Thursday, March 11, 2010

Closet to You...household humor about the Smithsonian that is fashion...

March 11, 2010

Closet to You

My husband is the only person I know who runs his side of the closet like a high-powered corporate executive. He routinely hires, fires, promotes and transfers clothes with gusto.

It’s bad enough that I have to witness the executive approach to clothing management in his one-sixteenth side of the closet, but periodically he has the audacity to attempt a hostile takeover of my fifteen-sixteenths of this same closet. Thus, the garment gauntlet is thrown down and our territorial war commences—coming into the closet, if you will.

My hubby has a system, a business plan, really, truth be known. His closet “company,” begins with the purchase of an item. Dependent upon washability, ironability and sweatability the article may earn front line status, being washed and worn frequently. Sometimes new apparel is immediately demoted to an inferior standing, followed quickly by inactive shelf status. This is usually the case if it’s garb I have purchased for him, whereupon I have commented, “You’re going to love this new style. Everybody has one.”

The only time the shelved pieces are able to regain their previous front line status is when some sort of household project comes along. These are general duties for which I possess absolutely no aptitude and, interestingly enough, no wardrobe. Sadly, this temporary situation still leads to permanent retirement of the garment upon completion of the task at hand.

Hope springs eternal, so my counterpart decides to broach the topic of closet maintenance with me, again, which could result in more room for him. His unfortunate timing occurs as I spent yet another morning as an unofficial zipper tester for the “YKK” company, stretching the limits of the manufacturer’s suggested specifications. This is never a good time to have a conversation with me, regardless of the topic; clothing clean-out, the relationship, nuclear war, location of the shampoo.

My good-intentioned mate enters the room, quite literally, treading lightly. “Honey, why don’t you just get rid of some of that stuff?” he queries helpfully. “You should go by the ‘one year’ rule. You know—if you haven’t worn something in a year, then toss it.”

As I look over at my closet, filled with memories, I am appalled at the mere thought of parting with any member of my clothing family which I regard fondly. The striped Def Leppard shirt I was wearing when I met my husband, the black vintage evening dress I purchased, post-partum, just because it fit, the outfit I wore when I performed my first stand-up routine, and the disco dress with shoulder pads to be reckoned with. These aren’t clothes—they’re an historical timeline representing my own personal Smithsonian, sans red velvet ropes around the entire lot.

I contemplate karate chopping him with a hanger, but realize that to be a vicious thought and, besides, we have those innocuous plastic ones, so it wouldn’t really hurt enough. I know he just wants to help me, so I relent by saying, “Maybe I should get rid of some things.”

My husband perks up and looks as though I’ve given him permission to accompany a supermodel on an all-expenses paid Caribbean getaway trip. As he trots off to gather up the bags that will eventually hold only the two items I will manage to part with, I wonder if this kind, well-intentioned man ever feels as though he’s Charlie Brown and I’m Lucy holding the football for him—again. Or maybe he’s just left holding the bag?

Excerpted from Maternal Meanderings

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