Haphazard Memories: a series of posts inspired by random objects that I’ve held on to for far too many years. And no, I’m not a hoarder.


vintage duofold henley

Item: Black Duofold Henley

Acquisition date: 1987

Place of acquisition: Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Associated memory: First boyfriend (and virginity taker)

Current condition: Well worn

Twenty-six years ago, I stole borrowed this black Duofold Henley from my boyfriend.

I was a junior in college. He was a freshman. And he was my first real boyfriend.

(I know. I was a cougar, right? Ahead of my time.)

And he took my virginity. Take isn’t the right word. I mean, I willingly gave it to him. It was the right time. He was the right one.

(I’m glad I was older because I didn’t have to lie to my teenage daughter a few months ago when she asked me how old I was when I was deflowered. And even though it was back in the olden days, I’m pretty sure I was the last of my friends to go.)

I’m not sure how I ended up with the shirt. Did he give it to me to remember him by or was I just cold one day, put it on and never gave it back? Was it before or after the first of a few times that he broke my heart?

It’s too long ago to know for sure.

So long ago that I had kind of forgotten about it. I’ve lived in the same place for 14 years so there are items in my closet that haven’t seen the light of day since they went in there. (A little embarrassing because it means I need to do some closet cleaning.)

But a few weeks ago, it was cold in South Florida and I was looking for a sweatshirt to wear over my pajama top.

And there it was underneath a stack of clothes high up in my closet.

duofold henley placket duofold henley sleeve 2

I took it out.  Admired it’s fraying hem and sleeves full of holes. Marveled at the fact that I still had it. Thought briefly about the guy it used to belong to.

Then I put it on. It fit the same as it used to. Big and cozy. It kept me warm that night while I puttered around the house. Dishes, laundry, Facebook. The usual.

But you can be sure I took it off before I went to sleep that night. I didn’t want to bring those old memories to bed with me. Besides, I have my husband to keep me warm.


Me and the shirt. Circa 1993.

Me and the shirt. Circa 1993.