I am good at purging. Not a month goes by that I am not assessing what I have in my closet and chest of drawers, asking myself if I haven't worn such-and-such in over a year, is it really worth keeping? Usually the answer is no.
The cleaning people have always been very grateful for our hand me downs. They've scored some good stuff--upteen gazillion suits and shirts of Joe's, even a bag of over 50 ties thanks to "business casual" at Joe's new company last year. (It had to be a pretty darn good tie to make the final 20 that stayed on the rack.) They also got lots of things from my side of the closet with labels that read either "Talbots" or "Ann Taylor." Heck, they even got my old shearling coat from Poland. When I think about it, that was a lot of money that walked out the door!
Regardless of whether you're a keeper or purger, I think many of us must have, stashed away somewhere deep in the bowels of our closets, an article of clothing from a past life. One in which we were younger, skinnier. It hides back there, forgotten for the most part, but every now and again we pull it out, pull it on (if we can), and reminisce.
Mine is a red linen suit--my former power suit--from the days when I worked at the CIA. I loved that suit. It made me feel invincible. I'd usually wear it on days that I had important meetings, or when I needed a little boost of confidence. I had a couple of different scarves that I'd wear with it. One was very nautical: red, white, and blue in a sail boat motif; another was black with big red cabbage roses on it; and a third was another floral, but with shots of acid green. The cut is very late '80s: big shoulders, short skirt, long jacket. I like to think I was that chick in the Cake song, with the right allocations, fast and thorough, and sharp as a tack:
I haven't been able to fit in that suit for a looooooong time. I remember trying to put it on after Joey was born and I literally couldn't get the skirt up over my hips. Very depressing. I'd been tempted over the years to relegate it to the give away pile, but I've always held out hope that I could fit in it again.
Today in the shower I was wondering if those last intervals in my 9+ mile fartlek run were so sucky because I was dehydrated. (Yeah, yeah, ELF. Excuses excuses.) I had just recently read Michelle's post about losing over two pounds in sweat--so it is possible. It wasn't that hot out today, but I know I've been really off in the past few weeks about drinking enough water throughout the day. (I have been very good about drinking enough wine, however.)
I don't like scales and only bought one because Kim told me to. So I got on the scale straight out of the shower to see if I weighed less than my usual. For the past 2-3 years my weight, even at the doctor's office, has not varied by more than a couple pounds.
Lo and behold, the scale posted a number I haven't seen since before I was pregnant with Maddy. I thought to myself, "That can't be right." I think I got on and off the scale three times before thinking that the only way to check was to drag out that red suit and try it on. The weight litmus test if you will.
17 years of marriage, 2 more kids, 5 years of triathlon et voila: me in the red suit!