A few weeks ago, when it was hot, but not yet unbearably hot, I was getting ready to leave work for the day. I started to take off the sweater that lives in my office, and paused, thinking that I didn’t have anything warm to put on for going outside. And then my brain started functioning again, and I remembered, “Oh, it’s 80 degrees outside, you don’t need a sweater or jacket outside, only inside.”
Many work places and indoor public spaces could reduce their electricity use, thereby saving themselves a lot of dollars on cooling costs AND reducing the their carbon footprint, by setting the thermostat a little higher in the summer. Until that happens, here is the tale of the resident sweater.
A navy blue zip-up sweater permanently resides in my office to help me survive frigid office temperatures that occur in the middle of the summer. When it is 100 million degrees outside, but the office feels like the inside of a meat locker. By permanently resides in my office, I mean this. In the summer of 2005 I started grad school and worked as a research assistant in the same building. At some point during that summer, I decided I needed a permanent source of warmth that I could wear over almost anything, something I wouldn’t mind leaving at the office, and this sweater that I never really wore for anything else seemed like the perfect solution. And because I always wore it over other clothes, and not directly against my skin, and somehow got lucky and never spilled any food on it, I never took it home to wash it. Ever.
Fast forward two years to the summer of 2007. Degree in hand, I landed a full time job that just happened to be in the same building. So instead of packing up my cubicle and taking everything home, I just moved everything down the hall into my new pseudo-office (i.e., a cubicle in disguise). Including the sweater. Because why take it home and wash it, if it clearly wasn’t dirty?
Then, during the summer of 2008, I moved with my employer to a new building. I packed most of my office contents in boxes for the moving service (which had to be done while we still had a week left in the old building), but there were some things I wanted to move myself. I put the sweater in this category so it would be available right up to the last minute in that frigid place.
So it happened that, at the end of the last day in the old building, my trusty sweater saw daylight for the first time in three years. And then I took it back to my house, and, are you ready for this? I washed it. For the first time in 3 years.
It survived that washing and just finished its 11th month in it’s new residence. That means it has 2 years and 1 month to go until the next washing.