Do you robe?

I do.

We were recently visiting friends at their Jersey shore beach house; Jim’s best buddy from their SUNY Buffalo days, and his wife. In packing for the weekend, I took loungewear which included a matching robe. One evening after showering and getting ready to turn in, I was watching TV in said loungewear and robe. And that’s when the whole notion of “robing” was brought to my attention. Evidently, not every guest at the beach house brings or wears a robe. I think it was a novelty. But it got me thinking about how a robe has been a part of my life for all of my life. I come from a long line of robe-wearers. I remember my first robe was given to me by Grandmama when I was 4 or 5 years old. Not just given to me, but made for me. Although it was a masculine, coarse fabric with cowboys and horses on it, I loved it. The large collar and wrap belt assured me warm nights.

Actually, all the women on both my mother’s and father’s side of the family wore robes. Mama’s family wore utilitarian (warm) robes, and Daddy’s family wore dressing gowns. If I close my eyes, I can remember a parade of fabrics, patterns, zippers, buttons, collars, and laces. There were quilted ones, fluffy ones, polyester ones, as well as silky ones. To this day, my daughter has my mother’s last robe hanging in her college apartment closet. I tried to cull it from her stuffed closet but she wouldn’t part with it: faded pink, formerly fluffy but now coarse from washings, and a long zipper right down the middle. It’s a piece of home for her.

Robes have been on my mind so much lately, that I put it to Facebook and asked my friends: Do you wear one? The response and comments were a hoot. Yes, a lot of people love wearing robes. And there are as many reasons for and stories about them as there are fabrics, textures, and colors. I reached out to several and asked them to send me a photo with their robe on. To all my friends who responded, THANK YOU. I loved your stories, your photos, and your modeling jobs. You are my people. #robetribe

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