Taming the blankie of death

My new mantón is heavy. Fabulous, but freakin’ heavy.

I recently purchased this piece after realizing I needed something to match the dress I’ll be wearing for our show next month. While scrolling through the selection of piano shawls on eBay, I came across this one: black, 52 inches across, ample fringe and heavy on vibrant, colorful floral embroidery. I had to have it! A click of the “Buy it Now” button and this piece of vintage loveliness was mine.

What I didn’t consider prior to my impulsive click was that because this piece was vintage (whatever that means), I was taking risk. It could be damaged. It could stink. Luckily, neither is the case. What it is, however, is heavy as hell.

Yes, the ample embroidery is part of its weight problem. But the bigger issue, I think, is the trim. The edges are densely crocheted and the fringe isn’t flossy thin like that on my starter mantón. No, this is a serious bit of handiwork.

When I draped it over myself for the first time, my heart sank right along with my shoulders. Oh God, I spent money I really shouldn’t be spending on something I can’t even use. And when I attempted to twirl it overhead, the very loud “Whoosh!” it created only exacerbated my fears. How can I possibly manage something with so much wind resistance?

Commanding this massive piece of fabric would be a breeze for a seasoned flamenca. For me, probably not so much. But I’m not giving up. I am not giving in to the blanket of death.

So I try to disarm it. I spread it out evenly on the living room floor and attack its wild hairs with my handy scissors. Perhaps all it needs is a good pruning. When I’m done, the casualties lie limp on a newspaper. Throwing the the heavy clump of chopped string in the garbage gives me hope.

The instant weight loss is helpful, for sure, but it’s not the miracle I was looking for — there’s still a whoosh factor I’m not sure I can overcome. Still, I’m holding onto the hope that I can make this work. It’s so pretty, I have to try.

The moment of truth comes Saturday when I battle with the beast for an hour during dance class. Will I be triumphant or will the black death wrap itself around me and take me down? Stay tuned.

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