Thursday, July 12, 2012


We are clearing out the second bedroom which we call the closet / computer room.  Living in a house built in the early 1950's means we have severely limited closet space.  Many, many years ago -- we bought the house in 1973 -- Hubby put up two room length poles on the inside wall of the second bedroom -- stretching from one bookcase to another for anchors.  On these poles I have hung / stored short sleeved tees on the bottom pole and short sleeved shirts on the top for summer.  In winter the short sleeved garments went to the basement and long sleeves and sweaters / sweats replaced them. 

Guilty admission -- I like clothes.  I also love shoes.  Once I owned over 100 pairs of high end shoes -- however, plantar fasciitis took care of those lovely shoes and relegated me to "your grandma's ugly shoes" for the rest of my life.  Evidently I have transferred my love of shoes which I can no longer buy in great number (because now every single ugly pair costs upwards of $400) to my clothing fetish. 

If you walked into the second bedroom, now a crammed closet of a room with a desk for the computer, you could see clearly that I owned enough tees, fleeces, sweatshirts, blouses, blazers, jackets, vests to outfit an army.  The poles that extend the length of the room can no longer hold even a season's worth of tops. 

My vision was to clear out all the things I would no longer need in retirement. I would leave the poles sparsely populated and the room would no longer resemble a walk-in closet.   Clearly, I would need lots of tee shirts in my retirement phase but since I was no longer going out on professional assignments, the blouses and blazers and jackets could be sent off to City Union Mission. 

I started on the bottom pole this morning -- the one holding short sleeved tees.  I filled up a trash bag for the Mission -- one of those huge, heavy duty bags, not the average sized ones.  I also made a "maybe"  pile of tops that were funny and nice but maybe I could afford to relegate to the homeless heap.  When I was done, the bottom pole was still so overloaded all the tees wouldn't fit on it. 

The "maybe" pile of shirts quickly became a "certainty" pile and I added them to the trash bag.  Then I started all over again.  Had I worn this in the last two years?  No.  Okay, I could get rid of it.  Did it have shoulder pads -- yes, but it was really a nice fit.  I had just told my sister-in-law that anything still having a shoulder pad was so dated it needed to be discarded.  Sigh.  Okay; gone. 

After the second run through, I still had nine (you read that right -- 9!) black tees.  Some had interesting designs but a couple were just plain black.  Now every overweight woman will tell you that black is a basic color for us.  Nine might be reasonable.  But I also had five gray tees.  And five green tees.  Then there were 13 blue tees - in various shades of blue from teal to navy.  I also had six red tees; seven pink tees (I look really nice in pink), one purple tee (maybe I need a couple of more purple tops?), four brown / tan / cream tees, and -- wait for it -- yes!  17 white tees.  Oh, gracious.

Were you keeping track?  I still had 67 tees hanging just from the bottom pole.   I could wear a different shirt for 67 days in a row.  That is simply obscene.

And worse yet -- some of the tees are still in the basement for washing, some are in the winter stack which I haven't even sorted yet, some are hanging on the filing cabinet because I couldn't face filling A SECOND bag of my gorgeous tees (at least not today).   I bet when I'm finished I have close to 100 tee shirts -- that's not counting blouses, vests, sweats, fleeces, and blazers. 

I swear to you I only kept the really nice tees, the ones that fit perfectly, the ones I liked and actually wore (but clearly not very often since I had so many).  Counting the hangers I returned to the basement after the bagging the give-away shirts, I had eliminated 38 from my store.   That was less than half of the 105 (help me!) that I had sorted through (with still more to go). 

My sister-in-law has asked what I would like for Christmas.  I always tell her that I love interesting tee shirts -- and she has been bountiful in the past with a couple of my favorites, most of which I have now worn almost out and put in the sleep shirt pile (oh! I forgot about all those shirts in the pajama drawers!).  The awful thing is when I look at funny tee-shirts with great logos, I want one.  I still like to have shirts from the places we visit.  I have political tee-shirts from the candidates I've supported.  I have shirts from the great Broadway shows we've seen.  I have musical shirts, Schnauzer shirts, Wyandotte High School Bulldog shirts (about six of these I wear frequently).  We are planning on going to Williamsburg in the autumn -- and guess what?  The first thing I want from there is a tee declaring that I visited "Historic Williamsburg!" 

But where will I store it?  My vision of the sparsely populated tee shirt pole is in tatters.  I only hope I do better when I hit the blouse / vest / jacket / blazer pole.  Maybe some of those wonderful tees can move up a pole?  However, looking at that pole now while I'm computing, I feel a deep sense of foreboding. 

1 comment:

Margaret said...

I understand completely! I collect tees also, although I'm not in your league. I bought them from my travels, gymnastics meets and other places/causes that meant something to me. I have my favorites. When some of my favorites started getting holes in them, a blog friend volunteered to make a memory quilt of the fronts of them. I treasure that. I still miss wearing those tee-shirts, but at least I still have a portion of them!