She stood outside of her apartment door with two packages clutched under her left arm and a venti Starbucks in her right hand. Bending over to set her latte on the ground so she could find her key to open the door, one of the J. Crew envelopes began slipping. She contorted her body ensuring that it wouldn’t hit the ground and knock over her drink, only to finally get the door open. She walked in to set the packages on her kitchen island before returning to the hall to get her Starbucks.
Grabbing a Wüsthof knife from the block next to their stovetop, she began to tear at the taped edges of the first box. Todd looked over from the couch and asked, “What’d you order?”
“I have, like, zero sweaters for this fall,” she explained to him while she finally opened the box completely revealing three different knit tops.
Todd began thinking of the sweaters that she did actually have but decided to not bring up the entire shelf dedicated to them in their walk-in closet for fear of having a conversation about sweaters that he didn’t want to have.
“I’m going to need your opinions on these, baby,” she said. “I want you to be honest.”
“Yeah,” he responded between sips of a new cabernet they were trying from their wine club. “Let me see.”
As she began unwrapping the first sweater – a cream-colored chunky turtleneck sweater reminiscent of one that Diane Keaton would wear in a romantic comedy – she commented, “Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten before trying these on. I’m so fat right now.”
Sperry began pawing at the paper that had fallen out of the sweater as she unfolded it. Pulling it over her head, she finally got it on over the t-shirt she was wearing. She stepped out from behind the island and approached Todd who still sat on the couch.
“Thoughts?” she asked.
Todd looked over and calmly remarked, “Yeah, I like it.”
“You like it?” she inquired. “What does that mean?”
“I mean,” he hesitated, “I like it, it looks good. You should keep it.”
She looked at him. Not with any sort of emotion in her eyes, but as if she wanted him to expand on why he actually liked the sweater.
“Do you just like it because you don’t want to talk about it anymore, or do you actually like it?” she persisted. “I’m not going to keep it if I look like shit in it.”
She turned her back and began walking back towards the island where two other sweaters sat wrapped in plastic. In the reflection of the oven, she rustled her hair and adjusted the sweater before explaining to Todd from afar that she thinks she looks fat in it despite the fact that the oven is completely unsuitable to be used as a mirror. “Let me see the others,” Todd said while she unwrapped them.
Again approaching him, but this time in a white cashmere sweater, she asked, “How ’bout this one?”
“Oh,” Todd said with a pleased tone in his voice, “I really like that one.”
“So you don’t like the other one,” she responded after a brief moment.
“No,” Todd said exasperated, “I do like the other one, I just like this one better.”
She again turned her back and headed back for the kitchen before muttering, “You’re just no help, you don’t get this at all,” before she began unwrapping the final sweater. Immediately upon pulling it out of it’s packaging, she knew it probably wouldn’t work but decided to try it on just to be sure. And as she approached Todd for the third time, she again asked, “Okay, what about this one?”
Todd looked her up and down with a clear look of hesitation in his eyes. “Eh,” he began, “It’s just… I don’t know. I don’t feel like it’s very you.” That was his nice way of saying that the sweater was ugly but that it just didn’t look good on her, but he braced himself.
“So I look bad in it?” she asked.
“No,” Todd shot back, “That’s not it at all. It’s just different from what you normally wear.”
“Okay, so you hate it,” she quickly said. “So none of these will work.”
“No, babe, I told you, I like the first two,” Todd explained. “I think you should keep those.”
But as she was halfway back to the kitchen she turned around and said, “No, Todd, you’re barely even paying attention because you’re watching your stupid sports game.” He rolled his eyes and settled back into the couch.
When she finally got back to the island, she picked up her phone and pulled up her FaceTime. Bending over the island with her elbows on the table, she positioned herself to look skinny on the screen for when Caroline picked up. When the call finally connected, she said, “Hey girrrrrrl. I just got the cutest new sweaters in the mail and Todd’s not being helpful at all. Can you tell me how they look?” .