Lose Weight or Buy New Clothes

Married life will do it to you. Then again, so does quitting smoking or cutting methamphetamines from your daily diet.

I recently attended a friend's wedding. It was a lovely affair...um, no, wait, that is not supposed to sound that way. But no, my boyfriend didn't go.

At the reception, my friend (the groom) and I were talking. We coverd such lovely topics as the intoxicated state of his new mother-in-law and the fact that I travelled further than anyone to be there, and what he should do on his pre-honeymoon. Then he smiled, sat back in his chair and said, "Well, I'm married now. I can finally let myself go." He's a personal trainer.

As I was walking home from our neighbour's house (our bathroom is being remodelled and I couldn't wait another week to go), I realized that somehow I was bringing back the midriff for men. I know it has come back for women, and mostly for those who's mid or riff you would not care to look at. How about mine? I was wearing a tanktop that was cutting into my armpits and giving my navel some peek-a-boo rehearsal. Admittedly, it was a really old wife-beater that has seen more stains than a throng of GWAR fans. It's a good thing the nieghbours are so far away, and really don't care.

Maybe it's time to get some new clothes. Now I don't mean new new. I haven't bought brand new clothing in years (except for the time we hadn't done laundry in two months and I desparately needed socks that didn't talk back). I just mean a nice trip to a thift store with actual changing rooms where I can get a sense of whether the pants would fit comfortably even if they weren't being pulled on over another pair. I probably own more pants that can be pulled on or off while wearing hiking boots.

That would be lovely. Shopping...something I don't do much anymore, unless Fred pulls me into a second hand shop because there's an awesome desk that we can't live without. I'd be willing to bet that our other five desks couldn't live without it either. They're a growing family and we're the fertility clinic.

This all unfortunately brings to mind a very important point. Where to put it? I recently rearranged all the dressers (another client in our booming fertility clinic, although their growth rate compared to the desks is like Central America to Norway). There is an entire five-drawer unit filled to the brim with T-shirts. Don't tell me I don't know how to fold. It's one of the useful things I picked up in the military without actually enlisting (entirely different and less suitable for all audiences tale). One of the other dressers has another drawer for T-shirts. There are three drawers of socks. Two of underwear. Two closets are filled with shirts ranging from cowboy shirts that look like corsets on me to oversized sweaters that are good out here in the desert for about a twelfth of the year. An entire shelf the full length of a closet is stacked with folded pants.

You'd think we should get rid of some things. But we can't.

Many of the T-shirts are collector's items. Well worn collector's items, but memorabilia just the same. It's not unlike Fred's collections of coffee mugs, tikis and crucifixes, or my collections of broken toys, renderings of the Last Supper and disturbingly tacky snowglobes.

There are T-shirts for just about every company either of us has ever worked for. Add to that a comprehensive museum of every Dot-Bombed start-up that ever said "Free T-shirt" in a 400-mile radius of Fred. There are series, such as Fred's Southwest airlines credit card T-shirts for every airport they fly out of and some depicting comic books he has worked on. Then there's my collection of small, tattered tshirts printed with a variety of Picasso paintings.

There is an entire stack of pants that Fred hasn't been able to fit into since we moved in together. It's my fault we still have those. I keep telling him to try some on and decide whether they will ever grace his legs again. Then, I throw them in the middle of a stack of my pants that I'm currently wearing. I need to just set them on his keyboard and make him try them on in front of me. Tee hee.

My pants are a different story. They each have stories. Where I got them. When I got them. Who with. How much. It's like journalism 101. Who, what, where, why, when and how much. As I rooted through the stack the other day, I came upon a lovely pair of irredescent blue plaid corduroy pants. You don't come across those every day. They were in the women's section of a goodwill, but had ample butt-room for me. They had been only $4.00. I haven't worn them in probably a year or two. There's no way they would fit right now, and I don't seem to retain the commitment to get more exercise and gain some air space between my thighs. I live in the desert. Heavy corduory that's too tight just doesn't cut it.

But how can you part with irredescent blue plaid corduroy pants? You just don't. You don't just throw that in the red cross pile. You have to carefully consider who would give them a good home. Who would wear them proudly and pass on the oral trdition of this pair of pant's history and cultural identity? Someone who knows how cool they are despite not being able to match them with anything. Those who know that's the point. Those...who don't mind you passing off hand-me-downs and aren't your younger sibling (my younger brother rolls his eyes every time he sees what I wear...and he knows it's not my mother that dresses me funny).

Hell yes I'm vain. It may not look like it. But if you dig down, way past all my surface pretensions, I'm really very shallow. I love my clothes, perhaps more than breathing. I have bad taste, but at least it is taste.

Then comes a big hurricane and there are lots of people in need. I'm torn. So are half the crotches in my pants, armpits in my shirts, toes in my socks, and, um, my underwear.