Monday, June 25, 2007

Binge and Purge

My sister Leslie came over yesterday and performed an exorcism on my closet -- freeing me from years of bingeing on pleather and lycra and cheap. I rarely shop for clothes for myself these days -- but my closet represented an old habit. Shopping for clothes was my vice for years. I bought clothes to match a mood, an event, a haircut. New clothes for a new me post-breakup, for a new job, for a date. This chaotic accumulation marking milestones and manic mentality lead to a closet that looked like a nervous breakdown.

I have good taste, theoretically. But I also had severe buyers remorse which did not ever allow me to spend much on any one item. Hence the synthetic fabrics and clothes that did not hold up after a few cleanings. So I bought knock offs, many times victimized by a trend, leading to a twisted pile of sales rack shit. My husband has a slender closet filled with well invested must haves. Psychically, it's just the way he is -- organized, neat, methodical, risk averse, thoughtful, beautiful. And then there's me -- well intentioned but sometimes over the top, creative, confident, impulsive with need to surround myself by lots of things. So the walk-in space that my husband so generously turned over to me has become the pit of the most extreme versions of my personality traits.

My sister, who is much more like my husband, held court over mounds and mounds of the crap couture. I was given five vetos, which I used quickly. And then she had the final word. The goodwill pile grew quickly, and I watched swaths of my old life land lifelessly into a garbage bag. I am currently a mom and a psuedo executive, which meant cargo pants and capris or suits and tailored blouses. There is no room for things that require flat tummies, or strapless bras, or something that matches so exactly that it can't be grabbed when halfway out the door. Memories tumbled over memories -- the dress from my rehearsal dinner (too faded, too tight), my favorite suit that I have had for ten years (which Leslie said reminded her of the one worn by the homeless man that would walk up and down our childhood street with a newspaper under his arm, yet nowhere to go), and tons and tons of hoochie wear. The only exception to the rule of "toss if it's trampy" were my miniskirts, which my husband could not bear to see me part with. Even when I put one on under my 8 month pregnant belly he thought it was just divine. So in an effort to cultivate my last vestiges of sluttiness, I kept some of those.

My new closet is orderly and clean and dieted down to the basics with some splashes of fun. I guess that's who I am these days -- dangling on the edge of change, purging the past while holding on to those things that will always fit and make me feel divine.

4 Comments:

At 7:48 AM PDT, Anonymous gila said...

I bet if I walked in to your walk-in, I'd take a trip or two down memory lane, as well. Purging the closet is a good thing - so therapeutic, but never easy. Go you!

 
At 4:27 PM PDT, Blogger beri said...

but please tell me that you kept some of those great stilletos!!!!!

 
At 1:26 PM PDT, Anonymous weboy said...

I have several pairs of incredibly slutty shorts I cannot bear to part with; true, my lifestyle no longer includes them, and I am no longer 25 and foolish... but oh, the memories... :)

 
At 1:48 PM PDT, Blogger Amy said...

Weboy - Slutty shorts are my husbands faves, but thats where I drew the line. Your legs are likely better than mine:) -- Amy

 

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