I think almost everyone observes some sort of tradition, and probably more then one. Many are an attempt to resurrect a fond memory or experience while others are more mundane, driven by necessity more then desire. Such is one of the traditions in our house which I refer to as the “Closet Cleansing”. Living in an area where the seasonal changes are dramatic, we embark on the process twice a year. Once in the Spring and again in the Fall when we purge our closets of all the stuff we have been wearing to exchange it for all the stuff we will be. Sounds simple enough until you realize that you always seem to have more stuff then storage. This I suspect is because we tend to, shall we say, suspend the life span of garments that should be relegated to an afterlife.
This having been an unusually warm Fall, the inevitable was delayed until just recently when I was advised by the COB (Chairman of the Board) that my closet was a mess and I should do something about it beyond moving things. I found this a little surprising since, if I don’t make a trip to Goodwill every week, they call to see if I am OK. Well, they don’t always call. Sometimes they send a card. But, in the interest of marital bliss, I decided to take a stab at analyzing the inventory and identifying candidates for recycling. How hard could that be. After all, I got rid of my bell bottoms and Nehru jackets at least two years ago.
Before progressing further, you have to understand that I have a knack for taking something of relatively little effort and turning it into a project of some proportion and this turned out not to be an exception. Looking first at my shirts, I separated the short sleeved from the long sleeved and then again by dress, sport, and casual. The short sleeve wasn’t too bad because I mostly wear polo shirts and tees in the summer. The difficulty came when I divided them between those that are acceptable beyond the confines of the house and the real jewels that I wear in the yard or the shop, the issue being how many paint stains are too many. After much careful consideration (i.e. which paint stains were of a color most compatible with my pants), I reluctantly threw away two.
Moving on to my winter wardrobe was not quite so easy. I seem to possess a rather large collection of flannel and fleece shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and other assorted pullovers, all of which by the way, fit, meaning there are no clunkers in the lot. Why would I want to get rid of them? The answer apparently, according to the COB is “you don’t wear them and someone else could”. It’s hard to argue with logic. So again, I sorted through the pile and selected a couple that admittedly I haven’t worn since, hummm, we lived in Texas? That can’t be right. We left Texas in ’73’. Oh well, in my world, age takes second place to quality.
After several grueling hours of painful contemplation and a degree of separation anxiety, I finally had a small pile of clothes that were suitable to be donated. I quickly put them in the Goodwill box before my efforts could be reviewed, and stuffed the keepers in my closet, arranging them to give the appearance of space. A couple of days later, I moved the box to my car for their trip to the charity. Lifting one of the flaps, I gave one last wistful look at my old friends. Hey, is that my black high top sneakers and what is that? My penny loafers with the torn stitching. This is insanity. They are practically brand new.