~Friday, March 09, 2012

In the Closet

While Abraham was out of town, I had the first productive weekend in quite awhile. My recent wardrobe update led to my closet and drawers being stuffed. Every time I visit my mother's, I bring a bag of stuff to get rid of, but I wasn't as diligent in getting rid of clothes as I had been adding them.

I geared up my Pandora station and I tried on everything in my closet. I didn't feel good in the color brown, so everything brown went into the donation pile. So did some Forever 21 shirts that I had since I was 21. Sweaters that looked worn out. Pants that, sigh, no longer fit. In the end I donated 2 pairs of shorts, 3 skirts, 13 pairs of pants and 57 shirts. I could outfit someone with an entire wardrobe in what I was trashing. The devastating thing was that my closet didn't look any different.

I called my mom. "I've been working all day and my closet is still full. I mean, it's no longer stuffed to maximum capacity, but it certainly doesn't look minimalist like those magazine articles do."

"I know the feeling."

"I counted everything I'm donating. I'm getting rid of 57 shirts."

"WHAT?!" my mother screeched. "You have 57 extra shirts!? What are you wearing? Are you sitting on the phone with me topless?"

I laughed. "No I assured you there's probably triple that still in my closet."

"You're sick," she said. "You have a disease."

The following morning I lugged everything to her house. We sat on the floor of her living room with piles of my crap surrounding us. She made me take 5 shirts back, arguing they were too nice. Then she shopped for herself in my castaways, pulling out another small stack of shirts.

"You know," she said. "This isn't a lot of stuff. You could have done better; you're not ruthless like me."

"Look around, mom, 57 shirts!" I hollered.

So I think I may know where my clothes hoarding may have originated. My mother thought 57 sounded like a large number of items, but then said it wasn't much when it was in front of her. Not to mention she made me take some of it back home.

My mother disappeared upstairs to retrieve her donations. She returned with a pair of shoes and three measly shirts. Then she tossed a Bible on the pile.

"Mom." I knew what it was.

"It's not staying in this house any longer," she quipped.

It was my ex-step father's Bible that was given to him by his deceased mother. Her scrawl dedicating the book to her son was on the inside cover.

"I will mail it to his friend. You can't donate it."

"Why? He doesn't have any kids to pass the book down to. When he dies, that family lineage ends.

"What does he need a Bible for? He's a terrible person," she continued. "What if someone else needs a Bible?"

"Mom! I'm sure there are enough Bibles in the county. If someone wants the Lord's words, they can get them!"

"Fine," she gave up. "I'm not letting you waste your money mailing it though. His friend's house is by the donation center. But you’re the one who is getting out the car and stuffing it in the mailbox. And I'm not coming to a full stop."

"Fair enough."

We drove to Goodwill. A friendly man helped me lug the heavy garbage bags of clothes from the SUV. I got in the car while my mother signed for the tax receipt.

"God bless you!" he waved at us.

I giggled. I knew that the man saying "God bless you!" for donating our clothes, on a Sunday no less, was enough to guilt my mother into doing the right thing.

My mother mumbled as she got into the car. "Did you hear him?" she muttered.

"Yes!" I laughed.

As we approached the friend's neighborhood, my mother grew anxious. I may have been with S for 2 years, but she was with her ex-husband for 20. It is taking her longer with her relationship than it took me with mine.

"My throat's tightening," she said.

I needed to fill the silence. I needed to chatter to distract her, but my mind was blank. The only thing I could think of was this.

"So I read this weekly cleaning article on the Internet. This woman answers people's questions on how to clean things, like old radiators or humidifiers. And one person wrote in and asked her how to clean a leather sex swing. Can you believe that? So she walked into a general leather shop and asked the proprietor how to clean a leather sex swing. That must have been embarrassing!"

To make this conversation clear, my mother and I don't have the relationship where we talk about the things that happen behind closed doors. I've never actually told her I've had sex.

"A LEATHER SEX SWING, MOM," my voice rose as soon as I realized what I was rambling about to my mother. "Anyway, she said that to clean leather sex swings, just take it to the dry cleaner. Apparently those people have seen everything. Hoo boy!"

And then I repeated the phrases "leather sex swing" and "dry cleaners have seen everything" about three more times while my mom white knuckled the steering wheel.

I'm just hoping my mother blocked this out with the rest of the trauma of dropping off the book.


Dawn said...

Remind me to put a "Goodwill" sign on my front door -- I look fabulous in brown.

The Singleship said...

Brown always makes me feel crappy, too...I don't know why I keep trying to make it work!

And I cannot believe you said "leather sex swing" to your mother, ha!


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