I’m sure there was some point in my life where I’ve worn plaid. I’m pretty sure I was in elementary school. Wait. There was that ruffled number which has been immortalized via a junior high school photo. A glance at that particular yearbook confirms that ruffled plaid shirts were all the rage back in 1982. Or at least in terms of school yearbook photos. And that is probably what led to my dad’s cousin Marty getting all of us plaid shirts for Christmas at least two decades later. Either that or he was a huge fan of Al, Tim Allen’s more competent sidekick on “Home Improvement.”
Marty was THAT relative. The one whose gifts were likely purchased at about 4:50 pm on Christmas Eve. They usually came with such unique wrapping. It started with the Sunday comics, which was cute. Then it became the business section. Not nearly as entertaining unless you followed stocks. Then it became the “Thank You” recyclable plastic bag. Sometime it was a paper bag. One which had clearly been recycled…possibly from holding his lunch earlier that day. One year he gave each of my kids one of the specially wrapped “Thank You” bags full of candy. And I mean FULL of candy. Their Halloween haul didn’t compare. Marty’s gifts weren’t always like that, but I’ll skip any details which may or may not paint my family tree with some unflattering branches.
But the plaid shirts still bring a smile to my face. It became a running joke in the family. My husband actually wore his every once in a while. We even joked that we should all wear ours the following Christmas. Kind of like those ugly Christmas sweater parties. It never happened and sadly Marty has passed on, but even though I can’t recall the exact year of the plaid shirts, it still brings a smile to my face.