You reach for a shirt to put on, and catch your 10-year-old daughter studying you critically:
“Mommy, I think that shirt is too small for you. Or else it must really stretch.”
There it is. An incontrovertible sign that you’ve been holding onto clothes long past their expiration date.
Of course, there were earlier warnings…. twelve years ago, your mother came to visit and subsequently raided your closet while you were at work. Cherished sweaters were gobbled up into a black garbage bag, never to be seen again. (I did force her to retrieve one jacket from the Goodwill where she donated it)
I’m not a serious hoarder. Honestly. Things do tend to collect over time, but twice a year I’ll go into a fit of craziness, unable to stand the clutter… and I’ll clean out my desk drawers, shelves, refrigerator (haha! Actually we clean that out once a month), children’s toy boxes, and the vehicle.
At the end of each season, I’ll weed through my kids’ closet and dresser… either relocating older siblings’ clothes into younger siblings’ drawers, or else boxing up the outgrown items for friends’ babies and the Goodwill.
But I can’t seem to manage my own wardrobe. I’ve prided myself on being thrifty with my clothes… jeans get re-purposed into shorts, sweaters become vests, and I’ll wear a T-shirt until the holes out-measure the fabric. My closet is full of shirts and sweaters I’ve owned since high school, and in some cases ~ junior high, and I’m not ashamed to say so.
“The time has come”, my daughter says, “to talk of many things. Of shoes, and sweats, and turtle-necks, pajama tops, and tees.
And why the drawers are overflow’n, and whether Mom can squeeze….
(into that small shirt).”
Let it be known that on this day ~ May the 22nd, in the year 2012 ~ Tara Fly did hereby successfully rid her closet and dresser of 36 articles of clothing, including sweaters, t-shirts, jeans, spandex, tank tops, shorts, and nightgowns; she has pledged to continue her effects on the two remaining undergarment/sock drawers, to be completed within the next month.
I thought you might be curious to see what has been lurking in my closet for the last decade… so I documented the event with pictures.
WARNING: This blog post contains a large quantity of photographs, which may slow down your computer, cause loud snorts of laughter, and may not be suitable for workplace viewing.
If you think you can handle it…. proceed scrolling.
I’m not really a nightgown kinda gal anymore… I feel more comfortable in pajamas, but let’s face it, I usually fall asleep wearing the clothes I wore all day.
So how does an individual who is allergic to holidays come into possession of not ONE ~ but TWO ~ holiday nightgowns?
I can answer with one word:
My other holiday nightgown boasts a reindeer on it. But it’s flannel and fuzzy, with long sleeves, making it perfect for those long winter nights.
Alas, I haven’t worn Santa Paws in years….
In the early 1990′s, these Spandex biker pants rarely came off my body… except to be washed. They were, without a doubt, my favorite form of leg-wear.
Confident in my style choices, I bravely wore them throughout my freshman year of high-school, earning me the reputation for being “stuck in the 80′s.”
I guess the extra-large sweaters, poofy bangs, and obsession with DeLorean time-machines didn’t help either.
This gown is so old, the image of Garfield (holding a candy bar) is barely visible, and the quote has long since disappeared which read: “A stomach is a terrible thing to waste.”
This was another contribution from my mother… which I believe was given to her by my aunt. So this gown should really stay in the family, bequeathed to each generation of girls. Lydia, Mia, please don’t fight over it!
This pajama top has been missing its bottom half for over a decade. My mother bought it for me because it matched the ribbon patterned fabric on my bed sheet.
The bed sheet ~ (no, I do NOT still have it! Sheesh!) was an orphan that my mom found in the communal laundry facility of our Silver Spring apartment building, circa 1983. She swears she waited, for a couple of days, for someone to claim the bed sheet before she brought it home.
You know, in case someone remembers having a ribbon-patterned bed sheet stolen from their dryer almost 30 years ago.
This large pink sweater… which actually doesn’t look terribly bad. Except that it gets very itchy after awhile. I can’t stand itchy fabric… I’m also throwing away an itchy nightgown (whoever would wear an itchy nightgown? Mom?!)
I love… love….LOVE these paisley shirts. Even though the two on the right are 12+ years old, and the left two are almost 8 years old, I’ve been hanging onto them because they were very flattering and suited my skin tone. However, they’ve lost their shape, and the left two are waaay too small across the shoulders and …*cough*… the bosom. And these shirts don’t stretch.
See, Lydia? I can admit when a shirt is too small.
I purchased this Phantom of the Opera shirt in the summer of ’94, after seeing the musical on Broadway. It has been loved over the years, but I haven’t worn it recently. Honestly, I just don’t see myself reaching for it any time soon. So into the scraps pile it goes.
