One time, I moved in with my husband and tried very, very hard to fit all of my belongings in with his. This was no small feat seeing as how, between the two of us, we could operate our own retail store. I own many clothes. Husband owns many clothes. In fact, our first attempt to combine closets was not overly successful. I like to think this is because Husband has, over the years, accumulated and kept everything he’s ever purchased or been given. Ever. In his entire life.
That makes for many, many, many items of clothing.
Since well before we were married, Husband has said, “You have to help me cull my wardrobe. It needs help. I have too many things.” Sure, no problem; I like culling things.
Unfortunately, my definition of cull AKA “toss” or “remove entirely” is not Husband’s definition of cull AKA “redistribute to different location in condo,” “place aside and re-evaluate after a period of six months” or “re-use in a different manner.”
It turns out Husband has a wee little bit of pack rat in him. Not “pack rat” as in “one who is incapable of discarding anything and thus lives in a constant state of clutter,” but pack rat in the sense that “this incredibly out-dated piece of attire may not be in style right now but surely it will one day come back into style so I should hang onto it until then.” Or, “there’s nothing wrong with it; it has plenty of wear left.”
Yes, perhaps the material itself has some wear left in it. That does not mean one should wear something that is 20 years outdated just because its stitching is still holding it together. Particularly while in public and out with one’s wife.
[Note: I haven’t actually seen Husband leave the house wearing such items.]
Knowing that having me help him cull his wardrobe would be kinda like his own version of the Terminator series’ Judgment Day, it took Husband a little while to begin the culling session. A few days ago, he decided he was ready.
He stood in front of Closet #1 and pulled out shirt after shirt after shirt after shirt, deciding he would look at each one, assess it, maybe model it and then make a decision to keep it or give it away.
Those two categories quickly morphed into five. A pile for Salvation Army. A pile for his dad. A pile for his brother. A pile for gear to use while working on the farm. And, my favorite, a pile to re-consider after Jill says, “Toss it.”
It only took the first couple of shirts for the emotions to come out: “Ohhh, it’s like giving away my children!” exclaimed Husband as he slowly parted with yet another shirt. I admit; I stifled a laugh. Or maybe I laughed openly. I can’t remember.
“What?” he would ask, holding up a shirt. “You don’t like this one either? What’s wrong with it?” The same questions over and over and over again. Met with the same unacceptable (in his eye) responses: “You haven’t worn it in years. It’s totally out-dated. It’s too big. I just don’t like it.”
It was a tough evening, but Husband was a trooper, moving from Closet #1 to Closet #2 without blinking. Too much. We even poured through Closet #3. It was also a successful evening. Husband culled his wardrobe. And, he made some new friends at the local Salvation Army. No doubt, he was their biggest drop-off this past week.
The best part was the day after—the evening of painfulness still relatively fresh—when Husband opened the door to Closet #1 and exclaimed, “There are still a lot of shirts in here!”
Yes, sweetheart. There sure are.
Want to have another go-around?