I’d like to introduce you to James Darville. I met him last month in Sandy’s Donut Shop on Broadway in Fargo. He’s going to North Dakota State University and majoring in public relations. We have something in common: When I was young like he is, that’s where I went to college.
We were all enjoying the warmth of Sandy’s on an awfully chilly day in Fargo. I was there with my best friend from high school, Patricia. She’s used to the cold. She’d driven across from Duluth, MN to be with me and my family. We were all in Fargo because my mom was just up the street in the ICU at Sanford Hospital. A fall in her bathroom at home had resulted in a big bleed in her brain. We were taking a break from the hospital when we met James.
A bit of back story: Patricia is the reason I ended up in California. When I graduated from West Fargo High School, she was moving with her parents to California and wanted me to come with them. That didn’t take much coaxing. I was up for an adventure. Getting my parents to love the idea was a different story. They didn’t stop me from going but they did make me promise to come back in January and start college at NDSU.
January in Fargo: imagine that for a moment. Now imagine Southern California in January. Big difference, but I’d made a promise and I kept it.
James’ story is flip flopped from mine. He’s from North Carolina. When he didn’t get into his first choice for college, he decided he wanted to go to NDSU. Let’s have an adventure, he thought. He announced one day, “Mom, I’m moving to Fargo!” Can you imagine her surprise? He’d never been in temperatures colder than five degrees and it was -10 degrees the day he arrived.
While we were enjoying our lattes, Patricia and I were admiring James’ fashion sense. He seemed to have majored in layering. I wanted to hear how he put his outfit together so I asked! Here’s the schematic of his outfit.
- Hollister jeans, 4 years old
- Henley T-shirt from Saks Fifth Avenue
- Plaid shirt by Belk
- Jean jacket by American Eagle
- Jacket from Goodwill
- Scarf he stole from his mother
- Boots are Ugg favorites
I asked him to show me how he got his scarf so well positioned and it started by gripping the ends in each hand, holding it out in front of his body and then crisscrossing them behind his neck and pulling them forward. In Steps 3 and 4, he adjusts the front folds. In Steps 5 and 6, he tucks some of the bulk under the collar of his jean jacket. He pulls the neck of his outer jacket up and adjusts the scarf to be partway under the collar.
The sunglasses make you appreciate the colors in the scarf even more, don’t they?
When you’re going through tough times, appreciating beauty is a salve that helps. The days were awfully worrisome in my mother’s hospital room. Beauty brought buoyancy to my spirits even if only for a few minutes. Thanks, James!
And of course, it helps to have a best friend there to go through it with you. A thousand thanks, Patricia!