Anyone who reads this blog probably knows my Dad likes to bestow gifts on his children.
Really bad garage sale gifts.
It’s not that I have anything against yard sales or the Goodwill. It’s just that my dad has taste that at best can be described as “questionable”, although “atrocious” would probably be more accurate. Translation: While I truly appreciate his generosity, I do not appreciate receiving second-hand Cross Colors shorts circa 1992.
(True story. Unfortunately.)
Still, every once in a while, Dad gets things right. Really right. That was the case with “The Muskrat.”
Behold, the vintage muskrat stole Dad picked up for me at a recent yard sale. While I’m typically vehemently opposed to wearing fur, I make an exception if it’s vintage and I wasn’t the fashionista responsible for the original loss of rodent life. Judge all you want, but that’s my stance and I’m stickin’ to it.
It was love at first sight. Sure, the lining needs a small repair, and the thing doesn’t smell the greatest, but it’s 1940s fur from a boutique in Hollywood! It’s probably been to the Oscars! Or at the very least, In N’ Out Burger, which is almost just as good!
I carefully transported the fabulous stole back to Smalltown, and it’s been burning a hole in my closet ever since. While it’s breathtakingly fabulous, I still haven’t quite figured out how to sport it publicly. Truly, where does one even wear a fur stole nowadays? Especially when one lives in rural Minnesota?
(And no, Wal-Mart is not an acceptable answer.)
(Although I did consider it for like…a minute.)
I’ve been struggling with the answer to this question for weeks. With no special occasions in sight, I’d resigned to the fact that it would probably be many, many moons before I could go out in public wearing a family of muskrats.
Then, this morning, it hit me like a ton of political propaganda.
If Election Day isn’t a special occasion, I don’t know what is. Not only is voting one of the most meaningful ways we can express American patriotism, it also only happens once every four years! In my opinion, exercising our right to vote is not only important–it’s exciting, festive, and totally worthy of a few dead muskrats.
(For the record, that last part sounded much better in my head.)
Just as I was ready to leave for the polls, I learned that a good friend (who is also semi-new to Smalltown and had planned on registering at the polls like I was) — needed a third-party from her voting ward to confirm her residency. As I learned of her scenario, I realized Scott would also need someone to vouch for his residency. While I felt extremely honored to play a small part in helping two people vote, I realized this meant I would no longer be voting solo.
It’s one thing to show up to a church basement on a random Tuesday wearing a ridiculous fur get-up by yourself…but doing it with two witnesses who may never let you live your furry ensemble down? That’s a whole new muskrat enchilada.
Still, I was determined to wear the darn stole if it killed me. Wrapped in its furry comfort, I headed to the polls, my head held high. It wasn’t until I was half way there that I realized the fur smelled really bad. Not only would I be the crazy fur lady with messed up hair, I was going to be the stinky crazy fur lady with messed up hair. A poor-man’s Cruella DeVille who just so happens to be interested in politics, if you will.
The worst part? I think she bought it. (I suppose I could have tried to explain myself, but I think we can all agree the truth was way too pathetic to reveal.)
The voting process went fairly smoothly, and I even got Scott to admit he liked my stole. “Just maybe not for everyday wear…” he warned. I agreed as we exited the building and collected our stickers. On the bright side, fur and adhesive work really well together…I’m pretty sure my sticker will be staying firmly in place for the rest of the day.
In fact, I think I may have started a new tradition. Voting in a ridiculously dressy outfit added a certain pomp that actually felt quite appropriate to the occasion. Perhaps I’ll start wearing the muskrat coat for every election.
(After I get it thoroughly cleaned and deodorized, that is. While muskrats may be politically savvy, they certainly don’t smell very patriotic.)