Sunday, June 5, 2011

cleaning spree (lyn)

It started last Tuesday when Vince came to clean my windows.  By the time he left, I felt like I had regained my vision.  I could see the trees outside, and everything inside sparkled.

This inspired me to clean further.

On Thursday, I tackled my bookshelves, miscellaneous drawers, one closet, and a buffet.  I tossed or gave away books.  My handyman got a still-working (I think) VCR.  Old DVD’s were donated to the library. 

Today, after my massage, I decide to clean my clothes closets.  Usually I’m hesitant to throw away clothes that have nostalgic value.  But not today.  Robyn comes over and helps with the more difficult items.

“This pink skirt?  I hardly ever wore it; it looks like new, and it fits.”
“No.  You can’t wear a pink skirt.”

“What about this nice blue knit jacket?”
Too matronly.  Give it to your mom.

And this skirt?  Do you think it's too long?
You know how I feel.  You have a good shape now.  Show it off.

“What about these shoes?”
“Hideous.  Get rid of them.”

In the end, I make three piles.  The largest is a pile to go to a snobby re-sale shop.  A second, smaller pile, will go to my mom.  And the third pile I’ll toss…the clothes in this pile are not even good enough to be donated.

But along the way, I re-live some of the stories in my clothes.  There's a lot of history in what we wear.

  • A stunning black silk Oscar de la Renta dress that I wore to a black-tie advertising event in 1985.  I remember my very geeky boss telling me that night that I looked beautiful.  The dress is still gorgeous, and surprisingly still fits.
  • A black velvet dress with an organza, gold trimmed collar that I wore in 1989 to Eric’s father’s 50th birthday celebration at the Hilton.  I was so nervous to meet him that I got very drunk (and I don’t drink) and within an hour of the party beginning, I passed out.  I spent the evening asleep on a pile of coats until Eric woke me up to leave. 
  • A to-the-floor grandmotherly-looking skirt that I bought in Soho in 2008.  I wore it to Jill's 50th birthday party and was pleased with the way I looked.  By then, I was too heavy to feel sexy and too overweight for anything short.  I think I actually believed that a Soho-bought skirt added a degree of coolness to an otherwise frumpy look.
  • A black Gucci cashmere dress that I bought in Las Vegas at the Forum Shops in Caesar’s Palace.   I was there on business, though I don’t remember what business.  I loved this dress, and felt elegant whenever I wore it.
  • A tiny black silk Michael Kors tube dress that I purchased for a black tie event.  I don’t remember the event.  I don’t know if the dress still fits.  But I do know that I would never wear anything that short again.
  • A black Donna Karan dress that I wore to my 25th High School reunion in 1994.  I was tiny, toned, and mother of a yet-to-be two year old.  Some of my classmates were already grandparents.  I felt vital and sexy.  Someone I didn't know, the husband of a classmate, told me I was the youngest-looking person there.  I'm sure it was the dress.
  • A black silk dress that I bought in the late 80’s-early 90’s from Morgan le Fay. This was my favorite clothing store.  It was on Spring Street in Soho, and the clothes were edgy and unique.  Even when the store moved from Soho to Madison Avenue, their styles maintained a downtown sophistication.  This past winter I bought I pair of fingerless gloves there.  I can no longer afford their dresses.  The clothes still remind me of working at CBS and being in the best shape of my life.

I feel much lighter now.  As if I just lost another 40 pounds.  I can say good-bye to my clothes, knowing the memories will stay intact.

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