My old purple jacket…

When my kids were little, we had books in which you could choose your own ending. I enjoyed them as much as they did. You, dear reader, now have the opportunity to end the following story however you wish from the options below.

Do I play volleyball???

This IS true: I was walking along, minding my business when a young stranger opened a door for me. Moved by his kindness, I politely thanked him. As he walked along slightly behind me, he asked: ‘Do you play volleyball?’
I use a walker. That was a strange question: ‘I did in high school.’ (True.)

Where did you get your jacket?

‘Where did you get your jacket?’ (What did that have to do with anything?)
’In L.A. in about 1980.’ (True too, yet I’d never given thought to what my jacket said. Never!)

‘Goodness, how old ARE you?’
I answered truthfully, adding: ‘If I’d known how long I’d live, I’d have taken better care of my body while I was young.’
‘That’s interesting, no one ever told me that before. Uh, would you sell me your jacket? I’ll buy it right now.’
‘It’s very old…’
‘I don’t care — I play pro volleyball and will pay you for it.’
All of this is true.

Would you believe? It IS a Volleyball jacket.


A wad of bills…

Choice #1: He pulled out a wad of bills. How could I resist? I said yes, accepted his offer and as I removed my purple jacket, told him I was chilly, so I’d better run. Off I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me away, a stack of bills tightly grasped in my fist. I didn’t tell him I’d shortened the sleeves and there was no way he could wear the old jacket being as tall as he was.

We had a chat about volleyball…

Choice #2: ‘It isn’t worth anything,’ I told him. ‘If I had another jacket to wear in this weather, I’d just give it to you. Because of the pandemic, I’m not shopping now so I’d better hold on to it.’
I gave him a phone number, suggested he call me later, and promised I’d surely give it to him.
He was so pleased, he invited me out to lunch right there and then. What did I have to lose. Even if he was a serial killer, what could he do to me in a restaurant on 4th Avenue? What followed was an interesting chat about volleyball over a good meal at Jam’s.

Choice #3: He asked if I’d take off the jacket so he could look at it more closely for a moment. I’m a good kid. I took it off and handed it to him. He ran off with it as fast as his long legs could carry him away. Can you believe??? Drat! Not nice at all! That nasty guy stole my old jacket! HE STOLE IT!!!!!

Well, how would YOU end this story?

Special thank you to my grandson Andrew Mead who took these photos of me in my old purple jacket.

45 thoughts on “My old purple jacket…

    • Me too. I really would have given it to him anyway. It is so very old and not worth anything. I didn’t realize until later that I had cut the sleeves, so he would not be able to wear it. He may not care about wearing it however.

  1. No question! It has to be choice #2. Muriel, you are generous so I think that’s how you would react … you wouldn’t want to be paid. You’re also gregarious and would enjoy having lunch. Because you both enjoy volleyball, you had something in common to begin your chat. It would be a pleasant experience for both of you.


  2. Knowing you, I’m guessing #2, as that absolutely sounds like a typical Maughm situation/story. I’m guessing that jacket has some significance in the volleyball world, and while you might think it isn’t worth anything, it might be some kind of special collector’s item! Once again, knowing you, you would give it to the kid anyway!

    • Aha! You’re voting with the majority so far Susan: You guys have me pegged, however I’ll not say what happened because I’m hoping YOU and others will come up with another ending of your own. Love ya, Maughm

  3. Hey Sweety!
    Take the money and run – buy a new jacket and use the remainder to buy lunch !
    Or –
    Auction it off – take a tax deduction and sleep well !
    Heh Heh Heh!
    Nice blog !!!!!!

  4. The jaded cynic in me was going for number 3, but I told her to shut up because number 2 is the right choice. Than I put my rosy glasses on and let you throw away the walker and run down the road with number 1. Maybe number 2 is still the better choice. Great post!

  5. I’d rather you kept it but since it isn’t a choice, 2 sounds better because you still have time to say you’d like to hold onto it. But if the person really is passionate about volleyball, the jacket probably means so much to him. I’m so confused 😂

  6. I’ll take what’s behind door number 2 please! I know it’s what you’d do. However, I think he had an ulterior motive. He wasn’t really interested in the old jacket. Instead he was part of a research project on human nature and whether we are genetically inclined to be materialistic. He asks people at random for their personal items, clothing etc and notes the response and willingness (or not)to part with them. So much fun to have alternate endings! Thanks 😊

  7. I’d choose #2, even though I’m not as brave as you are, Muriel! I think it’s what you would do “in real life”. It’s the most intriguing ending, as well, and might just lead to another new friendship:) This idea of choosing our own endings to stories is so creative and fun—I hope you’ll do it again on your blog!

  8. Muriel, Matriach of the Overvets Volleyball Team
    If you happen to go by Sunset Beach on a sunny afternoon by the beach volleyball court you will see a new celebrity. Muriel is ever present to provide support to the Overvets volleyball team. Since Muriel has arrived they are wining all their games. They never imaged a vintage jacket could bring such power to the Overvets Volleyball team.

    • I just love the idea you came up with for the end of the story Garth: Sure, I would give the guy my old jacket because I’d love to go watch a Pro Volleyball game at Sunset Beach when they start playing again. Great idea! Great photo you created of me and my jacket at a game. I’ll try to get it onto the post and see if that works. Love and hugs, Muriel

  9. So glad you enjoyed it Val: Some readers did come up with totally different endings. One said I’d give the fellow my jacket and he’d invite me to watch him play pro volleyball at Sunset Beach when they start again. Nice idea too. Since so many enjoyed this post, I’ll try to work another this way one of these days. Cheers.

    • I just love this story, Muriel for two reasons. The first is that that man is my son and I am very proud of him and I love the way he convinced you to part with your jacket. He loves old things…including me…and he will treasure that jacket, wear it to the beach and tell the story a hundred times. Secondly, you have made a new friend and if you walk down to Kits beach (not sunset beach) he will no doubt introduce you to the players and you will be a celebrity! Actually there is a third reason. His grandfather was a journalist and the way he told the story on his Facebook page sounds like he may have inherited some of that talent. Stay safe and enjoy your new jacket and make sure to make your way to Kits beach in the summer and no doubt you will find Sean. 😊

      • Oh Pattie: I am so excited to hear from you. How kind of you to write. I want you to know how it happened that Sean and I met. He saw me struggling to get out the door of a local shop with my walker. He came over just to help. You can certainly be proud of him. He IS special and very kind.
        I just finished writing another post about the jackets which I’ve called ‘The end of the story???’ (The question marks are there because I kind of doubted it WOULD be the end of the story.) I’ve used some of the photos Sean and I took Sunday. Do look at it. You’ll enjoy seeing it too. I hope you and I do meet some day.

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