Friday, December 4, 2015

Hidden Treasure in My Closet.

In an effort to try to clear some of the clutter, I started going through my closet. When we first moved to this house, I thought having a huge closet was great. I’m not so sure anymore. It is too easy to just keep jamming stuff in and never go through it.

I barely made a dent, but had three big bags of stuff to give away. And I found all kinds of cool stuff I didn’t know I had and since I was the one who picked it out, it was all in my taste.

Some things I won’t be giving away. There are some dresses from the 1960s that I made. I’ll probably never wear them again, assuming I could even fit in them, but they all have their own story.

One dress is green silk with a blue pattern. It’s not the dress that has the story , but the fabric. I remember seeing my mother reading the Sunday New York Times in Chicago and mentioning that Macy’s was having a sale on fabric. In those days, Macy’s was only in New York. I only half listened since I was going to Boston. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but I ended up getting a ride from Boston to New York City with one of my brother’s college room mates. I was walking around Manhattan and suddenly I remembered the fabric sale. I went to Macy’s and that’s where I bought the green silk. To me it is a reminder of the serendipity of life.

There are a bunch of T-shirts from trips I went on. I don’t wear them right now, but they have memories attached to them. There is the black shirt with the map of Central Park on it. The story that goes with it is a little like the tale of the blue green fabric.

I was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art store in Southern California. There was book about an art installation in Central Park called The Gates. From the pictures I gather there were bright orange banners hung in a snaking line through the massive park. I remember thinking, well, that’s something I won’t be seeing, particularly since it was supposed to end in the next couple of days.

And then out of nowhere, my husband had a business trip to New York City. I ended up going with. It was only a short time after I’d seen the picture of The Gates in the book, but after the date for the end of the exhibit (if that’s what you call it). My husband went off to do his thing and I went to Central Park. It was February and snowing. When I walked to Central Park it looked like a white wonderland with the swirling snow. The weather people called it a Nor’easter and it is true the snow was blowing sideways, but I thought it was wonderful. And even better when I saw the brilliant orange of The Gates. Of course, the exhibit was over, but there was no way they could take down all those orange banners as the line of them went through the park.
I followed the trail of them until I got to a building in the park. It was left over from the past and had been a refreshment stand or something like that. Now it was a respite from the snow and a gift shop. That’s where I bought the T-shirt with the map of Central Park.

It’s easy to give away old jeans, but not the things that come with a memory attached. I think somewhere are the rubber sandals from the sandal factory I worked in when I was a volunteer on a kibbutz. I’ll probably never wear them, but I’m certainly not giving them up.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I admire you for digging in to clean out a closet, Betty--and how fun that you stirred up some good memories, too.

Planner said...

I love your tales of memories attached to your clothing! Those are indeed wonderful stories of serendipity.

I thought it was funny that I read your post while sorting through papers on my desk. I do need to tackle my closets, too. It's not a task I relish, but it will feel so good afterward, and some of my unworn clothes can find a new home.

Enjoy your spacious closet!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it is fun going through stuff. The hard part is making all the decisions about what to keep and what goes,

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I'm afraid I barely made a dent in the closet. So much more to go through.