Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday again already?

This week flew. I'm immersed in a big project at work and the hours pass quickly, and the evenings are full. I'm getting stuff done, and it feels good.

Last night's project was a massive closet purge. I'm on record as no fan of that "tidying" chick - I didn't pull everything I own out of the closet and pile it on the floor and meditate upon it, lovingly holding each item as I contemplate what it means to me, because that woman is a whackjob who should take a pill already. Of course she's made a fortune "helping" people who pay her to come in and lovingly bully them to throw out their baby pictures and family heirlooms and be creepily tidy on their behalf, so what do I know?

My way is less OCD and more chardonnay. I turned on a movie on the bedroom TV I rarely watch, poured a glass of wine, and opened my large, full closet. I started with the hanger on the far left, the one jammed tight against the wall among the hangers that haven't moved in years. Working from left to right, I grabbed armloads of stuff and threw it onto the bed. I held each item up and asked myself the two true questions: Not "Does this bring me joy?" (because FFS it's a knit top I bought on sale at J.C. Penney five years ago, not a precious, wiggly new puppy), but "When did I wear this last?" and "Am I really going to want to wear it again, ever?" And often the answers were, "It's been so long I can't remember," and "Nope."

Two and a half large trash bags of stuff for Goodwill on Saturday. One smaller bag of actual trash - stuff that is faded or damaged and otherwise not worthy of donation. That's just the first culling of the closet - the stuff I have kept far too long and know I'll never wear. Phase two will happen on Saturday, when I will try on the surviving pieces and decide whether they actually fit, are close to fitting, or let's get real here, probably will never fit my grandmotherly ass properly again. I couldn't face doing all of that in one evening after a long work day. Shoes and handbags are next, along with a few items that I want to take to a consignment shop.

Then comes the important/hard part: rebuilding a decent wardrobe. Truth: I am such a geek, I'd rather spend money on a new MacBook, or books, or yarn, than on clothes. This isn't a good thing. Dressing well matters too. I know the usual excuses: it's shallow, it's yada yada women appearance patriarchy - please. I'm a freaking grandma who suddenly owns steel toed boots and a hardhat; I roll my eyes at the patriarchy shit. But how we dress and present ourselves to the world still does matter. It matters for men too, and I'm ashamed when I realize that the men I work with are often better dressed than I am. Time to fix this issue. No more yarn until I can dress myself like a grownup professional woman again.

I had a lot of clothes in my closet but nothing to wear. Now I have a far smaller wardrobe, not enough to wear, and I will be forced to think about buying clothes. I bought enough quality yarn for three afghans in the last month and a half, but spending that much on decent quality office wear? I feel resistance. Where are Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear? Clinton?? Clinton?? I need you, man! (It would help a lot if you could still bring that $5k Visa card, because damn.)


wednesday said...

I did this a while back, long after my work situation changed, and I knew if I ever needed those wool-blend suits again they'd be too out of date and dusty to wear. Realized how drastically my life had changed when I said out loud, "Oooo, now I have space to hang up my 'good' hoodies!"

KatyaR said...

I've gotten a lot of really nice clothes at Goodwill in the last year; no one would ever know they were from a thrift shop. I've even found some designer clothing and nice shoes and purses. We also have a bargain store here that takes donated clothing and resells it at lower prices than Goodwill. A friend of mine found an almost-new pair of $200+ retail shoes there for $8. I've not been that lucky, but I have bought a lot of clothing there. It's fun to take a day and go bargain hunting. I've saved a fortune that way.

Anonymous said...

Lunches and outings with with Ernst - adding to memories, because the time is coming when I will need them.
Books - real or electronic. Yarn and fabric to play with. Puppy toys - Spike (IG) is amazingly hard on squeaky toys.
Computer stuff as needed - a wireless printer would be nice, but the little old Brother is working reliably.


Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

I went to our fancy new Goodwill store a couple of weeks ago and was very disappointed. Jeans and kids' clothes, yes, but nothing as nice as the stuff I donated! I know people who have found amazing stuff there - one of my former co-workers was just killing time while his wife shopped when he came across an Armani suit! I don't seem to have that kind of luck.

Catherine said...

Gae, good to hear from you! I'm so sorry about Ernst. Your priorities are like mine - outings and books and stuff to play with, including toys for the dog. Those are the things that bring me joy. It sucks to still have to show up at an office 5 days a week and have to think about what I'll wear!

Anonymous said...

Ernst is still relatively healthy - but on top of the severe short term memory loss, I am noticing brief and infrequent black spots that demonstrate momentary loss of cognitive function and comprehension, generally in the late afternoon or evening. After my father, I can clearly see what is coming.

But we have had a very good run, nothing to complain about - Saturday 16th of April was our 50th anniversary. Later in the year Erich and Anne will each celebrate their 25th anniversaries. 1991 was a very busy year! To top it off, if Mum had not died prematurely, 1991 would have been my parents 50th, they were married in 1941. My father actually broke the law that day - he got married in civilian clothes, when he should have been in uniform. He felt that military garments were not appropriate.

Gae, in Callala Bay