Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sorting Through the Old Closet

First order of business is that my computer is making a good impression of a dying bug (feet in the air, making pitiful noises or twitching-ack!ack!). Until this situation is resolved (in all likelihood, I'll need a new machine), I can check in only intermittently, stealing little chunks of time from my husband's machine. And commenting/posting less than usual.
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Well. I didn't write yet about how I went on a clothes shopping spree last week! I had looked in the Sunday paper for all the current Mother's Day sales and had targeted a couple of locations to scout for new clothes. With limited time, I focused on one store that seemed to have the best possibilities, and I completely lucked out, finding tons of great stuff at heavy discounts. Woot! I ending up spending a good four(!) hours there.

Ordinarily, trying to make decisions in a big store when I don't know what I want leads to migraines and misery, but here I was busy but focused, collecting possibilities, trying on and evaluating options, finding new possibilities, weeding through my monster pile and actually making headway. It was even fun, maybe because I was finding things that really worked for me. As a bonus, I came home with a core of a new wardrobe and a new look, too.

Then I spent all evening gleefully retrying on all the clothes I had acquired, and also going through my closet to see what would coordinate or could be worn in different ways. Oh yes, and showing off to my husband, who, although ensconced in a book on the couch, was highly appreciative. He kept saying, "I like this new look!" Yeah. So I was quite pleased with myself.

Now that I had something like five pairs of great slacks (on clearance for 80% off!), I felt the freedom to weed out the old slacks that did not fit me any more, no matter how nice they were. Fling, fling, fling. I also pulled out some less-than-ideal skirts and blouses and added them to the "to donate" pile. Time to release them back into the wild. Ahhh, this was most refreshing, clearing out the old and passe.

I got farther and farther back into my closet, trying on everything and clearing out swathes of blah. Way back in the back, I finally reached some of my old dresses and nearly came to a standstill. Several sentimental pieces awaited me.

I took out the blue print mini dress that I looked particularly fabulous in oh, 14 years ago, and admired it. Yup, it was still extremely cute, but I haven't been able to fit into it in at least five years... Well, on to new and better things that actually fit. I gently folded it up and put in on the pile.

Then I tried on the textured black Lycra mini dress that I had been wearing when my husband proposed to me. Size 7. (Pause to laugh at the ludicrousness of ever having been able to wear that size. I did, though! For years!) I wormed my way into it and sashayed out to the living room. "What do you think, Babe? I know I can fit into it, but I don't know if I *should*." He took a look and said, "I like everything I've seen so far, but not that." "With the jacket?" "The jacket's not bad, but not the dress. It doesn't look good." Whew! A sensible and honest opinion is a valuable tool. It's true: it does not truly fit me anymore. I took one last look at the bulges (remembering more the way I looked in it when I first bought it), and put the little black mini dress on the pile. Ditto the wonderful teal knit dress I'd worn 18 years ago. Ditto the first dressy dress I ever bought some 20+ years ago for a winter wedding. I was a geeky, gawky twig back them, and the dress showed off my coloring and made me look like a sophisticated adult. Good memories. So it was painful to even think about letting it go, but I'm releasing that one back into the wild, too. Someone else will have to appreciate its fine fabric and fit.

It's strangely wrenching to let go of those old pieces that remind me of special or significant times in my life, though. I can imagine I am still that young person with all sorts of possibilities ahead of me, a skinny figure with nice legs, who is just starting to realize her potential and worth. I feel affection for her. But now I'm more on the mature end of that stage, and I can't be the cute and sexy girl any more. Like it or not, I'm all the way to woman now. At my age, I guess I'd better get used to it and live it like I mean it. Which also means letting go of those old parts of my image (or self-image) that no longer fit. Damn.

*Ripping off a few more pieces of old self.*

Here's hoping there's fresh new skin just waiting to show up.

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