“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.