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Life of Colleen: On cleaning out closets

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On cleaning out closets
posted by Colleen Shirazi on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 11:50 PM (Pacific)

kitty drawing

That's what I'm doing this weekend: cleaning out my closet. It hardly sounds monumental, but I suppose it represents the close of a distinct period in my life: that in which I stayed at home with my kids, working only as a contractor.

So some of the stuff in there goes back years. It seems reams have been penned on the noble activities of men--their wars, their careers, their...importance. But so little has been written on what women do, other than the aspects of their lives which are congruent to those of men, such as college and career.

Normally I dislike stockpiling, I don't like to accrue. Either it has a purpose, or a sentimental value, or else it goes. Space has a value too; G-d knows it costs enough around here! And I prefer order--not perfect order, but near-perfect order, if that makes any sense. I may not put something in exactly one place, but I like to narrow it to two or at most three places I'd need to look in order to find it.

But, I did not have time to even clean out my closet, during the years I raised my kids. And so I'm finding a Hello Kitty bag I'd meant to give my daughter "when she was older." It contains a pair of tiny Hello Kitty pink gloves, which would have been perfect for her, a few years ago! Once those gloves had seemed so big. Now when I hug her, I'm surprised to see how close her face is to mine.

That's something seldom extolled, the moment when you realize how big your daughter has become. When I look at her, I remember clearly the moment she was born, and when she was a tiny baby, then a bigger baby...everything up to this moment. It's magic.

I found other things...a music box filled with the expensive hair things she wore as a baby. I never liked buying her cheap hair stuff. In retrospect, I'm not sure what I was thinking. But now it all seems right. Here is the music box, with the little collection of barrettes of various metal flower designs and rhinestones. It's hard to find them in stores now.

I found two Eddie Bauer denim skirts on a hanger, both size 8. What are the odds? lol At first I thought, eh, too casual for my job, but then I tried one of them on. (Didn't bother with the other? They're exactly the same.) It's great. The denim is stretchy, so you don't get that stiff skirt o' denim feel, yet it's not tight. Add a sweater and boots; it's great.

I found a pair of casual sandals made in Italy, in a box. I'd always thought they were too big, hence the idea of putting them in the closet, but they're not. I'm wearing them right now. They're really nice.

Of course these are the highlights; there was a ton of junk in there too. Old hats, old clothes, old...shoulder pads. Yup, I found a bag full of shoulder pads.

It's going to be more than a one-day project, but I already have space to hang my work dresses without squashing them.


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