Thursday, September 22, 2011

My gay clothes

I dropped my uncle off at Cedars Sinai Hospital yesterday. He's there to have a hip replacement. The surgery went well and now he has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

Naturally, I'll be there to help. Not only because he's family and it's the right thing to do, but also because I owe him. Big time.

You see, my uncle who happens to be gay, used to work in the finance department at Saks Fifth Ave. My brother and I, who are not gay, were often on the receiving end of lavish sartorial gifts from the Young Man's Department at Saks. I can't tell you how often my uncle would visit on birthdays, or on Chanukah, bearing boxes of handsomely-boxed and meticulously-wrapped cashmere sweaters, tweed sport coats and 100% wool slacks.

On my 9th birthday I was hoping to get an official Spaulding Mickey Mantle outfielder's glove. But Saks Fifth Avenue didn't have a sporting goods department, so instead I got a turtleneck sweater that would not fit over my watermelon-sized head.

Needless to say, my brother and I were dungarees guys. And never fashion forward. So all these fancy-pants clothes never got worn. Maybe once on Yom Kippur or when some aunt died, but very rarely. They went into a bag with lots of mothballs and were never seen again.

Of course, when my uncle would visit my mother would ask us to put on the itchy pants and sweaters, but we never did. And my uncle never batted an eye or made any further inquiry. I suppose that small collection of fashionable clothing tucked away in the back of the closet was the original incarnation of "don't ask, don't tell."

No comments: