An American hiker stranded in the Bavarian Alps for three days was rescued, thanks to her bright red bra. Jessica Bruinsma, 24, affixed her red sports bra to a cable used for logging on the mountain. When the timber transport system started up, her bra scuttled up the mountain where an alert lumberjack, who knew of her disappearance, retrieved the spandex distress signal and alerted authorities, who found the otherwise clothed hiker slightly injured, but otherwise fine on the narrow ledge to which she had accidentally fallen.
Which reminded me of the purple hat that saved my life.
There was a new student at my small private high school, the daughter of the art teacher. I had noticed her, but never thought she was my type. Probably just another Ralph Lauren obsessed label slave, I stewed. Not one to share my punky love of Husker Du and Generation X, I spit. Not a chance she'd ever show up at Evansville, Indiana's super rad all ages punk club, The Alhambra, I griped.
Then one Friday night, there she was. And she had on a wide-brimmed purple felt hat that no preppie in her right mind would ever dare sport. She looked straight out of a Duran Duran video, but in a good, New Wave-y way.
Of course I was too afraid to make a move right then. But eventually, I did. And 20 years and three kids later, I know that had she not worn that purple hat that night, I wouldn't have. And given my adolescent and young-adult penchant for self-destruction, without her around all those years, I probably wouldn't be around this year, either.
So thanks, wide-brimmed purple felt New Wave-y hat. You are my hero - my red sports bra in shining armor.
Do you have an article of clothing that changed - or saved - your life? Share your story in Comments.