FREDERICTON, NB – Local barista Maya Reilly snuffed out the Christmas spirit last Saturday when she mistook her friend’s sweater as being part of the annual Ugly Sweater competition at their holiday party.
The friend in question, Priya Baruwal, was sporting the new garment at the get-together: a neon green turtleneck adorned with multi-coloured pom poms and more sequins than the human eye could decipher. Reilly was quick to laugh at Baruwal’s ensemble, but when it became obvious the woman did not know about the contest, the situation turned awkward.
“How was I supposed to know it wasn’t meant to be an ugly sweater?”, said Reilly. “The pom poms on it were in the shape of a Christmas tree – complete with a lit-up star, I might add – and it had tinsel on the cuffs. I mean, it said ‘Merry Elfin’ Christmas’ in glitter across the back for God’s sake! You can’t tell me someone thought that was a good look.” When informed that the sweater was a handmade gift from Baruwal’s grandmother, Reilly only questioned if the creator had had an eye exam recently.
Other partygoers, trying to cheer up Baruwal following Reilly’s blunder, paid her outfit compliments, calling the sweater “one of a kind” and “something that someone could definitely wear out of the house without shame.” Despite their attempts, the distraught Baruwal soon stormed out of the room in tears, an exit which was slightly undercut by the quiet jingling of the miniature bells sewn into her sleeves.
The event seems to have soured many people’s opinions of Reilly. “It super wasn’t cool of her to call Priya’s outfit ugly”, said attendee Bryce Nash. “Fashion is something so personal that can be a great way to express who you truly are”. Nash, for his part, was wearing a sweater that was covered in knit gift boxes with the words ‘Stop staring at my package’ written across the chest.
Reilly, for her part, did seem genuinely sorry. “Honestly, I just tried to steer clear of her the rest of the night to not put a damper on things”, said Reilly. “I mean, I couldn’t look her in the eye after that – partially because of the guilt, but also partially because there was just so much shit to look at on her sweater you kind of just couldn’t look away.”
Though Reilly nearly recovered from the debacle, she later fumbled again, stating the beer cozy Baruwal had crocheted for the White Elephant swap was the “perfect gag gift.”