I Fear The Sweater Vest In My Closet

I’m not one who finds it especially comforting to look on the bright side. A native New Yorker, I’m much more of a glass half empty type of girl, especially when it comes to the slow economic recovery. But if there is one tiny benefit to reduced employment, it’s the time it gives you to clean. A few days ago, I decided to tackle my closet. It’s normally a bang bang operation; I’m no fashionista. If throwing old clothes onto my bed was part of a cinematic karaoke montage, the lyrics would go something like this: Be gone button downs with pit stains/Be gone turtlenecks from 2002/And now many a sweater vest/Be gone with you, too.

There they were, three lonely sweater vests waiting for some love. I realized I hadn’t worn them in years. They were, don’t laugh, a date go to. My girlfriend thought they were a good look, the red and black argyle vest notwithstanding. Not too long ago, the mannequins at New York & Company brought sexy back with these sweater vests. But now, they seemed so so wrong. I couldn’t understand why.

I decided to look to Google for answers. During a search for “sweater vest”, I saw links for J.Crew, Polo and even a very insightful wiki article giving the 411 on its origins. It wasn’t until I scrolled down to the very bottom of the search results that I discovered why the vest had become so vexing.

The hyperlink to the UK Telegraph read as follows: Santorum and his sweater vest could prove formidable. Next to the link, there stood Rick Santorum in his red, grandpaternal sweater vest smiling to a crowd of supporters. The sweater vest filled me with mixed emotions.

Emotion #1 – Gratitude. I’d much rather see a 1950’s sweater vest come up on a semi-Santorum search than the pervy, albeit hilariously infamous alternative. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, Google Santorum. Actually please do.

Emotion #2 – Twisted Admiration – There is something to be said for living in a state of fashion denial. Rock that Werther’s Original look Rick. Rock it!

Emotion #3 – Sheer Terror – This happened rather quickly post-Emotion #2. Yes, we have all had our delusional moments. Mine usually occur while drinking lots of wine and watching Dawson’s Creek. Growing increasingly tipsy, I start convincing myself that The Creek was the greatest television series of all time. Fortunately, I wake up with a hangover and clarity. Dawson’s had its moment but, save for the random DVD marathon, the moment has passed.

When you think about it, the sweater vest should be the perfect metaphor for Rick Santorum. It had its moment. It was taken seriously by fairly rational folks. It made its mark on society. But alas, it got old. Really old. It no longer fit the world we live in.

It should be the perfect metaphor for Rick Santorum. But alas, this is 2012. Everything old, really, really old, like The Crusades and The Reformation old, is new again. Rick Santorum would have been a terrific candidate in the 1500s. But elections are about embracing the sane future, not the insane past.

Goodbye my sweater vest friends, even you argyle. I can’t say I’ll miss you.