Photograph by Heather Kennedy

From The New York Times:

It was a crocheted brown-gold sweater my mother handed down to me before I went to college. It was, frankly, a bit granny-ish. But it was the kind of mothball item that sometimes, improbably, reads stylish. During my freshman year I wore it often, over a sleeveless dress with daisies that was also given to me by my mother. It’s this sweater he refers to, in an email that shows up in my inbox nearly 15 years later.

I worked a bunch of odd jobs to get through school — some related to my literature major, most not. I met him at one of those jobs. What I did in this particular job involved columns of numbers that actually bored me to tears. I tried to be patient. I needed corresponding numbers to show up in my bank account. He was in his late 40s and friendly, and asked me a lot of questions about myself. At 18, I was unused to the attention, especially from someone I classified as a real professional grown-up. He was a successful writer, and I wanted to be one.

“The Undress Code”, Bonnie Tsui, The New York Times