Monday, August 13, 2012

It was one of those weekends

where a grey funk descended and permeated everything. Walls felt damp. Doors swelled and refused to shut easily--not just the really old cellar door that does that all year long, but the newest doors, added in the first year of the 21st century behaved likewise.

Not conducive for sailing, at least not the kind of sailing i want to do for fun, so i decided a domestic weekend was in order. Looking around the house, the casual observer wouldn't notice anything remarkably different, as there are still the odd piles of papers for me to sort, and Jim delights in jumping on everything he possibly can. The older cats are still hissing, although a bit less than before, and Jim actually gives them space for three seconds before bounding over to them, so there are improvements there.

While the cats were working out their personal space issues, I went through some of my clothes. They seem to propogate in some way as well as change sizes. I've been a telecommuter for nearly three years now, so really, i don't need to hang on to all the office clothing. I've always preferred comfort over fashion when it came to clothing, and i've always regarded the clothes i was required to wear to work to keep with company dress code were really clothes of prostitution. Now, some of the items i actually liked, but when it comes down to it, my favourite mode of dress is a pair of jeans and a tee shirt or sweater (jumper) depending upon the season. On really hot days, i've been known to don a sundress, although most of the time in the summer, it's a pair of shorts and a sleeveless shirt or tee shirt.

This weekend seemed like the perfect time to go through the clothes and sort things out, once and for all. I'm not quite finished, as i did have to try some things on. My rules were pretty simple. If i didn't like it, it went in the giveaway pile. If i liked it and thought it worth keeping, i had to try it on to see if it fit. If i were unsure, i'd try it on and see what it felt like. That last bit probably sounds crazy, but there are clothing items that don't look like much, but off the hanger and on the body, they wrap me like a comforting hug. If it got high marks for comfort, it was reserved for the perhaps keep pile. If it didn't feel right, into the giveaway pile it went. I found the shirt i wanted to wear two weeks ago. I found it with a number of pair of shorts i had forgotten i stowed in a drawer in the guest room, and most of those shorts went to the giveaway pile. It's August in the Northern Hemisphere for crying out loud. If i hadn't missed any but one pair of them, wasn't that a sign?

The last time i went through this exercise was three years ago. I had six weeks to pack up the bulk of the contents of the other house, which was then our primary residence and move them here. While i had purged clothes then, i didn't take into account that i had left some here so that when we came for a long weekend, we didn't have to pack so much. And, it dawned on me, i hadn't really consolidated things, just hung stuff up or put the drawers back into the bureaux and called it good. Tra-la-la.

I'd never consider myself a clothes horse, but my burgeoning closet and drawers tell a different story. In musing why that was and what other lies fallacies did we believe about ourselves, i realised that i was a depot of sorts. Any number of women over the years would ask me if i wanted their clothing. They had either just given birth or gained or lost lots of weight and in going through their clothing, found some pieces i might like. Nearly all of these women had fine taste in clothes and like or love shopping. I shop only because i need to, and they saved me a lot of grief from having to do that. They saved me money, too, and in one case, i was able to reciprocate by giving one of the women some of my smaller sized clothing that i didn't want to part with, but i knew the items would fit her, and she'd look great in them. She said something that i've always remembered, "I won't hold your clothing hostage."

And yet, here i was, the Depot. That sounds so much nicer than holding things hostage, doesn't it?

As a result of my domestic weekend, Planet Aid and Goodwill have several bags of things from moi, and more to follow. Shoes and coats are coming up very soon on the purge screen. Yes, i can justify those, too--some of the shoes i wasn't sure i could wear after breaking my leg, and it took a couple years before i could wear anything besides sneakers (trainers). But again, some of those shoes were for someone who had to dress up a good deal more than i do now. When Himself and i went to a wonderful place a few weeks back to have an excellent dinner, i wore a pair of high heels my friend Jude would call FMPs*, and i couldn't believe how uncomfortable they were.

FMPs. I had a pair of cobalt blue slings that fit the description, and after i broke my leg, i knew i'd never wear them again. The heel was too high, and even before i broke my leg, they were none too comfortable. Jude was sad to hear i gave them away but agreed that FMPs such as those deserved to be seen, and she was sure the Goodwill shopper who saw those would be happy dancing indeed.

What really struck me as i looked through my things this weekend was in some ways, these items seemed to belong to somebody else. A different chapter. And that made it easy to put so much in the giveaway pile. Oh, not to worry--there were a few emotional favourites that i'll hold onto for a bit longer yet. And even if i get down to just things i like and that actually fit well, there'll still be more than enough or too much. Sometimes that's a fine line.

Taking a break on the clothing front, i balanced the checkbook, and got my savings record updated. Did a great deal of filing so i can actually find things pertaining to this year, and they're now all in one place. I derailed when doing the taxes this year in April, and while i meant to get back to sorting things, somehow it didn't occur until August. Ah, well, both months begin with A and we've still another quarter to go of this year, so there's hope i can have a strong finish.

I gave everything in the house a good dusting, vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, wiped down the kitchen counters and cupboards, and cleaned the litter boxes. Played with the cats. Went out to dinner with a friend, and we watched the first episodes of  Doc Martin as she had missed the very beginning of the series, and i hadn't seen any of them. Tried to do a bit of knitting, but Jim is fascinated with anything that moves, so i have to wait until he's fast asleep. Speaking of which, it's his bedtime, and i still shut him up in my office at night. The older cats like the break, and as much as i love him, i relish it, too. I can have issue enough with my gauge/tension when i knit without his help!

*FMPs=F*ck Me Pumps (shoes)


  1. If my wife was to spend the weekend similarly, the place would end up in chaos. Luckily she doesn't read this!