After getting a good start in the bedroom, ferociously getting rid of things that I haven’t used in a long time, it occurred to me that I probably should clean out my downstairs storage locker first to make room for anything I might need to remove from the apartment.
Needless to say the storage locker was jammed full – I randomly picked a place to start. I wrestled a large container of clothes that I haven’t worn for a long time into the elevator. Some of the articles of clothing were ones I had with me at university, and most of the rest were still older than my niece. I sorted through them as I repacked them into smaller boxes. The skirt kept getting put in, taken out, put back in, taken back out. I wondered if my niece wanted it – she didn’t.
My mother had it made for her in the fifties when she worked at Eaton’s. It was part of a whole outfit that included a bolero jacket and an orange shell with fitted pleats. I don’t think I ever saw the jacket, but I do remember the shell. I also remember wearing the skirt constantly throughout one summer. The skirt stayed out. I’m not ready to let go of it yet.
The T-shirt wasn’t part of the load of clothes, but I thought I’d revisit it again while I was on the subject of getting rid of things. Somehow it has stayed with me all these years. Before I consciously realized I had to let go of things in my life whose shelf life had long expired, it has been in and out of my bag of glad rags so many times I have lost count. Originally the T-shirt was a solid red, but due to a little accident with a little bit of bleach (my mother put it into a bleach solution for just a few minutes to get stains out but the phone rang). When it had dried, we both thought it looked like tie-dyed flowers or roses, so I kept it.
Before posting, I showed the picture to a friend, and CM said it seemed like someone was stabbed and started bleeding on it, or that the pattern looked like dinosaurs – she couldn’t decide which. I must confess, they don’t much appear like flowers any more; just red blotches on a ratty shirt. But the T-shirt has again escaped its rag bag fate. I’m not ready to let go of it either.
Once all the clothes had been sorted and repacked, I searched the internet for charitable organizations who accepted clothes donations and made pickups. It took awhile to get a pickup date and time, but I am proud to report, by the time the Developmental Disabilities Association came yesterday, I had not removed a single item from any of the three boxes. In spite of the odd road bump, it seems my commitment to de-cluttering and letting go of things is still strong.