While procrastinating during the writing of a column about gum chewing entitled "Gum All Ye Faithful," I decided to organize my dresser.
My top drawer, which is reserved for the things that I hold nearest and dearest (my socks and underwear), is a total mess. I have so many single socks that I imagine they hold some type of speed dating party when I’m not around. Every once and a while, I find a stray children’s sock mixed in with them and wonder just how it got there. And then if it saw anything that may have been inappropriate.
As I work down to the lower drawers, I start to realize that there are a bunch of things that I don’t wear anymore; things that might be put to better use at my local Goodwill store. Every year or two, I go through my stuff and thin out the collection. If I haven’t worn it for a while, out it goes.
As my wife likes to tell me, clothes, especially shoes, cannot be sentimental. However I won’t even begin to challenge that philosophy when it comes to her handbags.
Taking sentimentality out of the equation, a bunch of t-shirts and polos start to fill the contractor bag. I graduated college twenty years ago, and I still have shirts commemorating fraternity parties in 1989. After this purge…I still do!
Now that I’m on a roll, I’m going to hit my kids' closets. There should be a fine line of what should be allowed to become a hand-me-down. I’m all for sharing outerwear, but both my kids have distinctly opposite fashion sense. My oldest son is on the Goth tract, and I’m afraid that his “computer” fund is really him saving up for a full-length leather coat. My youngest son is definitely NOT going to want that.
One thing that they did share, albeit without their knowledge, was early-age Halloween costumes. I now wish that I had labeled the pictures better, as in this photo I’m not quite sure who the cow is. But I do have a 50/50 chance of guessing correctly.
I do still have that costume, as I seem to have found a loophole in my wife’s theory on sentimental clothing.
Another exception to her rule is made clear whenever we visit my folks down in Florida. My parents have been in the same house for five decades and have never done the clothing purge that most octogenarians get to do when they relocate. They have found their loophole in the fact that fashion is cyclical.
Granted the cycle may be similar to the time that it takes some obscure distant rock to orbit our sun, but they are willing to wait it out. So when white patent leather shoes, wide lapels and sans-a-belt slacks return, my dad will be in the front row of fashion week.
Regardless of the age of the person, or even the age of the clothes, there are others who could use them. Throughout our community are drop boxes, and there are even charities that will come to your home for pick up.
You make out by clearing out some closet space and getting a tax deduction. The recipients get some gently used clothes.
Everyone’s a winner…especially Charlie Sheen (couldn’t resist).