Thursday, June 30, 2005

My Doctoral Robes - RIP

They started life in a dim shop in London, one where the royalties and the wealthy oil sheiks got their shirts manufactured. I was measured for them by an eighty-year old gentleman who had taken the measures of Princess Margaret. The whole experience was surreal.

They were lovely robes, flowing around me as I walked, fitting perfectly around my shoulders and then rippling down my body like rivers seeking the ocean. The pleating below my shoulders was exquisite and the tag at the back had my name embroidered in beautiful letters. The jaunty little velvet beret went perfectly with the robes. Even the silly bib that is worn on the back in the most senseless of ways looked good.

Of course they didn't get worn that much. It's hard to pop into the supermarket in your woolen robes, at least without attracting a lot of attention. They mostly came out for ceremonial occasions and once or twice as a bathrobe. But I treasured them, even when they were taking up space in my closet, space that I desperately needed for things such as clothes one actually wears.

I treasured them because they were pretty much all I ever got from four incredibly painful years of studying economics. The robes and those little letters after my name: Echidne of the snakes, PhD. Something to show to those who doubted that I could possibly know what I was talking about. Something I might possibly convert into a burqa if things got really bad here. Something to keep, just in case.

But, alas, no longer. The moths, those cruel and heartless creatures, have devoured my robes. I could still wear them in some risque venues but they will no longer work for a burqa. The lesson: Never hold out for the woolen version. Go with the polyester. You save money and your heart from breaking.