Written by Mr. Handsome
The start of a new year can mean many things: resolutions, goals, diet plans, fresh starts, and in this house, my yearly closet purge performed by my loving wife Ellie.
The regular readers of this blog will know that Ellie likes to be tidy and organized, so it should be no surprise that one of her favorite things to do is “de-clutter.” The term “de-clutter” is a very nice and pleasant way of describing the savagery that ensues during a closet purge. Nothing is safe.
One minute you may be a perfectly good sweater in good standing, hanging in the closet. Sure I haven’t worn you in five years. Sure you haven’t been in style for a good five years before that. But you have dutifully done your job hanging in the closet and looking quite respectable, only to be rewarded by finding yourself stuffed into a storage box labeled “sell/hand-me downs.”
Or if you have been deemed by the Ellie to be particularly despicable, you may find yourself crumpled into the garbage bag destined for Goodwill. But you should still count yourself lucky, because every year there will be a few unsuspecting articles destined to be tortured, torn apart, and placed in the rag pile.
The first sign of the impending purge is the arrival of new Christmas clothes, usually purchased on Black Friday. These clothes are typically stylish, well pressed, and undoubtedly chosen for me by Ellie. As Ellie is hanging up these new clothes and imagining her husband looking halfway presentable for a change, you may find her eyes drawn to a few of my, shall we say, “historic” pieces.
You may hear her remark, “Well the closet sure seems full these days.” I may say something like, “Well I am just thankful for what I have. I bet the folks in third-world countries would be thankful to have good clothes like this.” To which Ellie will reply, “Yes, I bet they would particularly enjoy this pair of sweatpants with 3 holes in them, four coffee stains, and some paint from back when you painted your parents’ house in the twelfth grade.” And thus the great purge begins.
I usually make some feeble attempts to support a particular article of clothing. I may say, “This neon green shirt would be great if I find myself stranded on a deserted island. The search helicopters could see me from a good ten miles away.” Or, “The holes in the seat of this old pair of jeans provide extra air conditioning.” Or one of my personal favorites, “Just because I haven’t worn this shirt in five years doesn’t mean I won’t find the perfect opportunity to wear it tomorrow.” To which Ellie says, “If you find the perfect opportunity to wear it tomorrow, we’ll keep it.”
At the end of the day, the purge works out pretty well because I end up with new clothes, Ellie gets a clean closet, and Goodwill gets a sizeable donation. Of course I always save a few classics from the purge out of the kindness of my heart and out of the spirit of Christmas.