A tiny Asian-printed shirt that I .. *a-hem* … “outgrew” a few years ago. My 10-year-old expressed an interest in it, but like a stray animal, it keeps finding its way back to my closet. I’ll give her One. More. Chance. to keep it on a leash before sending it away.
A bright orange sweater… a gift from Mom. I must confess I’ve never actually worn this sweater, because bright orange isn’t my color. Somebody, somewhere, may look good in bright orange. But it isn’t me.
These black and white striped dress pants earned the nickname “Circus Pants” from my classmates. I guess because the reminded people of the tall man on stilts. They actually don’t look half-bad with a black or white blouse. However, they wrinkle very easily, and I’m a no-frills kinda gal; if I bother to get the iron warmed up, my pants had better stay wrinkle-free afterwards.
I no longer work there. Actually, this shirt should be burned! ….Enough said.
These “shorts” began their journey as a pair of jeans that I outgrew in high school. After cropping the too-short legs off of them, I was able to extend their life a few more years. Until the front button popped off.
And then I did the unthinkable… oh yes. I did.
I used a safety pin instead.
This was just a small sampling of the horrors that lie buried in my closet. Some were too gruesome to share, and others were the usual suspects – faded designs, duplicate tees (doesn’t everyone have copies? I have several!) broken spaghetti straps, rips and holes that I planned to mend…. someday.
I had to ask myself, in my most condescending attitude, “Tara, will you fix those broken straps right now? Later today? Tomorrow? By the end of this week?”
Of course not. I will never fix them. It’s time to acknowledge my weaknesses and move on.
Now I have empty hangers and extra space in my dresser for any new or second-hand nightgowns that my mother decides to send.
Maybe my daughter and I will finally go shopping for Mommy’s new clothes…. apparel that doesn’t require stretching for me to squeeze into.
[Blogger's note: Some sentimental items do still remain in my closet, despite their eligibility to be tossed. Perhaps I'll share pics of those Left-Behind next time!]
These awesome polaroid frames were courtesy of PicMonkey.com, the FREE photo editing website!
A few weeks ago, I received the funniest bit of spam that I’ve ever read in my entire 2.5 years of blogging… (gosh, I’m such a newbie!)
It was written by someone suffering from Synonym Replacement Syndrome – a disorder that alters 80% of key words so that Google can’t accuse the author of plagiarism… but often results in hilarious, mistranslated nonsense!
Immediately, I wanted to do “something” creative with it: print it onto 24″x30″ posters, make T-shirts, or better yet – a video parody commercial for it!
I actually tinkered with the commercial idea for awhile, because there is some amazing visual imagery in this spam post, just begging to be filmed!
Occult worshippers cooking gangly meat?!
I soon realized how time-consuming a commercial would be to produce and edit, but I just couldn’t let it go. Certain phrases kept running through my head.
While washing dishes, and humming Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (a casualty of working in a retail store already playing 24/7 Christmas carols. Ugh!)…. the spam lyrics came to me, like a Holy messenger in a religious vision.
And thus a semi-original Christmas Spam Carol was born… heavily influenced by a misfit reindeer, or in this case, a convection oven that wasn’t allowed to eat any birthday hollowing pud.
I was so excited over how quickly and perfectly it came together, I started sharing my new song with everyone…. and promised a few online folks that I’d post the lyrics here on my blog. And why not sing it too?!
Despite my nervousness of singing on camera – with my ridiculous facial expressions – I set up the camcorder last night, found a YouTube karaoke piano version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and even dug out my reindeer nightgown. It was past midnight after all… I planned to record a brief introduction, sing the song, and go to bed.
Fate it seemed had other plans. You cannot take Christmas Carol parodies lightly, it appears, especially in November.
1. Batteries Are Not Included
Well, the brief intro turned into a full-blown video blog entry, full of my usual ramblings, and as I finally started to sing the blasted song… my camera’s battery DIED! Yep. Dead.
Of course I had an AC adapter/charger, which I grumblingly plugged into the wall, but it didn’t bring the camera back to life.
After a bit of frustrated cursing at the universe, I decided to leave it plugged into the charger overnight, and go ahead to bed.
2. When Your Charger Isn’t Worth A Brass Farthing
I awoke early and refreshed in mind and spirit, and after giving the munchkins some cereal and orange juice, I retired to my studio to attempt a second recording. But the camcorder STILL wasn’t charged. Not even a sliver of battery life to squeeze from its cold metal carcass.
[Joe later discovered that one of our cats had chewed through the cable... and he spliced it back together. Too late for me though]
Things have a tendency to “happen” to all of our electronic devices at some point. Especially USB cables, chargers, and SD cards. =/
Smile, You’re on Candid Cam… Okay, Maybe Not
So the video camera didn’t pan out, but I was still wearing my reindeer nightgown so all was not lost! I had the built-in web-cam in my computer monitor, which I’d used in the past… ummm, about 2 years ago.
