THE CUDDLY SWEATER
Before starting to write this rule, I did an experiment: I wrote on Goooooooooooogle “Linus blanket”. In o.31 seconds 124 thousands results appeared, almost all of them linked to the theory of giving kids safety. As if only kids feel insecure. (According to me it’s us “adults” who pour on them a list of fears and paranoia: not search for safety, as if kids use the blanket to avoid to see world that we created for them?).
Pedagogical reflections apart, now the time in which to be happy we just needed a Mulino Bianco’s Tegolino* with its toy in the little box, it’s gone.
The days in which we felt free just riding our bike with our best friend, they’re gone.
Those spellbound afternoons in which we dreamt watching an episode of Georgie** on Tv, they won’t come back.
Now we are adults for real, girls, we are in the middle of the game, we are running, we are in the field, we are in the fray. Passwords: run, do, organize, answer, assent, prepare-clear-reprepare-reclear a list of rites and situations and eventualities. Always being present, possibly smiling and without presenting the bill.
One moment: what if we need to take a breath? Like in those days when you open your eyes and you don’t want to go out of the bed, and while you quickly revise all your to-does you will have to face you would just like to zoom out and crouch under the blanket, dreaming of a shell big enough to crouch inside, and the thought that you can’t do it grips you by the throat like a sad ending in a film perfect till that moment.
So what to do in these situations? Which is the first, immediate remedy to face, handle and get over those sudden, fucking assholes moment of sadness and discouragement and need of giving up which take us on our heels, like an exclusion foul?
Who can we really talk to when want to cry, put our head in the chest of someone who can undestand us, or simply when we need to admit that we can’t do it anymore, maybe in the middle of a hug, that hug that we miseed to much?
Easy. To anybody. Because you can, but you don’t have to need somebody.
Anyway, always have closer a big sweater, much bigger than you.
Possibly long, warm, dressing, one of those you thigh on you and you wrap with the arms first on one side and then on the other, with a movement that – alone – already proves that you should love yourself.
It must be a sweater that you’ve used for many years, because in this way it will have much more to say, more experience of you. Out of shape, out of fashion, crumpled, ruined, with some stitches broken by the cat or a spot of toothpaste that you’ve always forgotten to clean.
You must keep it always ready, in every season. Never take it off from the wardrobe.
Because when the moment will come – that moment – when you will feel the rising desperation coming up from your knees, and the situation that you will be living will appear too big, when you will feel the fear locking your throat, or the sadness blocking your stomach, when you’ll uess that the only place where you’d like to go back to feel really safe is your mother’s belly (and God knows how difficult it is to admit that you still think of your mum with this kindness and nostalgia), so then that cuddly aweater will be fundamental.
It will safe you.
Take it, lock yourself inside of it, pour out, throw yourself on the sofa, under the blanket, or clasp it as strong as you can while you walk around the table in your kitchen. Wear it as long as you can.
Slowly, your cuddly sweater will make you feel better, it will give you some breathing space, a piece of serenity. And most of all, it will start to tell you of all the times you made it all by yourself. It will be as if you hug yourself, aware that before this moment you have gone through some more painfully alienating moments and you overcome all of them.
It will be like having a shelter at hand, all the time
And when that moment will be gone, you will see that you made it all by yourself this time too. Hip hip hurray to the woman that I am. And to my cuddly sweater ready to be used.
Ps: I tried it also in the middle of summer, walking in the garden under the sun at midday, waiting my underpants, barefoot, but with my woolen cuddly sweater on me.
It has been cathartic, helpful, indispensable.
Even if I don’t think my neighbour understood it, since she was staring at me from her window with a dazzled face.
(This is way I suggest a long sweater, especially when you are wearing underpants which look like those of your great grandmother’s first night of marriage)
PPS. If you still need human physical contact after using your cuddly sweater, there’s a long list of rules you can follow to overcome your moments of crisis. But we will see them tomorrow. And tomorrow, and tomorrow…
* Mulino Bianco’s Tegolino: wonderful Italian snack made of sponge cake and chocolate, cause of my physical imperfections (most of them located from the waist downwards) and at the same time source of big gustative joys from 8 to 13 years old.
**Georgie is a famous manga – which then became a cartoon – of 1983, set in the XIX Century between Australia and England which tells the adventures of a girl looking for her origin.
The plot, quickly, was this one: during a storm, Mr. Butman finds a woman who is dying and is holding a kid; this man decides to save the child and adopt her. She grows up and becomes a hot, blond girl, with blue eyes and a great body, normal, really normal. And by chance, Mr. Button had a family made of frustrated wife who doesn’t like the new one, and two kids, Abel and Arthur, both of them gorgeous.
At a certain point, Mr. Button dies to save Georgie which is now in the middle of conflicting feelings: her adoptive mother hates her and her half brothers love her.
Time passes, the guys become teenagers and hormones storm: Abel becomes a sailor to avoid to make up with Georgie – but the attempt is vane; after a year and a half he comes back home decided to marry his hot sister. Arthur, who would like to make up with Georgie too, gives up just because he doesn’t want to upset the girl (who has always some naked part of her body…even if it was just a shoulder or an ankle, it was enough to agitate the men’s thoughts).
Georgie, on her side, fells in love with Lowell – a noble…so strange!- and the only night they meet in private, they are caught from the adoptive mother who gets angry and reveals to the girl that she is not her mother, but she’s the daughter of a deportee. Georgie runs away upset, so upset that she fells in a river. By chance Arthur passes and saves her, brings her at uncle Kevin’s home, takes her clothes off and lays on her to get her warm. Of course.
At this point, they all decided to run away; Georgie pretends to be a boy, and leaves for England looking for Lowell; Abel follows her; Arthur follows her after seeing his mother’s death for heartbreak. Singing-Ja-Ja. Happiness.
Arrived in England: Georgie finds out that she is the daughter of a count. What a surprise. She meets Lowell who is with Elise, nephew of Duke Dangerin. They can’t resist each other and they try to run away. But he gets tuberculosis and to be saved he has to be operated and the operation is too expensive and so Georgie breaks up with him and she is desperately desperate so that he can be saved from Elise’s family.
Big ending: Georgie and her father, with Abel’s help, end Arthur’s imprisonment. Maria, Arthur’s girdfriend and Arwin’s sister, will help them and Arwin dies trying to stop their escape. After the redemption of Gerald’s family, Georgie gives up with Lowell for ever, and she sees him for the last time with Elise. Arthur, even if he is grateful for Maria, doesn’t alloy with her. Georgie, Abel and Arthur decide to go back to Australia to live where they grew up.
And lots of hugs and kisses.
And people call it a cartoon, we could see it on the famous Italian Tv Channel “Italia Uno” in the afternoon during a childish program, presented by a pink puppet called One, and I still remember the entire signature tune singed by the most famous Italian cartoon singer: Cristina d’Avena.
Anyway, Georgie, can I tell you something? Compliments!!! Brooke from “The Blood and the Beautiful” is a beginner compared to you!