O Black Sweater at Marshalls, Where Art Thou

The other day, Nurse V mentioned that she needed clothes for an upcoming vacation, and asked if I would help her shop. She really had to twist my arm, as you can imagine, and we wound up at Marshalls in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Center.

Now, when it comes to brand-name discount stores, shopping at that Marshalls means seriously kicking it old school. It makes browsing at the Upper West Side Loehmann’s that I know and love looks like amateur hour. At Marshalls, there are only a few racks organized by designer, and almost no neat endcaps displaying merchandise in that spare, boutique style that makes you want to buy something.

No, this Marshall’s offers up endless racks of clothes divided into the most basic categories. Shirts. Sweaters. Pants. Small. Medium. Large.  Not for the faint of heart, was this Marshall’s. Luckily, Nurse V and I were up to the challenge. We patiently went through each rack in Nurse V’s size, evaluating every piece of clothing.

Once my friend had a decently sized “definitely coming home with me” pile as well as a a reasonable “maybe” one (many items successfully found by me, I’m just saying), I went in search of a little something-something for myself.

Gold buttons like the ones on the sweater I left at Marshalls.

I am bad at taking camera-phone pics in dressing rooms, so I don’t have a picture of the Magaschoni sweater from Marshalls. Just picture a very plain, long-sleeved black sweater, crew-neck. The gold-button detailing at the shoulder was made from buttons that looked like these. It’s the best I could do.

Which was when I happened upon a black crew-neck Magaschoni sweater. Simple and elegant, it was plain except for a row of gold disk-shaped buttons running from the chest to the shoulder. It looked fabulous on. It had been almost $200 and was now a reasonable $50.

Still. I reflected back on my Rosh Hashanah, or new year’s, resolutions and thought about all the other things I need I could put that $50 toward, and I reluctantly left the sweater behind. It was, as usual, a mini shopping crisis.

However, over the last couple days I have also remembered that at the end of last winter I told myself that I would need new black sweaters for this winter. My black sweaters have been go-to’s for years now, and are a bit threadbare.

Still, leaving that sweater behind almost guaranteed I can’t go back for it. Even if someone else hasn’t bought it by now, I can’t imagine being able to find it again. It could still be there, of course, waiting to be found again—one black sweater amidst thousands of pieces of clothing arranged in almost no particular order. I don’t want to say that going on a quest for it would be like “finding a needle in a haystack” because I don’t really relate to agricultural metaphors. But I think i can safely say it’s the sweater that got away.


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