Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coming Out Of The Closet (The Clothes--Not Me)

With the arrival of autumn, it is once again time for me to go through all of the closets and prepare for the arrival of cold weather.

This is a ritual I repeat every spring and fall as the weather changes. I replace some seasonal garments with others, clear out what the kids have outgrown for donations, and make note of what they will need for the upcoming warm or cold weather.

Orgnaizing my closet, however, is not so simple. As every woman knows, we need three sets of clothes for every season.

We have our normal set of clothes which wear on any given day. These clothes are the size we generally hover around and wear the majority of the year

Then of we have our "fat clothes." We don these garments if we put on a little weight, or on mornings when we wake up feeling like we are the size of a walrus.

Every woman also has some clothes that she wore in college or before the kids came along. Some women refer to them as "skinny clothes." I refer to this as my "I have a dream" section.

Organizing experts say you should not keep anything you have not worn in a year. That theory goes right out the window when it comes to our "skinny" garments.

The fact that the size 2 formal dress I bought in 1987 will probably never again see daylight does not deter me from keeping it. Every woman has clothing she convinces herself that, one day, she will get into again. Never mind that she probably has better odds of winning the Megamillions lottery.

Those clothes will be in that closet until the day she dies. Someone will be going through our closets thinking, "What did she save that for?" and "Did she actually WEAR that?"

Skinny clothes are not to be confused with clothing from special occasions such as weddings or proms that we all stash in some spare closet in the house. We don't wear them. We just take them out occasionally to reminisce.

To a woman, a closet is more than a place to store clothing. It is memories of her past. It is a reflection of who she is and how she came to be that person. It is as personal to her as a diary.

So when my husband asks why I am keeping a maternity dress that I wore when pregnant with my son thirteen years ago, I simply move it to another location. Getting rid of it would be like getting rid of a part of me.

The other day I came across a dress I wore to a college formal. It was fire engine red with a plunging back and hit about four inches above the knee.

Perhaps I will surrender that one. I don't want anybody to find it after I die. Might give the wrong impression of my single days.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Puppy Love

The pitterpatter of tiny paws has returned to the halls of our home.

We have adopted a puppy. Her name is Chloe and she is a three-month-old border collie/german shepard mix. I also suspect she has some labrador in her as she is forever pointing at nothing outside and attempts to flush chipmunks and mice out of my gardens. I would not have an issue with this if she were not also pulling my plants out by the roots.

In the thirteen-plus years since we had a puppy, I seem to have forgotten many things. Puppies are a lot of work.

I got quite acquainted with the planet Venus for about a week as I was up early enough to see it well before dawn while Chloe explored the yard searching for the perfect pee spot. Although she now sleeps a bit later, the potty training adventure continues. She is not yet letting us know when she needs to go out, so I have seen more of my backyard in the last month--especially in the the dark--than I have seen in the last 14 years.

I have also been reminded that puppies chew. This is evidenced by the fact that Sean is now missing the back end of one of his flipflops. We alleviate this problem by keeping plenty of chew toys on hand.

What we cannot seem to get through to her is that cats are not chew toys. Most of our cats avoid her, but Midnight is attempting to befriend her. They do play together, but it usually ends with Chloe pinning him to the ground by his neck. Cats do not like this.

With the cooler weather this weekend, Chloe has also discovered that people wear pants. This is apparently something she thinks she should latch onto and hold on for dear life.

Most of these habits will be overcome with time, patience and a good dose of obedience training. She does have some very good qualities in that she rarely ever barks, walks well on a leash and is already picking up on some basic commands. Our puppy is no dummy.

This has also been a good lesson for Shannon and Sean on the responsibilty of owning a young animal. A large part of her care fell upon them before school began. They now realize that puppies are not something that can be ignored or taken care of on your schedule, but have their own timetable. They require lots of attention, affection and are not something disposable.

We are hopeful that our experience with Chloe will be as memorable and wonderful as our time with our beloved labrador, Zak. She has already found a special place in our hearts in her short time here.

Feel free to visit or call for updates or with advice. And don't hesitate to call early. Believe me, I'll be up.