Are you a plural purchaser?
Do you buy in bunches?
Amass in multiples?
If you see a gorgeous sweater that comes in seven colors, do you buy three? Or four?
Then pat yourself on the back for the great restraint you exercised in not buying all seven?
When you find a pair of jeans that fit perfectly, do you immediately buy two more… Just in case?
Well, my friend, you are not alone.
I have finished cleaning my closets.
Five, yes, I said FIVE, large plastic trash bags, stuffed full, went to the local charity shop.
Understanding myself enough to know that I absolutely hate to part with anything, I gave myself the 50% rule: Half of everything not considered ‘everyday’ clothes had to go.
Or at least one out of three…..
That’s when I realized how serious my problem was.
Eight skirts, purchased over several years, but still practically identical except for the color.
Four more of a different style…
Ten crew-neck sweaters, slight differences… very slight, but all different colors.
Ditto for the eight turtle-neck sweaters.
I could go on… but sometimes mon mari reads this.
In all fairness to me, sometimes my compulsiveness has good results. Twenty years ago, before Coach was trendy, I bought Coach purses. Simple, elegant, well made leather purses which I still have and use. Of course I bought one in black, one in navy and one in ivory, all identical.
Because I liked them so much I then bought the exact same purse in a larger size… All three colors.
I sold the briefcases (Craigslist).
I’m keeping the purses. Did I mention that I haven’t bought a purse in twenty years?
It was relatively easy looking at four of something and deciding which two I would keep.
It was hard getting rid of my favorite black silk cocktail dress, the gorgeous velvet dinner suit, the silk douppioni evening skirt.
I know I haven’t worn them in over 10 years, and I know I’ll never where them again. I no longer go to the places where such dress is required and if I did, these clothes would be seriously out-of-date.
I also know that I will never again buy something that costly; that beautiful. We don’t have the money, and if we did, I wouldn’t spend it that way.
I’m in a different place now; a different life.
I buy rubber ‘Wellingtons’, not Manolo Blahnik. I don’t even know how to spell Manolo Blahnik (Thanks Google)
It wasn’t giving away the clothes that made me a bit melancholy; it was the fact that giving away the clothes very firmly shut the door, forever, on that chapter in my life.
I’m looking forward to the new chapter…. But I can spend a few minutes missing the old…
And wondering what the hell the charity shop is going to do with ‘dry-clean only’ black silk evening clothes…
Or mon mari‘s tux….
But they’ll love the sweaters….
Oriental Courgette (Zucchini) and Brown Rice Salad
1/2 cup brown rice, quick cooking
1 cup chicken stock or whatever your rice calls for
1 medium zucchini (courgette) about 8 ” (20cm)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame or walnut oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbs toasted pine nuts toast for 4 minutes, dry pan
Cook rice in stock according to package directions.
Mince garlic. Slice zucchini in half the long way and then into 1/4″ (.6cm) slices. Heat medium nonstick over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast, shaking pan occasionally until golden, 4 – 5 minutes. Remove nuts and set aside. In same skillet heat oils over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and soy sauce and sauté briefly. Add courgette and continue to sauté for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until zucchini is tender.
To finish: When rice is done put into a medium bowl. When zucchini is done add to rice. Add the vinaigrette and toss well. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve.
2 tbs brown sugar
2 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs snipped fresh parsley
1 tbs water
2 tsp oil – sesame or walnut is best
2 tsp soy sauce
Put all ingredients in small bowl and whisk well – will not emulsify.
There is one more thing that has me a wee bit worried: It’s always been the unwritten rule that I can only buy something new if I get rid of something old.
Now that my closet is bare I have nothing more to get rid of…
Does this mean I can never go shopping again?
Footnote: Is this some sort of cosmic joke? I hit post than went downstairs… and found the new LL Bean Woman’s Fall Catalogue!