Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Failed minimalist

How long must I stand in the bright light of my closet before I purge the mess in there? How many times will I take out that olive green skirt that’s too tight, only to return it to the rack in case I lose weight? I liked that skirt and it still might work if I lose 10 20 30 pounds. Also, the skirt under discussion comes above my knees and I hate to show my knees. Otherwise, it’s perfect. Perfect for a younger, skinnier, much hipper version of myself.

Like a moth and a lightbulb, I’m drawn to those magazine articles that hype minimalist living. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg has a collection of jeans and black t-shirts, not much else. He has been quite successful and no one criticizes his fashion sense. Image how easy it would be to grab the next clean black t-shirt and head out to make a million dollars for a day’s work.

More times than I can count, when it comes to purging one’s wardrobe, the expert minimalist du jour suggests that you ask yourself, “Would I buy this again?”

My usual answer is, “No! Of course not! I already have an olive green skirt—see it shoved in the back of my closet? Why would I buy another one exactly like it?”

Sometimes the minimalist suggests that the maximalist take everything out of the closet and create three piles: a KEEP pile of things in perfect condition that fit and work for one’s lifestyle, a MAYBE pile for the things that aren’t perfect but are hard to discard, and a DONATE pile of definite give-away items. For the weak, they might suggest putting the MAYBE things in a box to reconsider at a later date. I hate the idea of a MAYBE pile because it would be an indication that I might be indecisive. In theory, I deplore weakness in a closet purger, yet in the end I go through the closet and keep almost everything. What if I do lose a lot of weight and need a black lace mini dress? It’s already there—no need to go shopping.

Years ago my daughter made me discard my two pairs of “parachute pants”—navy and khaki. I loved those pants but she called them “MC Hammer pants” and I caved because she kept saying, “It’s Hammer time.” I miss the pants. They may even be back in style now. What if my granddaughter is going to a 60s party and needs a hippie outfit? Surely, somewhere in the back of the closet, there’s a leather fringe jacket and a long denim skirt that I lovingly sewed out of a pair of deconstructed jeans and a couple of old flannel shirts. Where is that skirt? I might want to wear it again.

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