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Garbage Bag Full of Memories

Hello, my lovely assholes!  I’m spending the week straddling the 4th on the lake at my in-laws.  It’s day after day of swimming, water skiing, and floating in the lake with a beer.  I think we can all agree, it’s a delightful way to spend 7 days.  I’ll tell you all about it when it’s over.  (And I sober up.)

But in the meantime, here’s a little sommin’ sommin’ I wrote up a few days ago.  Enjoy.

I did something very difficult this week.  It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, but never seemed to find the time or emotional strength to go through with it.  Until now.  And it’s done.

I went through my wardrobe.

Not so difficult, you say?  Wrong.  This wasn’t just a matter of glancing through my closet and picking out the bits I’m bored with.  No, this was a cold, hard, subjective look at the clothes that I wear, the ones I don’t, the one’s I shouldn’t but do anyway, the ones I can’t remember why I bought, the ones that don’t fit anymore, and the ones that I will never fit into again.  Because the thing is, it wasn’t just a look at my clothes; it was a look at who I am as a person today, and what my body looks and feels like today.  It was a re-evaluation of the packaging I wrap myself in and the self that I present to the world.  And that’s a little harder than just trying to decide if super wide flares will ever come back in style.

But it’s done, with both ego and dignity intact.  And as I bagged my give-aways up in a garbage bag, (three of them in total,) I couldn’t help but notice how many memories were attached to the clothing I was saying goodbye to.

Things like:

The halter top my dad picked out for me when I was in high school.  I used to love going shopping with my dad, because not only was he quicker to buy me things than my mom, but he had surprisingly good taste for a dad.


The skirt I bought at H&M in downtown Chicago.  My boyfriend at the time was doing a summer internship in the Sears Tower.  I went to visit for a week, and while he was at work during the day, I spent my time wandering downtown Chicago.  Doing something as mundane as buying a skirt at H&M made me feel terribly worldly and sophisticated at the time; looking back, it’s truly a wonder my ass wasn’t mugged.


While dating the same guy, I took a trip with him and his family down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  We spent most of our time safely hidden away from reality on an all-inclusive resort, but his mother and I did venture into the city for a little shopping, where I bought this green skirt.  Later, a college classmate would tell me that this skirt made my ass look fantastic.


A skirt I bought in college on one of the many shopping trips with my best friend Heather to the “Salvo”.  (Known to most as the Salvation Army.)  Unlike most of my Salvo finds, this one did not arise in others the urge to give me a dollar.


This dress, which I bought in high school and wore to death all the way through college.  This dress made appearances at a school formal, in a play, numerous formal dinners, and damn-near every single Salsa Night in college.  Worn with my red stilettos, it always made me feel exotic and interesting.


The summer between my junior and senior year Kyle (whom I was dating at the time) was working in Oklahoma City, and due to some financial difficulties, I remained in Decatur to work four jobs so I could pay my rent.  All of my friends were gone home for the summer or were working elsewhere, and I was desperately lonely and bordering on depression.  Before she left for the summer, my best friend Heather had lent me a book on how to make clothing, bags, and accessories out of old t-shirts, and out of boredom, I built this skirt out of my “Talk Nerdy To Me” t-shirt I’d had since high school and an over-sized mens t-shirt bought at the Salvo.  I never wore it much because Kyle thought it was heinous, but I always loved it.


The top I was wearing the night Kyle proposed to me.  Not particularly glamorous, I know, but in all fairness, he told me we were going over to a friend’s house.  Now how the fuck was I supposed to know?


And the dress that I wore when I graduated from college.


A lot of memories went into those garbage bags.  Someday I’ll probably wish I’d kept some of those clothes for sentimental purposes, but that’s a luxury that a girl in a small apartment with little storage space can afford.  Surprisingly, I’m pretty okay with passing these garments from my closet.  Thought they do hold a lot of good memories within their seams, their time for making memories is over.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Chucks to fill with memories.


{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Carrie Mae July 1, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Your Dad has very good taste!

  • Christine July 6, 2011, 11:29 am

    At least you had the sense to take pictures of those items before they went.

  • Camels & Chocolate July 15, 2011, 9:34 am

    Oooh I did this before the road trip. I actually took all my shit to the consignment shops in town and made about $300! So then I promptly took that money and went shopping (I kid, I kid…I think I spent it on my bar bill instead).

    $300? Holy monkey balls! I tried to do the same with a bag full of my old clothes. They told me that they didn’t want any of them because they were too “last year” and asked me if I had anything a little more “this season”? Um, yeah, but I’m kinda still using them.

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