Spouse and I were sitting in church a few Sundays when I found myself glancing around at the congregation. I spotted a few shirts in the pinkish-red-rose hue similar to mine. Like whiplash, a moment of déjà vu smacked me upside the head. I squirmed in my seat as I recalled a conversation in this very place about that same color hue on a few others… two weeks earlier.
Out of the corner of my left eye a whitish glow surfaced on my shoulder - the remnants of spittle from our minister’s grandchild when I held her the last time I wore that top. Oh, no. No-no-no-no-no. I only see most of these folks once a week unless otherwise planned (or unless I am not showered, sans makeup and making a quick dash to the grocery store). How did I manage to grab the one top that hadn’t been immediately thrown into the hamper when I got home?
It has a lot to do with my filing system.
I may have mentioned that we have a very small house. It is ours (technically it’s the bank’s, but let’s not nitpick) and I am proud to call it home. But its size, or lack of, means closet space is minimal. Some of my clothes are in the spare room - First Born’s vacant room, which we chose not to turn into a shrine in her honor because – well, small house. Wash baskets don’t get emptied right away because I have to be creative in conjuring up closet space. What would you call something smaller than a closet? A mini-closet? A closette? Wait, I’ve got it. A box.
Early in the morning I need to easily access my options, so I devised a system of placing clothing around the bedroom. Some people call it piling, but I prefer the term filing. I file based on season, color and amount of usage. Oh, and by whether it fits me that week.
Normally it’s a very efficient system at 6:30 in the morning. There is the Wore to Work This Week file, the Did I Run Into Anyone I Know file, the Clean But it Obviously Shrank in the Wash file, and the Can’t Camouflage That Stain file - also known as the hamper.
Every so often an item gets misfiled and grabbed as a last resort when it’s too dark to see that the last time I wore it I dropped half a meatball on the front. This could be uncomfortable, and not just because it’s crusty from the sauce.
One solution would be to carry a scarf or a spare neutral-colored top with me for just such a predicament. That would entail A) knowing how to fashionably wear scarves and B) assuming I had a spare top. In desperation I could resort to throwing everything into the wash after I’ve worn it once. But I don’t. There, I’ve said it. I am a shirt recycler. My sister is, at this moment, assuming the fetal position and weeping for me.
The real mystery is how I even have enough clothing to not fit into my closet. It seems like I wear the same four things all the time. I don’t really… it’s more like seven. But when the temperature is the same 20 degrees all week I run out of decent sweaters that aren’t pilled to the point of resembling cloud formations.
Second Born’s room would make a great walk-in closet slash office, but she still graces us with her presence during the summer. Once she graduates from college and decides she wants to live more than a day’s drive away I will surely need the distraction of a hobby, like knitting or tearing walls down.
For now I think my filing system may need some review. I’ve made so many files that there may actually be room in the closet.