‘Doing a Marie Kondo. Kinda.’
I had to throw away a pair of shoes today.
And I mean I had to — the soles were literally peeling off. And, since they were a pair of boat shoes I got for maybe 12 bucks at the Bass Shoe Outlet back when there was a Bass Shoe Outlet here in Amagansett (now a Jenny Kayne or the Pink Chicken; I haven’t been to either) I didn’t bother researching whether the soles could be replaced. I just tossed them into the gaping maw of the “Non-Recyclable” bin.
The other closeted item I tossed was a pair of Horrible Fleece-Lined Jeans. Trust me; they were one pair of butt-ugly jeans. Too high-waisted, too acid-washy and somehow too baggy and too tight at the same time. The fleece lining was all clingy and polyestery; these pants literally sparked when you pulled them on — and I don’t mean they “sparked joy,” they just sparked.
So, Good riddance, Horrible Jeans! I did put them in the Used Clothing Donation bin, though I can’t imagine anyone being desperately cold enough to wear them.
Sorry to have gotten carried away there. But these two tossed items are illustrative of my new Closet Theory. Sorry, Marie Kondo, but not sparking joy is one thing — not fitting, not flattering and/or being basically worn out is a whole other deal. And a whole other way to closet prune.
It’s pretty simple. You get rid of anything that a) doesn’t fit, b) doesn’t flatter you and c) that is so worn out you can’t — or don’t want to — repair it. Once you’ve done this, I swear on a stack of old tee shirts that you’ll be able to reach into your closet blindfolded and anything you pull out you’ll be able to wear, and wear happily. Maybe even spark joy.
Of course, when Dude Man and I moved from our rather roomy classic six New York apartment into the adorable-yet-tiny less-than-500-square-foot Ken & Barbie House, I pruned my closets something fierce, and I hadn’t even invented my theory yet. I just sort of desperately distributed things to The Child and her friends. (Notice I said “closets;” yes, I had commandeered one of The Child’s closets to store my Out of Season Wardrobe. She never noticed, but if she had, I would have definitely pulled rank. Also notice the photo at the top of this post. That’s her closet, but it’s full of stuff I gave her from mine.)
The Dude did not prune. Not even a little. He just piled all the stuff that wouldn’t fit chez K & B into boxes — unsorted! — and schlepped it all out to Amagansett, where it moved in with the rest of his never-pruned closet stuff. Honestly. He has stuff in there that belonged to his father — a man who passed on to the great dressing room in the sky more than 25 years ago. Dude’s Dad was about six inches shorter, so his stuff doesn’t even fit His Dudeness. But has he cleaned any of this out?
Nope. Dude Man is a hoarder. Well, maybe not one of those pathological ones you read about where someone found their dead body under a pile of ancient National Geographics. (But wait! We do have a pile of National Geographics; he can’t bear to part with them!)
Here’s a little observation. Why is it that Hoarders tend to marry Get-Rid-Of-Itters? Hmmm. Maybe there’s a post here.
Anyway. Yes, Dude Man does tend to hang on to things. Many things: tools, rubber bands (he puts these in a dish on a shelf; I empty the dish every couple of days; so far, he hasn’t noticed), National Geographics, clothes.
The clothes thing came to a head yesterday, right about the time I was pondering what to write about in this week’s post. It was when he came downstairs ready to be transported to the jitney back to the City — wearing a pair of flannel-lined jeans.
Now this might not be very interesting — except for the fact that I had just ordered him a pair of flannel-lined jeans. See, I had done a big internet search for a pair of really nice, really attractive flannel-lined jeans to replace the Horrible Pair, and had proudly shown him the outcome: a seriously good-looking and beautifully-fitting pair from the Duluth Trading Company.
“Gosh, those are nice,” he said. “Do they come in men’s? Could you order me a pair?”
So I did. In fact, I got a notice just a few minutes ago from the good ole Duluth folks telling me they’re on their way. So what got me so steamed? Dude Man’s closet is so stuffed with stuff that he had not realized that he already owned a pair of perfectly good flannel-lined jeans. That look exactly like the ones I just ordered for him.
Heavy sigh goes here. And another pair of jeans goes into his closet.
Amagansett, New York. February 2022