Thursday, April 1, 2010

When In Doubt . . . Throw It Out

For the last couple of months I have been planning to write an entry for the Living Out Loud Project, where bloggers and other writers have a month to write an entry based on an assigned idea.  This month's theme title is "Prêt-à-Porter", and the idea is to write about a piece of clothing that one still owns that has some emotional meaning.  As you can tell from the title of this entry, I'm not much of a saver.  Although I have many of my sons' cutest clothes from when they were babies, when it comes to my own clothes, I'm not very sentimental.  Even my wedding dress is gone; I brought it to a bridal consignment store for resale.  Unfortunately, the store went out of business a few months later and I have no idea what happened to my dress.  Was I devastated by this piece of news?  Not really.  Although I love my husband, my wedding day itself was less than ideal.  Keeping the dress I wore that day seemed like bad feng shui.

In preparing for this entry, I briefly scanned my closet for something that could represent this special item of clothing for me - there was not much there to work with.  After a few minutes of searching, hiding far in the back on a wire hanger, I found this:

Wrinkled, faded, missing the second button from the top, it has survived in my various closets for almost 20 years.  Purchased at Jordan Marsh in the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Massachusetts sometime in 1991, it was a departure from the popular colors of the time, which leaned more toward turquoise and coral pink.  In the good old days, I would buy clothes once a week, a paycheck spending fashion frenzy which culminated in me being penniless by Monday morning - but I always had something great to wear!  Worn with my favorite white denim Calvin Klein mini skirt, black wide belt, and black flats, this shirt was an integral part of  my wardrobe for the spring and summer of '91, and I often wore it out at night.

So why did this hideous, mustard colored shirt survive for all these years?  Because it was my outfit of choice for a night out with friends on May 10, 1991.  A few drinks at Stocks and Bonds on State Street in Boston, back to my hometown to meet a friend at a softball game, then on to drinks and dinner at a local Chinese food establishment.  One of the guys playing in the softball game was celebrating his birthday and didn't have any specific plans, so he decided to come along with us to dinner. 

So there I was, in my ugly mustard color shirt, eating Chinese food, drinking a Mai Tai and having dinner with my friends and the birthday boy . . .  little did I know that five years later he would be my husband, and the shirt will go down in history as the one I was wearing the night we met.  Not surprisingly, while writing this entry I showed him the shirt and asked if he knew why it was special - he had no idea.

After I thought about it for a while, I was surprised that I have kept this shirt for so long.  It certainly hasen't been worn since at least 1992.  Having moved four times since 1991, it amazes me that it has always made the cut to be moved with the rest of my clothes.  I am a firm believer in the rule that if you don't wear something for over one year it is time to either donate it or throw it away.  Somewhere in my subconscious there is strange sentimentality about this shirt . . . I've kept it for this long, I guess I will keep it forever!


acorndreaming said...

I actually remember exactly what I was wearing on my first official date with my husband . . . and I still have it. And I"m sure he would never recognize it either. :)

Lori said...

Who do have a sentimental side !!! I would have never thought there would be anything in your closet for that long !!! I lived with you back then and I don't remember that not "you"....