Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Purging in Times of Desperation & Pregnancy

It doesn't happen often, but every once in awhile, I get the itch to do a closet purge. Maybe this time it's because I still have capris in my drawer... in December, or perhaps the fact that being five months pregnant has caught up with me, but truly, the catalyst was the mountain of laundry that is taking over an entire room. "Zackanista! - Enough!"

Now, I don't know about you, but for me there are two kinds of purges. The first is the benign, "Eh, this doesn't fit/I don't like it/I don't want to wear it anymore." This is a harmless purge. A happy purge! Its usually done when you are making room for something better, something new, - something you like. The second kind though is awful. It is the gut wrenching, ugly truth-telling, reality-check, kind of purge. And this is what I did today.

Fashionistas and Clutter Control agents alike will tell you that the easiest way to purge a closet is to:
A) Get rid of the trash - for severe clutter cases where Snickers wrappers and empty cd cases are stored in clothing closets.
B) Get rid of things you no longer like/wear. And,
C) For those things that you aren't sure about , turn the hanger backwards, and after six months, if you haven't worn it - and turned the hanger around, simply pitch it.

My brain knows these steps and agrees that others should follow and comply with them. For my own closet though... it is a different story. I don't rotate my closet by seasons, I basically have it all there, all the time. My mom taught me to buy quality items that will LAST, not cheapie stuff that you have to get rid of every season because it has worn out. Pendleton over PennySaver.

So - here it goes. The ugly truth part. I. Have. Clothes from High School. A beloved Benetton sweater that I paid $88 for back in 1980... something. I also have a gorgeous lined wool skirt with a kick pleat that I look ROCKIN' in, when I'm under 150lbs. I got that in my early 20's, and I get compliments on MY butt just about every time I wear it. Especially at the Air Force Base. So, that's an early '90s item.

Needless to say, purging my closet is not a casual affair. I don't just go through random clothes and decide, "pitch/stay." It is like trying to get rid of investments. But, sadly, it has come to this. I steeled myself and admitted some difficult truths as I started pulling clothes off hangers from the back of my closet: I will NOT be needing this karate outfit from that one semester of college - not even for Halloween. All my karate moves are on a VHS tape that got ditched three moves ago. Even though this is a nice red suit and jacket, I hate the way the skirt makes my thighs look fat and how I'm always trying to yank the skirt down all of the 3 times I've worn it.

This warm, and gifted-from-a-missionary ethnic sweater, though warm, makes me look like a fat, hibernating, caterpillar. So I never wear it - and no one EVER wants to borrow it. Not even in sub-degree weather. Eh, this skirt. Even if I WAS thin again, I would put this skirt on once, and then indulge in something better. And, ohhhh, forgive me mom. The orchestra skirt you made me. I wore it through college, and just don't see when I'm gonna wear it again. I've moved it from coast to coast for the past 12 years and haven't worn it once. Not once. *sigh*

This went on for AN HOUR! I winnowed out about 2/3 of my closet. No one will really notice, because I have not worn most of this stuff for years, and no one has ever begged to help me clean out my closet and pick up on some of my great stylin' clothes - from two decades ago.

I will be severely hurting come spring, but for right now, I know I've done the right thing in getting rid of the hot pink shirt that is not-so-hot, and was bought on sale. I am down to ONE denim shirt, and it is stained, but it is my favorite. The wire hangers are in a bundle, ready to bless the lives of someone else, and I have a solid plastic hanger closet. And now I am ready to go to the basement and haul up all my "expec-TENTS." They will go between my Benetton sweater and my green wool skirt.

Yes, I will need to have this baby, get the flu, diet for a long time, run the circumference of the earth, and develop a dislike for chocolate, learn to sweat, sweat and more sweat until the layers come off. Is it likely? Not really, but hey, the Red Sox won the series. It can happen! Just as soon as I shake this "Curse of the Bambinos!" But for now. I'll just be thankful that I survived a Defcon 2 Closet Purge.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa is a Woman...


I know that the traditional view we take of Santa is a fat, old, jolly man, but I have come to believe, at least among my acquaintances, that Santa is a woman. Everything that Santa does requires rather feminine traits: Intense listening, plotting, and planning ahead - not to mention doing it all in one night with nothing but a few cookies to keep you going. That doesn't even touch the PR (Christmas Cards), Party Planning, (aka Getting the Tree and Ornaments up and various tchotcke up around the house), and Calendar Coordination - for the inevitable, "What are you doing for Christmas/New Year's Eve?"

But what is the point of perpetuating such a farce? Is it simply because our mom's did it for us? Since they gave us a belief in magic, the impossible, and a caring universe, we should at least do the same for our own kids, right? Perhaps. But as I look at my motives, I actually think it all goes back to the main Spirit of Christmas; an imitation of something ancient and wonderful.

It stems from the belief that a loving Father in Heaven really did plan ahead for us, got us our souls most sincere desire, and delivered it quietly and inconspicuously to all of mankind in one night. He knew very well what we wanted and needed - to return to Him again, so that each of us could be together as a family forever.

He didn't ask for a lot of credit, He just asked that we believe in the gift of His son; that it was what we wanted, and was sent with a desire for us to be supremely happy. It was the best thing he could think of; someone to save us from sin, set a good example, and bring a spirit of love back into the world.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and the motive for doing so is found in a favorite Christmas carol, "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear:

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

So, we Santas of the world, send back to God His angelic song. Peace at home, good will to our friends and families, and a sense of wonder and magic that was first shown to us. We celebrate the spirit of the impossible, the magic and wonder of a generous soul who knows us by name, our deeds, and also who gives, who loves, and does not ask for perpetual credit, but rather asks that we be happy with what He chooses to send us. We are learning and imitating our Pere Noel, Father Christmas, Pai Natal, our Father in Heaven, and trying to become just like Him. All while eating some cookies. :D

So whether you are male or female, to me, if you don the traits of that Cloaked Man, then you send back that song first brought to us by a wondrous being. God who, daily, tries to send us gifts in quiet, anonymous ways. So, this year, I hope that we may take all the gifts given daily from our invisible benefactor, and send back to Him the same. In anonymous acts of love, silent prayers, and faith in Christ who wanted us to know that the future is bright. This is Christmas. And there is a Santa, for anyone who would try to be one.

Merry Christmas to all, and know that we send to you our love, gratitude and Christmas magic. Please, come on over and have a cookie!