Dead Weight

Lest you think that my recent closet and drawer cleaning purged only my mind, please know that the contents of those closets and drawers were reduced drastically as well. I packed 11 30-gallon trashbags (dark green with yellow drawstrings for those of you who must know these things in order to fully visualize the glamour!) full of actual clothing and shoes, for donation to the Salvation Army. (There is NO excuse for throwing away clothes. NONE. If you do, I don’t want to know about it, because I will have no choice but to loathe you.)
About a month earlier, I’d gone through the closets and decided what would stay and what had to go. And every time I tried something on and made a decision, I tried with all my might not to anthropomorphize the clothing. One “Oh no, this jacket is crying!” and I knew I’d never be able to part with anything. Even if I hadn’t worn some of the stuff since the ’90s, I knew I’d wind up crying too and keeping it, in defiance of the standard guidelines that demand you get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year.
As I tried on the stuff to see what was what, I found myself wondering, “What would Stacy and Clinton say about this?”, bearing in mind that although they generally dress themselves and their subjects quite well, there have been times when they’ve both looked less than smashing and their protégés’s transformations have been less than remarkable. I didn’t need a 360-degree mirror to tell me that a lot of what I’d kept in my closet had to be removed. I was quite ruthless.
I was shocked, though, at the abundance of high-waisted, tapered-leg pants and long, broad-shouldered jackets I’d accumulated. The short short skirts. (One ex-co-worker — a coupon-clipping matron whose idea of haute couture was a shin-skimming, floral, self-belted dress with lace inset, bought at a “BOGO” sale at Dress Barn — used to call these skirts “cumberbunds”. It would have been slightly amusing had she pronounced the word properly. I preferred to think of them as “employing an economy of fabric”. ) The “big shirts”. The thigh-skimming sweaters. (Tunics???) And almost everything was black.
With each new mirror-viewing, I was appalled anew. “What the fuck was I thinking?” I asked myself, aloud, barely able to meet my own eyes in the mirror because I didn’t want to witness my own disgust. “Was I blind? Did I really think I was cute?” And then I realized: this shit was actually in style when I bought it. And I used to get raves and compliments on my gorgeous wardrobe. “You always look so put together!” people would say. “You have the most beautiful clothes!”
Yesterday the Salvation Army was scheduled to pick up all this gorgeousness. And because I live in a fifth-floor walk-up, it was my responsibility to bring all the bags down the stairs (69 steps!) for collection. So I took them down, two at a time. Each bag weighed at least 20 pounds. (I know because I am scientific and insisted on weighing one “representative” bag.)
Now, that’s not a lot of weight, really. But, as the DOG explained, it was “dead weight”, so it felt like a lot more. (I already knew that, but I like to let him think he is educating me! You should’ve seen how happy he got when he taught me that the letter “y” can sometimes function as a vowel. This winter, I may ask him to explain the concept of “wind chill”!) As educational as that tidbit was, though, it was the wrong thing to say to me.
“Dead weight?” I thought, fighting back the tears (unsuccessfully). “I’ve killed these clothes! No wonder I didn’t hear them crying! I suffocated them in the plastic bags. Thanks to murderous me, these poor clothes are DECEASED!”
Then I realized that if I ever murdered someone and needed to dispose of his body in 20- to 25-pound increments, I would have no problem doing so! Given the load I’d just hauled, I could easily dispose of someone weighing 220 to 275 pounds! My tears dried in a flash.
What a load off my mind!