo: eBay.


I wanted to write this up last night because I thought it might help — but I couldn’t. I was too low, too morose to try when I got home. In the grand landscape of life, this disappointment is tiny, I know. But it still hurts.

Last night, somewhere in O’Hare International Airport, I lost my most favorite, special shawl. Don’t ask me how I lost it. One minute it was there, the next it wasn’t. I had a lot of bags. It was crowded in the airport. It dropped off. It was picked up. It’s gone.

My shawl was actually a scarf, big enough to wrap around my shoulders. This was not just any big scarf, either; it was a silk- and cashmere-blend Hermès scarf, similar to the one you see above. But mine was different. Different and more beautiful because it was mine, the one I picked out special and the one I wore so, so often for almost three years. I wore it at my sister’s wedding. I wore it on countless airplanes and on more than a few dinner dates. She was my buddy.

Like a kid with a piggy bank, I saved up to buy it, did math on my fingers figuring out where to cut back here so I could spend there — and “there” was the scarf.

Because I knew the Hermès scarf would be worth it. Appropriate everywhere, anywhere, this is the practical/fabulous fashion accessory that goes with everything. It dresses up jeans; it’s perfect at dinner. The intricacy of the pattern, the rich colors of the yarn, the attention to detail; the Hermès scarf is a timeless object of fashion and style. These are textiles made by people (in Paris) who love what they do — and I love what they do! I love the curlicues, the softness, the restrained riot of color and shape. But because you pay for that beauty — as well you should — no mere mortal can afford to like, pick up an Hermès scarf. They’re kray-kray expensive. So for a long time, I could only covet.

But at the end of 2014, I got good news after my pouchoscopy and was going through the tough time post-NYC/Yuri and being new in town in DC and I decided that while I couldn’t buy a new Hermes scarf, I could buy one used on eBay — and frankly, I needed a treat. There were many used scarves to choose from and so I pored over the offerings, checked the seller’s ratings. I clicked around and clicked around and bam: I found The One.

The One was navy blue and “Mary Fons Red” (!) and perfect gold and pale pink and gold and pink and blue and red. Roses. Ropes intertwining. Leaves. Blooms. Curlicues. Vines. That scarf was me if I were a scarf. We were perfect for each other. I gulped. I checked my bank account. I hit “Checkout.” And when it came, I knew I had done the right thing. When I wrapped it around my shoulders, I felt safe. I felt beautiful. I felt like an adult. That scarf made me feel like a woman I wanted to know.

Bye-bye, scarf.

Look, I bought her used. I was that scarf’s second life. Well, she has a third life, now (so far, no Lost & Found Department has called.) I only hope whomever has her tonight understands what a fine thing they have happened upon.

Wrap yourself up in her loveliness. Stand taller. Dry-clean.


15 Responses

  1. Karen Freeman
    | Reply

    Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, Please come around.
    Something is lost and can not be found.

    Just a little prayer from my younger Catholic days, that I still use.
    Pledge a donation to the poor box at your local catholic church…and you can keep increasing the pledge 🙂
    I hope somehow, your scarf/shawl will be returned to you.

  2. Colleen
    | Reply
  3. Mabel
    | Reply

    So sorry to hear about your Shawl. I am sure it misses you as well.

  4. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    Oh, I do hope it is returned–we have left things on planes & they have turned up months later–nothing as wonderful as your scarf, though…

  5. Barbara
    | Reply

    Dearest Mary, when my shoulders are wrapped in my beautiful “security blanket/scarf” I always stand taller, stronger, and proud! Today because of your misfortune some woman might be feeling stronger! With all the crazy going on right now your scarf has just become her security – a little gift from you!
    Still I am sad for your loss!!!!

  6. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    awww, Mary, I’m so sorry…hope you get it back…

  7. Terry
    | Reply

    Believe me – the Saint Anthony prayer works – but you MUST be generous – no dollar bills! I start at twenty and go up – I won’t even tell you what my diamond ring loss cost me (and it was in the drawer the whole time!) And the donation to feed the hungry
    box at our church is most appreciative, St A is helping where he can and doing a good job of it!

  8. rita
    | Reply

    My first thought was that the scarf was moving on to the next person that would love it. How excellent, though I know you’re sad, that you found that sentiment yourself.

    When my youngest daughter’s Minnie Mouse stuffy went missing over and over again, I would tell her that Minnie was on a trip. And Minnie always came back, though she needed a ride home from me often.

  9. Deb KimballS H5
    | Reply

    This post is a beautiful metaphor for when we lose anything that can’t ever be replaced. Sadness, maybe grief. Acceptance with a heavy heart, then acceptance with a sense of gratitude that for a short time, this glorious piece or person was a part of your life. Well said, Ms Mary.

  10. Louise
    | Reply

    Dear Mary
    I left some very special jewellery in a secourity tray in Glasgow airport. The lovely security people there took it to lost property. I chased down the lost property office and got it back for a handling fee of only £5. I had to contact them thought so this may be worth doing. I hope you get your lovely scarf back. But if not my wonderful grandma born 1896, died1990, used to say ‘never cry over anything that can’t cry over you’ – it’s a good mantra for and one I sometimes have to remind myself of when life throws up its low moments. By the way I love your blog having first encountered you on Quilty. You’ve provided me with lots of good advice so o do hope you don’t mind this little word from me. Yours Louise x

  11. Michele
    | Reply

    I’m so sorry your scarf was lost. Yes, I know how much that hurts. I still mourn my 10 years gone black, hand beaded Liberty of London silk scarf. If I ever spot it around some woman’s shoulders, I fear for my self-control. I have to think that my scarf has moved on to some more deserving and innocent recipient instead of some low life thief. I wish that for you and your scarf, too.

  12. Rhonda Mossner
    | Reply

    Oh no….sigh….

  13. Kathy
    | Reply

    Did you share your post on the airlines website? Maybe someone is looking for owner that way instead of lost & found. Just a thought.

  14. Sarah
    | Reply

    Mary, I’m sorry for your hurt. It’s very hard to be positive & philosophical over the loss of something precious to you. I suggest you call the lost & found twice a week for the next six weeks, since different people remember different things (or someone may be having second thoughts.) You never know.

  15. Tracy Volansky
    | Reply

    All of the advice sounds great, and I don;t really have anything to add, other than THAT REALLY SUCKS!

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