Ten years ago, I wore an outfit that made me look like Blanche Devereaux if she were trying to dress like a New Yorker. On casual day.
That cold-shoulder turtleneck was already “old” to me at the time. I had gotten it on eBay years earlier, thinking it was going to look more punk, only to realize the lewk was “a very special episode of Golden Girls.” The top hadn’t gotten much — or even any — wear, so I should have followed orders the next year, when my designing friend Stacy Lomman told me to get rid of it, posthaste. I did put it into the “to go” pile, but then I removed it, unwilling to believe that it couldn’t work out somehow, some day, somewhere. My moment arrived earlier this month, when Dolly Parton got her COVID-19 vaccine, just three days before I was scheduled to get mine.
I felt triumphant when I got dressed to go to my early morning appointment for the Pfizer vaccine at New York’s Javits Center. So what if I had to wait a decade to prove myself right? There is no expiration dates on “told you so” fashion moments.
Bonus: I wound up in Mia Adorante‘s New York Times story today.
My anecdote is the one that ends the article:
And when Wendy Brandes, 53, a jewelry designer and activist in New York City, went to get vaccinated at the Javits Convention Center in New York City on March 5, she wore a black cold-shoulder sweater that she bought on eBay around 2005. “I just about fell over when I saw Dolly wearing one,” she said. “I knew I kept it for this moment.”
Apparently, she was not the only one. As she was receiving her Pfizer shot, the nurse told her: “Everyone’s wearing these tops.”
The cold-shoulder top is optional, but the vaccine is a must. I feel strongly about vaccination in general, as anyone would when they know a polio survivor. Polio was feared — with good reason — because it could swiftly kill children and young adults, or leave them permanently disabled. Polio peaked in the U.S. in 1952, when nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus and more than 3,000 died. People were terrified of polio; it was considered to be a scourge. And remember, those figures were yearly. With COVID, we’ve had more than 3,000 people die in a single day in the U.S., with more than 500,000 people dying in 12 months. A significant number of people who survive milder cases have serious long-term complications. Take this shit seriously! Science is a thing! Vaccines are effective! Doctors and scientists, although imperfect, have a better track record than a random pontificator off the Internet and/or your drug dealer, so get your vaccine lewk together and get your shot.