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Sophomore Complimented On Ugly Christmas Sweater Actually Really Liked It


Photo from TheUglySweaterShop / CC BY 2.0

When Larry Michaels (C '20) went home for winter break after his first semester at Penn, he desperately needed to decompress. After an overwhelming semester with more lows than highs, Larry yearned for some of the simple pleasures in life. He knew that he needed to ground himself by spending some quality time with his family.

That's why when he saw a gift from Grandma Sheryl sitting under the tree on Christmas morning, Larry felt as if everything was going to be okay for the first time in a while. He gently opened the beautifully wrapped present to unveil a handcrafted, embroidered sweater and Larry’s heart filled with joy. While the snowflakes that Grandma Sheryl had knit looked a little precarious and the gingerbread man plastered onto the center of the sweater looked a bit... turd-inspired, Michaels truly appreciated the love his grandmother put into it. Those mistakes just made the sweater that much more authentic. However, since he didn’t want to look like a dweeb still celebrating Christmas in the sping, Michaels stowed the sweater in the back of his closet, biding his time for the next holiday season.

Eleven months later, sweater weather was in full force. Emboldened by Penn’s holiday spirit, Larry felt as if last Friday was as good a time as any to break out Grandma Sheryl’s gift. A warm wave of nostalgia washed over him as Larry proudly strode down Locust, sweater on full display for everyone to see. He’d never seen that many people smile at him on the Walk. They must’ve really been feeling the Christmas cheer.

Larry was in great spirits until he sat down next to his buddy, Bruce Painter (C '20) in his Econ 101 lecture. “Congrats, I’ve never seen an uglier sweater in my life,” Bruce said, struggling to regain his composure, then laughing in Larry’s face for a solid 30 seconds straight. “I’d ask where you bought it from, but just thinking about the fact that some company willingly sold that sweater reminds me that we’re living in capitalism’s darkest timeline. It’d be depressing if that thing weren’t so hilariously terrible.”

Larry pretended to laugh along with his friend, but on the inside he was a broken man. Sadly, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash and honestly, and Larry would’ve looked better if actual garbage had been sewn onto his body.