Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ruminations on an Empty Closet

A couple months ago, I went through my closet on a spree one night and pulled out a bunch of stuff that didn't fit anymore.

For the first time in my life, they didn't fit because they were too BIG.

They hung on me. Made me look like a waif. (Well, relatively speaking.) (Also, I just wanted to use the word "waif.") Or someone who had been sick for a really long time.

That was a couple months ago.

Last night, I went through my closet properly and pulled out everything Size 16 or XL and larger. Everything.


The pile covered my bed. Literally. There wasn't an open square foot on my queen size bed that wasn't covered with clothes at least 6" deep.

With the exception of a few sentimental items (the gown & robe I got for Christmas just after my mom passed away which she had chosen; a few shirts that had been hers; t-shirts from special events), nothing remains except Size 12 or 14 and size Medium or Large. I am determined to not allow myself the safety net of having clothes to grow back into. So everything has to go. In addition, I need new clothes that do fit, so I'm trying to sell what I can no longer wear and make a bit of cash to start the new wardrobe. (Well, it was already started with Christmas money, but it could still be expanded.)

Today I have spent the day photographing clothes so I can post them for sale. And many thoughts have been meandering through my mind.......

* I am blessed. I had enough clothes to be able to outfit a small family (of XL-sized women). So many people in the world are happy to have one regular outfit and one dressy outfit - or even just something clean to change into. I am obscenely blessed.

* I was XL for a looooooong time. There's a shirt that I wore to help chaperone a field trip to the skating rink when Kim was in grade school. There's the Hawaiian shirt and white slacks I bought specifically for a trip to NYC to see "The Boy from Oz" (which ran from 2003-04). There are the Cheer Mom t-shirts I wore when Kim was cheering with Midwest All-Stars, and the t-shirt from when I was the Chief Duncan Flagwaver. (It's a fannish thing, but it dates back to 1998 and "Highlander: The Series.")  There are my scrubs from when I worked at the hospital.

* I'm having to say good-bye to a lot of "favorites." The black drawstring linen pants that were sooooo comfortable. The pink/gray long knit dress that made me feel like an earth mother. The royal blue & black pantsuit that always got compliments. MY DENIM DRESS! *wail* I bet at least a half-dozen times today, as I went through clothes, I would think, "But that's my favorite!"

* I like being comfortable. Most of my clothes have been comfort-oriented rather than looks-oriented. If I looked good in something, that was just a bonus, but it had to feel good on me. And considering that I have football player shoulders for a woman, "comfortable" was always a challenge. Maybe that explains the smattering of men's shirts that I would wear - at least they were proportioned better for me.

* I have a cheeky side that oozes out once in awhile. How else do you explain the Tinkerbell blouse, the Tweety "Cool Chick" shirt or the Maxine "Don't Worry, Be Crabby" shirt? Then there's what Kim calls my hippie side - just look at all the broomstick skirts! (Thankfully, most of those are one-size-fits-all, so a lot of them are staying.) And somewhere in this person is a little girl who still wants to play dress-up and go to fancy dinners, as evidenced by the velvet bits in dark jewel tones.

* I am somewhat stuck in the time of my upbringing. I like pants that actually come up to my waist instead of low-riders (or hip-huggers, we would call them), and I do like the granny dresses and skirts - long and flowing free. Eh, maybe I am a flower child at heart.

In a way, this has been cathartic. It's both a realization that I'm saying good-bye to an old me and a determination to do everything I can to not let myself get back to being that version of me.

It has also been kind of sad. Sad because of the memories connected with certain outfits. Sad because...well, that's a LOT of clothes I won't have in reach anymore to pull out and wear. 

:deep breath:

Ah well. I've never been one to dwell in the past, and this will be no different. Time to post these things and try to sell them so I can have money to go shopping again.

Shopping. Trying on NEW clothes. Clothes that LOOK good on me (AND are comfortable!).  Clothes that are a little sassy, a little bright, maybe a little flashy, because I don't mind now if people notice me or what I'm wearing. Yeah...this is a good thing.

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