I am not a hoarder. I am the opposite of a hoarder, a get-rid-of-er? I feel a certain happiness when I can get rid of something. I feel a bit lighter when I finally finish a shampoo bottle. Giving a pile of unworn clothes to Goodwill or handing a bin of baby clothes to a friend or family member delights my organizational freak personality. I have taken off work to go through clothes or storage or unused Christmas decorations and get rid of them. Ahhhh…it’s so therapeutic.

Before you get the wrong idea, thinking I’m just getting rid of things willy-nilly, you should know I have a system. We recycle almost everything that we can recycle, and otherwise we give things away to family or friends or the less fortunate. If I haven’t worn something in a year or two max, it’s gone. Very rarely do I regret anything I’ve gotten rid of. Except maybe some baby items. Part of me thinks maybe I should hang on to something from the kids’ childhoods.

Speaking of, I DO hold dear a few things, mostly photos, videos, cards, jewelry, especially cute artwork the kids have made (I really hope Gabe doesn’t one day ask me where his 7,000 kindergarten worksheets have gone), or anything heirloomy (it’s my blog, I can make up words if I want).

Last summer when I was off work and cleaning out our closet, I came across several items that I will never part with: my wedding dress, the dress I got engaged in (I will one day fit in both again and even if the engagement dress is horribly out of fashion and I’m 85 and my boobs are sagging down to my waist, by God, I’m wearing it), a couple of bridesmaids dresses (which I’ll never wear again but I don’t know what to do with), the dress I wore to a formal with Jay in college (a beautiful navy velvet backless dress, I cannot ever bring myself to part with it), and my Dr. Martins.

I never wear my Docs. Ever. There was a period in my late 20s where I stopped wearing them in public and used them as snow shoes. But now that I broke down and bought some ugly-ass snow boots, they go unworn.

The ones I have are actually my second pair. I got my first pair of black Docs when I was in high school. I am pretty sure I purchased them on Short Vine in Clifton, back when that street was full of head shops and hippie/grungy clothing stores. For unexplained reasons, my feet grew my sophomore year in college and I could no longer wear them. I gave them to Jen Wahl Matlack. (Jen, do you still have those?)

Anyway, at some point I went back to the hippie clothing store (I wish I could remember the name of that store. Oh! Avalon? No…that was a different hippie store.) and bought these. I wore them quite frequently in my college grunge days.

Even though I’ve long outgrown the grunge days (sadly), I cannot bring myself to get rid of the shoes. Like my photos, looking at them brings back all kinds of memories. Mostly of smoking and drinking too much coffee, loitering, wearing men’s khakis three sizes too big, flannels, my Alice in Chains t-shirt, not wearing makeup, not caring about anything, the movie Singles, and other mid-90s, young adult, angst-type things.

So, unless I go through another grunge phase, and my feet don’t grow again (oh, shit–too late, they did when I was pregnant!) I guess they will remain unworn, collecting dust with the dresses of my youth.

How sad--so in need of some TLC.

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