The Very First Thing

The box is heavy, and of course on the very top shelf in the garage.

He’s such a pack rat, but I secretly think this shows his sentimental side.

I am searching for an old diary of mine, a book of thoughts and silly rants written by my 12 year-old self. I think it may help to bridge the distance between my 12 year-old daughter and her mother who seems to not understand a thing.

About being 12.

I bring the box down to the floor and blow the dust from the top. How long since it’s been down? I can’t remember.

The packing tape pulls off easily; the adhesive has lost it’s grip long ago. I peel it away and toss it aside, then gently pull open the top of the large box.

Right on top of the pile of memories and treasures it sits.

But not my diary.

It’s the baseball cap.

It has seen better days, the Kuhn & Co. baseball cap. The brim is no longer stiff and straight, having finally been washed one too many times. The bright blue lettering has faded and the white background has taken on a shade of dull.

The pizza parlor was crowded, infested with teenagers that Friday night. The basketball game was over and groups of friends spilled out of the doorway and wound around the tables. The jukebox was playing loudly but it was hard to make out the songs over the excitement of the young voices.

The boy sat quietly at the table, soft curls peeking out from under the Kuhn & Co. cap. I knew who he was, but we’d never spoken. His friends were loud and animated, and he stood out among them. A soft smile, an easy laugh.

The baseball cap.

I tossed my shy, reserved nature aside for a moment and went over to the table. I was drawn to him.

And in that I’m 16 and don’t know what to say way, I playfully grabbed his hat.

And put it on my head.

Thirty years ago this Sunday.

We’ve built an entire existence together, for better or for worse, based on the foundation of that old baseball cap.

And am I ever glad that he’s part pack rat.

This post is for The Red Dress Club weekly writing prompt: write a piece – 600 word limit – about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it’s so meaningful to you or your character.


  1. Oh, Sherri, that is so sweet.
    Thirty years…that's amazing.

    My grandparents were married for over sixty years. It makes me sad that Craig and I will never make that kind of milestone.

    Pizza parlors are, indeed, for falling in love. πŸ™‚

  2. What a gift; the hat, your life together and your beautifully written piece. Now I am reminiscing about my lunch date guy and looking forward to dinner with him tonight.

  3. What a great story! It's so wonderful to realize that you've built a life together and you remember exactly where it started. Sweet stuff!

  4. Not Just Another Jennifer says:

    Aw, Sherri! Goosebumps! I LOVE that story. And I love that he's a packrat. πŸ™‚

  5. Oh. Sherri. That's such a piece of you. I love the image.

  6. I like this. Very sweet. And I like that you didn't really know where it was going until the end.

  7. I loved it…how amazing, that at 16 you found the love of your next 30 years. I just enjoyed reading all about it.
    Holding that hat, I am sure all sorts of memories floated back.
    Here from TRDC. πŸ™‚

  8. I love this, Sherri. What a wonderful story. I might possibly be dying of the sweetness. I hope you put that cap in a place of honor.

  9. HonestConvoGal says:

    Oh yay, I found you Sherri! You were sneaky not putting your name on your linky. I too was awkward and I too pulled the hat move on an intimidating boy or two. Only I didn't marry the hattee. But you did. And what a love story you wrote. I yet again profess my love for your blog. Well done. I have two blogs now BTW, I'm really excited. The nonfiction one remains The new fiction one is The TRDC post is on the latter.

  10. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I am so glad he kept it. You were so bold! I don't think I could have done that.

  11. So sweet. So heartwarming. Amazing how one baseball cap can bring everything flooding back.

  12. Bethany @ Organic Enchilada says:

    Maybe this is why my hubs wouldn't get rid of his letterman jacket or his football face mask or his plethora of scouting badges… Course, he didn't know me back then, so he's packing away memories of someone/thing else. πŸ™‚
    Lovely work, as always!

  13. So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? says:

    I really like this line…"His friends were loud and animated, and he stood out among them." It paints such a vivid picture with not many words. To stand out with such loud and animated friends, he had to be something really special! Glad you saw it and that it has lasted you 30 years!
    Great post about lasting love!

  14. What a wonderful find!
    And a wonderful beginning.

    Carry on!

  15. The Flying Chalupa says:

    You are adorable. And I'm sure you're husband knows that. Also? Why is it always about the girls making the first move? ALWAYS! Although, as my husband says, it's kind of sleezy when the guy makes the first move. Sleezy or lazy, I'm not sure which – but what a sweet memory.

  16. This is just a perfect piece!

    Thirty years…congratulations πŸ™‚

  17. Wow, Sherri! Way to take the baseball hat by the brim!

    Or something. πŸ˜‰

  18. Oh I love this, what a sweet story all from the discovery of a baseball cap. Beautiful.

  19. MultitaskMumma says:

    So beautiful. I love how it flowed effortlessly from wanting to bridge the gap between mother and daughter to the meeting of husband and wife.

  20. Paula/Lulubelle says:

    I can still see that pizza parlor – or at least one of the ones we used to go to a lot! It seems like yesterday and a million yesterdays all at the same time. Congrats on the 30 years!!!

  21. I loved this story. I love it even more because it is true. 30 years is a really impressive. It seems that love like that is hard to find.

  22. Sluiter Nation says:

    I adore this post. I love stories like this! I also knew Cort since…well…since forever. But our story of friendship begins 15 years ago this spring. You may have inspired me to tell that story in a couple months πŸ™‚

    And I love that your story begins in a pizza parlor. I don't know why…but that made me swoon!

  23. Dana @ Bungalow'56 says:

    Of course, now I want the rest of the thirty years. I was reading this and it became a movie. Kind of "a la Footloose," hubs doesn't look like Kevin Bacon does he? A wonderful story for this prompt. You and Yuliya are rocking these!

  24. Mrs.Mayhem says:

    So very sweet. Congrats!

  25. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) says:

    Sherri, that is so sweet. What a lovely story. Congratulations on 30 years!!

  26. The mad woman behind the blog says:

    Swoon! A boy in a baseball cap stole my heart too. Loved this story Sherri…and I do hope to read about that diary too.

  27. Awwww…this was so sweet and just…*sigh* lovely.

  28. Play ball!! I love it. 30 years is a lifetime. Congratulations to you both, my friend.

    As a side note, now I want some pizza.

  29. This is so sweet!

  30. Sorry it took me a week to get to this story, but I'm so glad I caught up this is so sweet!