This morning I experienced a few hours of feeling almost ‘normal’ again after weeks of PJ lolling around on the sofa. Decided to celebrate the happy little event with a touch of Spring (erm…Autumn) cleaning. My wardrobe in particular, followed by a brief scrum with the kitchen cupboards (just two, no need to get hysterical about it). But…
The thing is… I’m a bit of a hoarder, you see (a big bit). Especially with clothes. I hold onto them until they’ve not only gone out of fashion, they’re begging to be set free or have begun self-destruction. Each time I give it a try, a little voice in my head pipes up and bids me keep them beyond the sell-by date, as in:
”Maybe it’ll fit me next year when I’ve lost a few pounds. Maybe my daughter will decide she loves that jacket after all. Maybe I’ll get a chance to wear this cocktail dress again soon (it cost a fortune!). Maybe my bum will look great in these pants if I stop eating bread. Maybe my son will want this beautiful fabric for a school project…”
On and on it rumbles.
Then there are the emotional attachments I have to certain outfits. The suit I wore to interview when I got that great job, five years ago – sure Goddamn it, ‘t would be bad luck to let that one go! The dress I wore to my daughter’s 18th birthday party – wasn’t that a fun night? Gotta keep that one! The blouse I wore to my mother’s funeral, just one glimpse and I’m right back there, almost hearing her voice. How can I ever get rid of that?!
So I moved to the kitchen. The ice cream bowl set we got as an engagement gift. I was always iffy about them, yet here they still are, taking up a full shelf for 27 years. But they were given with such love! A set of huge plates we bought, what – ten years ago? No! 20, holy crap! – for an extended family dinner. Haven’t used them since, but maybe my son will? Three pepper mills, stuffed into the back of a shelf, because I’m still looking for the ‘perfect one’ and can’t bear to throw out the old ones. Help me Lord. Martha Stewart I am not.
But it’s not just me (is it?). It’s a chore for all of us, right? We start out full of determination, visions of a gleaming, clutter-free house looming before us. We yank things from closets, bravely toss them onto a growing pile for the recycle store, but after a while the doubts creep in and we start picking out a few things that can wait till ‘next time’. Before you know it half the gunk is back in the cupboard/wardrobe and you’re wondering why you ever started in the first place!
Oh well. I’m not completely dissatisfied with the morning’s work and the small heap that’s now lying on the floor, looking up at me, is NOT going to win me over. It’s for the chop and that’s that. Iron Lady, that’s me!
Can’t wait to show hubby. He’ll be relieved I’ve stayed away from his pile of clothes (including the wedding suit he’s still trying to get good use out of). We are a right pair, to be sure.