It took me 18 years but I finally did it. All those tight black dresses, platform velvet purple heels (I know what the hell was I thinking?!)my Boston University sweatshirt(why I was keeping it I’ll never quite understand being that I never attended BU) the black boots that I had resoled a handful of times (the ones that carried me to and from my job as a reporter at the daily NYC paper I worked for 15 years ago) and yes even those bridal shower kitschy bordering on I should have a list of johns on speed dial undergarments. I filled up 10 garbage bags worth of old clothes and stuff and kicked them to the curb.
I did it, despite my husband looking at me as though I’d shot up a bed full of newborn puppies- the look of sheer horror on his face as I filled up bag after bag of hot pink suits- a few Sergio Tacchini track suits and a while lot of stuff in trash bags had him uttering statements like this:
“Are you sure you’re not going to wear any of these things anymore?” to which I responded, “No, but maybe you’d like to wear them?”
It’s so interesting to me that I have hung onto this stuff for so long- hoarding if you will the contents of my past, afraid to let it go and I’m really not even sure why. It has sat in my closet since we moved here years ago, collecting dust, I’d see it there- staring me in the face- as it filled up my drawers and space and forced me to buy a new set of drawers for all the clothes and stuff I actually wore- and yet I couldn’t bear to part with it.
Each piece, like the lyrics of a song- evoked a memory in me, held some special significance- but reminded me of where I once was who I once was and in some ways helped me hold on tight to that girl. But that’s the thing- I’m not a girl anymore- I’m not 19 (nor would I even want to be again) and the sad, cold hard truth is that I will NEVER fit into size zero jeans again– because frankly I don’t want to walk around with a permanent scowl on my face- hungry all the time-and keeping these clothes and artifacts of periods of my life gone by- just felt kind of creepy. (almost akin to channeling the hoarding made infamous on Grey Gardens… and really I could never fit into any of the getups Edie donned anyhow).
I know my husband was likely most disappointed by the notion that I had no plans to ever wear those crotch less Fredericks’ of Hollywood underwear- and of course the idea that I might be spending his money on a whole new set of clothing–, had him showing his true Mr. Crabs’ colors (yes the character on SpongeBob, Mr. Crabs’ I am convinced was created based on my husband’s attitude towards money.. but I digress)
All I know is this– keeping these clothes and artifacts cannot shave years off my age- or recreate those moments for me– all they’re doing is taking up space and in some ways not allowing me to move forward. And really do I really need to be reminded that I once wore belly shorts and size zero jeans?!