about a month ago, as i was getting ready for work, i looked in the mirror and was utterly dissatisfied with what i saw. i’m well aware that i don’t have a 5’8″ 105Lb model body, never have/never will, and generally i think i know what to do with what i’m given. but on the day in question, while the clothes certainly matched, i had a look that my mother would most likely term “dumpy.” plenty comfortable, these clothes, but maybe a little faded, and certainly too loose and unstructured to be doing my curvy butt any favors. it further occurred to me that there are plenty of like items in my closet, most of them holdovers from college: things that fit and don’t have holes or worn spots that would earn them a trip to the trash, but that aren’t particularly in style or were purchased in the days were something merely fitting and being college-level-affordable (aka, the cheap-o factor), rather than having any actual positive effect for my appearance, was sufficient.
within a few days of my am epiphany, a tiny postcard-sized plastic-wrapped letter came from the vietnam vets’ association, with a stout logo’ed trash bag folded up within. “we need your donations!” the little card told me, “especially clothing!” the clothes in question are certainly of a decent & functional quality (we’re not talking some guy’s left-over holey gym tees, alright?), so i’d both feel guilty about just tossing them out, and not feel guilty about passing them on to someone else. april 21st was emblazoned across the card as well – these guys come to your door on the scheduled donation day to haul away your things. charity + convenience + not looking so hot = no brainer.
well, no brainer until i started going through the closet(s). i tried to be as utterly savage as i have at my last 2 moves – having to pack all your heavy stuff reminds you that you will have to unpack it as well, and tends to be a wonderful motivating factor in ditching the extra crap. i’m not sure that i was entirely successful, though. some things were easy, like the shirt i was wearing the dumpy morning, or the skirts i haven’t worn in years. a few things went through a trying-on, and most of them failed. i finally rid myself of the very last things that mom bought me way back in the day, before i had learned to be blunt with her after one of her clearance forays about what i actually liked and what i wouldn’t wear. i’ve hauled several of those very nice but totally not me department-store clothes with the tags still on for 2 moves now, and finally got honest with myself that i’d never wear them. thusly, there was a good streak of at least moderate savagery going on in the culls. but then i’d come across one of those very few little things that were like old buddies, like that deep brown sleeveless v-neck polo-collar stretchy top that i wore to the club all the time back in the day. the material has a fun texture and just a little bit of shimmer, it’s a wonderful color to set off my skin & hair, and that v-neck plunges enough to dramatically show off both a well-chosen bit of bling and my cleavage. i looked killer in that one. i haven’t worn it in at least 5 years. somewhere along the game, i picked up a cup size and 30ish pounds: the only thing it’d be perfect for now is a trailer-trash ‘what not to wear’ show. it hurt, but stretchy brown shirt made it into a bag, along with a few more handfuls of old friends and old conveniences.
it’s rained all day today, and is supposed to continue tomorrow. i certainly hope the bags hold up well enough that the things don’t get damaged; i have no idea if the donation center has a dryer, or if they’ll be piled up damp in bags for long enough to get mildewed before someone sorts through them. but that stuff isn’t mine anymore, and i’m ok with that. in addition to the mondo-big logo’ed bag, there’s another 4 trash bags packed full of dumpy shirts, flowy A-line skirts from high school (!), a baby-pink quilt set, coats and flannels of years and fashions gone by, and the occasional bit of going-out-chic. i hope someone else has as much fun with it.
meanwhile, my irs windfall has been actually deposited into my bank account. i managed to say no last week to a way cute (non-baby pink) quilt set. a decision i’m still waffling on. but clothes right now are an entirely different matter. i think i’ll be buying something new, something nice and cute and flirty and summery for Kara’s wedding next month. while i’m at it, i’ll have to keep an eye out for some everyday clothes that flatter this body i’m working with. maybe in shimmery deep brown. or maybe something entirely different.