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2011-05-25 / Loose Ends

Why did I buy this?

Susan Nienow

It is serious clean-out time. In two weeks we are going to have four more people living here for two months. They need a place to hang their clothes. So last week I took a good look at the closets – mine (stuffed), the downstairs guestroom closet (half-full) and the upstairs bedroom closet (also stuffed). We have lived here nine years and had plenty of closets so I have been filling them.

If the kids – our son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, ages 2 1/2 months and 3 years – weren’t moving in two weeks from now, I would have left the closets to their peaceful but stuffy existence.

Apparently I don’t believe in throwing out T-shirts. One of them was bought in 1991 – it had the date on it. I kept it for sentimental reasons that I don’t remember now. There were tees with sleeves, both short and three-quarter length. I put them all out on the bed and sorted: probably fit, probably didn’t fit, didn’t go with anything and had it for three years or more but hadn’t worn it, though I had tried several times. Those went in the donate pile.

Then I tackled the tilting tower of sleeveless tees. I wear jackets or blouses over them since my upper arms will never see the general public. I have red, off-white, white, brown, yellow, green and several colors without names. There must have been 25 of them. Not really – just way too many. First I tried matching them to the jackets they went with, but six of them went with one jacket. Is there a word for T-shirt addiction?

I looked at them one at a time knowing that solid color shirts attract stains when I wear them – right in front. That sent two to the rag pile. Three were stretched out on the bottom. More rags. The red one was bought to go with a striped blouse that I had already gotten rid of so it went to the donations box. Two were popsicle orange. I wear orange but not that shade. What was I thinking? Two more to the donations box.

The one thing I don’t understand is why I keep everything. Did I think I would wake up some morning and love popsicle orange? Or that the stains would disappear over the winter?

I hate making small decisions. If I treat those stains, wash the tops and the spots come out, should I keep the top or donate it? How many brown/tan/taupe tops do I need? I have a sweater tank in that color, so do I need the sleeveless top, too?

The four kids are coming, whether we’re ready or not. Now if four adults were coming, they could be flexible. You can’t mess with a 3-year-old or a baby, though. If the preschooler will only sleep in a dark room, we will cover the windows with black plastic. If the baby needs quiet, we will supply quiet.

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