Archive for May, 2010

Pack Rat

Some of this junk around here just simply HAS to go. We have way too much STUFF!!

So today I started cleaning out one of the storage spaces, hoping to downsize some of it, throw unneeded things away, reorganize, etc.

In that space was this certain bin. This bin has circulated around between closets, storage spaces, under beds and such and I avoid sorting it like the plague. Mostly because it’s… depressing.

I opened the lid. On the very top was a pile of all my old diaries from high school on. Not much in there is actually funny! Unless you count unconscious irony to be funny. Entertaining, maybe, but not so much with the funny. Apparently that was before I developed a sense of humor.

The rest of the bin contained clothing.

Clothing that used to fit me.

Clothing that I will never fit into again.

Yet for some reason it is extremely difficult for me to ship off to the goodwill! I mean, the goodwill is really the only place it could possibly go! This stuff is so old and out of date it would be impossible to sell at a yard sale for a quarter, but still I can’t get rid of it.

Okay, I admit, part of the reason is that when my daughters are teenagers and think Mom has always been old, wrinkly, and pudgy around the middle, I want to pull out this bin and show them the tiny little clothes and say, “HA!!”

The actual clothing can say so much more than a picture. Pictures are… impossible to give proper perspective on the dimensions of waist and hips! No, holding up the size 1/2 skirt does a much better job.

The other half of the reason for keeping these clothes is that I have a notoriously bad memory. And when I pick up each piece and hold it up, there are memories that shake off and drift over me, taking me back to other times and places.

Like the size 3 sundress I wore to my 18th birthday party. I wore a little cream sweater with it, but didn’t even need a bra.

Or THE denim skirt with the lacing up the back. I thought that skirt was the very height of fashion at that crazy little conservative college! With it was the western style blouse I wore in those pictures taken of me one year before I got married, and the two A cup bras that were the staple undergarments for me that first year of college, explaining perfectly why my future husband never noticed me.

Then there is the striped shirt I wore to the coast the day we got engaged. And the size 3 dress I wore to a friend’s wedding. There’s the size 3/4 black stretch Express pants I bought in Kalamazoo – one of the very first things I ever bought for myself at a store in the mall instead of Mervyn’s or the goodwill.

A gray sweater I used to wear ALL the time, the size 3 Wranglers I wore so often my senior year of high school, and the floral tie-at-the-midriff sleeveless blouse I COULD wear, but never got brave enough to except once in front of Mr. First Love, who almost fainted when my hair was longer than the shirt.

There was the handmade crocheted top I bought in Brazil, the SHS choir t-shirt, the tiny little black stretch short shorts I used to wear to our secret skinny-dipping spot, a blouse worn to church too many times to count, the size 4 gray stretch skirt that Sarah’s boyfriend Chris said was “too tight” across the ass and he’d never let HIS girl wear it in public, and best of all, the black skirt.

THE black skirt. The one I grabbed out of the grab box at the end of the hall in the dorm my first year of college. It doesn’t have a tag in it. It is homemade with unfinished seams and a zipper up the back that may or may not be a little crooked. It fit me like it was made for me. And it is TINY. It measures a whopping 24 inches around the waist, and it used to sit flat against my hips with a blouse tucked in.


Yep, as much as I appreciate the memories that come with those things, I know it is time to let some of the clothes attached to them go. I’m getting rid of more than half of it.

Just not the tiny stuff. I’ll make room for that. I got another 15 years before I can start letting that go. You know, once I’ve proved my point to my girls first! 😉