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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Drinkin' and Bloggin' Part Deux:

Important Note: I've noticed that Blogger puts the time of your post as when you started it, not when you last worked on it. Just so no one thinks they need to call CPS, please understand that I started this early in the day and recommenced after a trip to the Hunter Gatherer. So, yeah, that's all. Carry on.

Most people nest during the last few months or weeks of pregnancy. Not me. I spend that last bit of time in denial about all the new stuff that will come with the new baby. I get the nesting and de-cluttering urge around the time the baby gets more independent, around his (nope, not being sexist, it's just that we only seem to produce boys) first birthday. Around his second birthday, I start thinking about a decorating scheme (ha!) and furniture for his room, because that's about the time that we get the uncontrollable urge for him to sleep somewhere other than our bed. I actually don't bother thinking of a decorating scheme (that I'll never get around to executing anyway), because the boys have developed their own style - a kind of Pokemon-baseball card- Lego-costume clothes-plastic toy-tiny car theme with art stuff-notebooks-random coins and stickers accents. And other sports stuff. And socks. And games and puzzles, the more pieces the better.

Anyhooooo...I don't like clutter. Unless it's mine, of course. I have clothes that I've owned for forever. For example, one of my favorite sweaters is a J. Crew turtleneck that my mom bought me, along with several other things that are long gone, right before my first year of boarding school. Uninspired hicks that we were (and are!), I'm pretty sure we chose J. Crew and L. L. Bean because those are the places we associated with New England boarding school types. We probably got our information from the Preppy Handbook. Hey, we did our best, so let it go. And the sweater is still cool. It's a (now) snug-fitting, olive green, cable knit, lambswool turtle neck. And I still love it - looks good with skinny jeans, wide leg jeans, any style skirt, yadda yadda yadda. So I can't let it go.

And I have a St. John long dress and matching jacket, that I have never worn, left over from my days in the Junior League. I was doing my required volunteer shift in the Second Look and a pile of clothes form a really old, dead Junior Leaguer with great taste and a lot of money to go with it came in. I snagged the St. John set right away, even though I sported a nose ring at the time, knowing I would wear it some day. I haven't worn it yet, but I bet it'll look great when I wear it to one of my grand children's weddings. I just hope they make a nice, stylish wheelchair or walker by then.

I've learned to hang on to clothes the hard way. When I was pregnant with my first child, I gave away piles and piles of clothes, some of them vintage, that I thought I would never possibly fit into again. After three children, I'm about the same size, although not quite the same shape (yeah, maybe I'm bragging a little, but I work hard, so bite me. I have very little to be proud of, so I grasp at what I have.) I remember sitting on the floor of my apartment (Hubby and I weren't quite living together then. We were married, but barely; the distant click of the shotgun could still be heard.) I was sniffling and stuffing seemingly impossibly small clothes into a bag destined for the Salvation Army. Huh. Now that I think about it, it was AmVets, because they pick up at your house and I've always been lazy. The point is, they're gone now and I wish they weren't. In particular, I miss a perfect pair of brown Levi's cords, obtained from an old room mate, and a turquoise, Chinese brocade dress, immortalized in a photo of me and some of my college friends on someone else's Facebook page:

I bought that dress in a thrift store for five dollars, before thrift became Vintage, and it looked like something Donna Reed would wear, but the fabric was awesome. In fact, if more people saved their clothes (MOM!), I could have saved $130 today, instead of buying a totally awesome dress from this local lady. Sorry, regret got the best of me and I was rambling...

My point is (wait? Do I have to have a point when I'm BUI*?) that I never throw way clothes, because you never know. But I do throw away toys, or give them away if they're worth giving. Today, in a de-cluttering frenzy, O and X and I did the Great Toy Purge of August 2007. My husband took Baby J on some kind of adventure and the big boys and I went into the Kids' Lounge with plastic bags and divided things into three categories: Keep, Give Away or Throw Away.

The Keep things went back, in an organized way of course, to the Kids' Lounge, and included things that they still played with or thought Baby J would enjoy soon enough. Which means that we kept Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, which are the most boring games ever. The Give Away pile consisted of things that were fun, in working condition and totally replaceable. You see, I don't want to keep everything Baby J might play with, because if we did, we'd be forced to get more and more elaborate for his birthday and Christmas presents. As the oldest child, I do not think it's okay that the youngest, by virtue of being the youngest, should get the battery powered Cadillac Escalade, just because there is nothing left to give him. The Throw Away pile was made up of things that were totally destroyed and fast food giveaways.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I completely Jump the Shark. In addition to a couple bags of the boys' toys, I had a couple bags of my clothes, all ready to be dropped off at the thrift store. And the painters were still here. Some of the toys were pretty cool, including a Dora the Explorer matching game, totally intact. Some of the clothes were pretty cool, but too big (hey, I've had three kids - my sizes are all over the map!) or too absolutely-not-me (everyone makes mistakes!) I thought some of the guys painting might like the toys or the clothes (for their wives, not themselves, of course! Not that I would judge if they wanted the clothes for themselves, but none of them were small enough to fit them, okay?) I worked myself into a tizzy trying to figure out if they would be insulted if I offered the stuff to them. I hid in my closet (a walk-in, okay, so not as weird as it sounds) and called my husband to ask his opinion. He said, "Are you kidding? This is the kind of thing I call to ask you about." True. And my response is usually along the lines of "Be genuine and don't over think it." And think about what you would want if you were in the other person's place.

Well, as you might imagine, I would want to be offered the clothes. And even the toys. So I offered The Boss the bags. I told him we had done some de-cluttering and had some things that his guys, their wives or their kids might want, if they had any wives and kids, that is. So, did I do the right thing? Or not? Eh. I did my best, so there it is.

Namasté, y'all!

*Blogging Under the Influence. Did this really need a footnote? I guess I'm not giving you enough credit, 'cause I'm tipsy, so I assume everyone's as slow as I am.

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