There was a fantastic little song about a million years ago (a quick Google search revealed that I am off by only a few months in my estimation), by a group called Go West. If already you aren’t doing the Carlton and snapping your fingers, please google “King of Wishful Thinking” .
Take a quick break to listen and enjoy this photo of a happy cat in the meantime:
Can we agree that this song has everything? A fun hook, a beltable melody (one I love to sing as I walk my scalawags to school, swinging our hands, crooning You made a hole in my heart! Meanwhile they, at four and five years old, are already hiding their face behind their mittens because, and I quote, Mom, you’re embarrassing us!)
What I love the most about it is the message: Hope springs eternal.
This song is why I have to give up my bunny sweater.
My bunny sweater is practically perfect in every way: in great condition, well made, a beautiful color, fits great, always gets compliments. Even my boys love it because it has bunnies all over it, but then randomly, right near the bottom, is one lonely kitty cat. I mean, it’s even got a little joke built right in, like a Jimmy Fallon kids’ book!
However, my bunny sweater reminds me, every time I look at it, that I have a hole in my heart. I bought it because it reminded me of a special person who used to call me Bunny. I bought it for no other reason.
Just like the blue and gray tee-shirt with the bow or the sunshine yellow scarf, this sweater reminds me of something, while maybe I don’t want to forget it, I must stop reminding myself of it.
The Sister-in-Law Precedent
Four years ago at Christmas, my usually reserved and serene sister-in-law took me into her bedroom, and in something that resembled a rage, emptied her closet of all her clothes. She said to me, “I don’t care what you do with these things, but I want you to get them out. I never want to see them again.”
My sister-in-law and I have been friends since 1997. I liked her immediately when I met her, back when we were both still on the cusp of twenty. She has a quirky sense of style and loves to play with textiles, too.
She had long-term relationship that ended badly about six years ago. That relationship produced two amazingly intelligent girls who stunned me, even when they were little, by their poise and wit.
My sister-in-law got married four years ago to a wonderful man. As she helped me and my nine-months pregnant belly stuff bags full of her clothes to get them out of her house, she seemed determined. This was urgent to her.
She carried them out to the car with me and as I closed the trunk she let out a huge sigh. She was free to start over.
Caution: Cognitive Dissonance
Clothes can carry so much meaning for us. Not all clothes, sure. Not all people, maybe. But I believe that for many of us, they are what represents us to the world; they are outward representations of an inward reality. For my sister-in-law, those clothes were infused with the stink of a relationship that caused her years of suffering. She did not want to suffer anymore, especially not as she sought to start over again with someone fabulous.
Even if the bunny sweater is truly scrumptious, it no longer represents my inner reality: I am no longer Bunny. The dissonance caused by the sweater is too loud and too painful. It must go.
So. I have decided to rehome my bunny sweater. It would give me immense joy to know that it has a good home, maybe even more joy than it gave me when I brought it home to live with me. It is very well-behaved, requires little maintenance and even likes to joke around a bit. It will make someone very, very happy.
Just not me. I don’t want to be a bunny of wishful thinking. I want to be the Queen of Contentment.