But it wasn’t working either. More cursing under my breath, I Googled “Why is my computer not recognizing the web-cam”… and “Why is my Web-cam Manager greyed out”… and then “Drivers for Dell Monitor Web-cam”… and finally came across an obscure tech forum with helpful advice:
When nothing else is working, have a Dell technician come to the house and jiggle the wires inside the monitor. These built-in web-cams can sometimes become disconnected inside.
Was I suffering from “loose wires”?? In more ways than one?
Perhaps creating a spam parody carol wasn’t such a good idea. I reluctantly left the studio, two hours later, to take a shower.
Great Scott! 1.21 Gigawatts?!
While in the shower, still humming the blasted Rudolph Spam song (it gets really addictive!) … it dawned on me that I didn’t necessarily need to film myself. Rather, I could simply record my voice with the karaoke track, accompanied by my spam lyrics and a cute Christmas graphic image.
Cool beans! I had a $10 Walmart microphone, and a free voice recording program. How could anything possibly go wrong?
Fate laughed at my assurances – an evil, spiteful guffaw.
Halfway through my recording, we lost electricity to our entire house. Without a cloud in the sky, on a beautiful balmy November afternoon, for 2 split seconds everything shut down…. the computer, the TV (aka Netflix cartoons), and my recording was lost forever.
Most people would surrender to these signs. They would leave the computer alone, take the kids outside, and say “Screw the whole thing”.
But the Universe and I have been at odds for a long, long time.
In this lifetime, and in past lives.
When Fate hurls a brick, I throw a mountain back.
I took a break to do a load of laundry, cook the kids’ lunch and check in with them… then I headed back up to the studio defiantly and re-recorded that spam carol in one take.
Normally, I’d record it a few times – well, until I get sick and tired of singing it, figuring ~ “One of these recordings ought to be good enough.”
Then I’ll spend some extra time in post-production to edit out microphone noises and cringe-worthy mistakes in my vocals.
But not this time. I refused to tempt Fate by wasting time tweaking and primping my voice.
It’s a spam song, for crying out loud! I don’t need to be Barbara-flipping-Streisand to sing a song about spam!
Everyone will have to accept it, and hopefully be too busy laughing at the insane lyrics to notice the few times I went flat, or ran out of breath.
Fate did get the Last Laugh, however, when like an idiot, I mispronounced “vehemently”… TWICE! ROFL
In my lame defense, it is one of those words which I’ve often read in books, but never have occasion to use in speech.
It will now haunt me every time I hear the recording….
But hey, it’s SPAM! Eat it!
(That entire sentence is ironic anyway….)
So without further ado (and apologizing for not being able to film myself in a reindeer nightgown)….
Here is my Spam Christmas Carol:
I realize you must now be completely confused…. much like I felt after reading this spam for the first time.
Here is the original, un-edited (by me), classic piece of crap literature that I received from Counter Convection Ovens, and the inspiration for my carol:
“Countertop convection ovens on sum up a insolent mein in your preparing food. Contemplate good-bye fit your ingredients burnt dotty on the bottom and un-browned in the top.
Bid hello to juicier gangly meats along with magnificent flaky pastry.
Countertop convection ranges are precise different as compared to standard scintillating heating stoves the setting that the oxygen stays in whatever way, creating hyperbolean and over become less antagonistic locations.
Throughout convection stoves, occult followers file the quality surge and realize up a in accordant vehemence which cooks foods more quick addition much more smoothly, at a lesser temperature.
The compelling oxygen ensures that the zealousness variety stays eternal on the hindquarters to the crown in the matter of ingredients, whatever holder measure you utilize.
Foods provide for at a earlier small torridness along with thirty-three % faster than standard cookers.
Without difficulty process bread chicken, biscuits, lasagna or it may be a birthday hollowing pud guts your Caboose piece convection stoves.
Chicken incrustation are growing to be panegyrical brownish having delicious, docile meat. Pastry tastes wiser and is also flakier owed to smash from the set heating about the flour and butter.”
Now that you’re in the holiday spirit, I invite you to sing along with me! Remember to pronounce “vehement” as “Vee-a-ment” …
And if your batteries are fully charged and your wires aren’t crossed, feel free to upload a video parody of this to YouTube!
Or get really creative and write your own lyrics to spam!
Trust me, there are plenty of gems out there waiting to be immortalized.
Humbug ~ who needs yet another version of “Winter Wonderland” or “Frosty the Snowman” anyway?
Let’s deck those halls with Cans O’ Spam…
and roast some gangly meat on ye’ old convection oven….
And have yourself a merry little Christmas….