Hindsight Can Be the Pitt(s)

My friend Cray was feeling guilty recently about getting rid of some furniture her mother had passed on to her and wanted to know how I  handled such  problems.    Rule No. 1:  Try to foist it off on your children to prevent any later blowback.   Like this:   

Oh, Offspring O’ Mine. . . remember your great -grandmother’s  wardrobe, that behemoth heavy enough to crack black walnuts if it toppled on them?    First one to show up with a U-Haul gets it.

Let me tell you a story. . . .

Today I read an article in the New York Times about an  e-mail fad where people write 25 Random Things about themselves.  My friend Jincey sent hers  to me recently.   Some of her revelations were unknown, a couple were surprising, and some I might have guessed anyway.

List 25 things about myself that might interest  even my closest friends?  Can’t do it.    I could do 25 Things You Won’t Give A Rip To Know About Me, but  why bother?   I can, however, give you one:

I have seen Brad Pitt’s pecker. 

Oh, I don’t mean live and in person from the angle that Angelina Jolie has seen it (I probably don’t need to clarify that now that I think about it, do I? ) or even like his mother has seen it.   I did not diaper his dimpled bottom.  I mean that  I have seen photographs of it. 

Remember years ago when he was dating Gwyneth Paltrow and a paparazzi  took pictures of them with a telescopic lens and sold them to one of the rag magazines?  Don’t feel bad; I didn’t pay much attention myself.   My mother, however, did.  The magazine published the photos but Pitt took them to court, won his case,  and the publisher was  forced to pay a fine and re-call all the magazines.

Except, at least, for the two on my mother’s coffee table.  

For my granddaughters,  she said.

Said granddaughters  (who as I mentioned on a previous blog  did not especially like to talk sex with their grandmother, even though she delighted in the subject)  demurred and would not even touch the magazines.  

“YOU take them,”  they told me.

A couple of years later I was cleaning,  getting rid of stuff in preparation for yet another move  and came upon them on my closet shelf.  Except for possibly. . . no, definitely. . . being eyed  by my mother,  they had never been opened.  I remedied that.

Not one to peek and tell, I  will say only that the boy had nothing to be ashamed of.  Gwyneth was a little puny thing , but Brad. . . ?   He looked like such a happy fella.    She has since bared her skinny little body  in films but I don’t know whether Brad has chosen to dangle his dillywagger publicly or not. 

Okay, here is where the story takes a disastrous turn.  Right along with the pairs of too-picked pantyhose and the shoes that gave me blisters, I tossed them.    Yep, somewhere in a landfill. . . !

 At the time I felt downright noble.  After all, I was not only saving this young man from exploitation, but possibly sparing my daughters the embarrassment of being arrested for trying to hawk illegal materials.    A motherly gesture on my part, I thought.

“Well, there goes my sons’  college education fund, ” my daughter snapped when I confessed.

In hindsight, I do feel bad about tossing them.  After all, my daughter-in-law might not have been so prudish and since she wasn’t around then, she never  had a opportunity to put in a bid.    I hope she never finds out.

I should have just stowed them in the wardrobe.

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Clothes-ing Out

It’s time to clean out closets. 

This house is 60 years old and was built when closets and bathrooms weren’t living room room-size.   There are  two people and four bedrooms, each with at least one closet, so we should not have a problem.   We should not, but we do.   Having analyzed the situation, I have located the point at issue:   Dearly Beloved and his Ralph Lauren butt. 

We have a running family joke about Dad with the Ralph Lauren butt and Mom and her Wal-mart butt.   I didn’t mean for it to be a running joke–I  said that one time when I was explaining a critical difference in our thought processes, but there’s no way the kids are going to forget about that one. 

 It isn’t that Dearly Beloved is a clothes horse.  He hates shopping, rarely buys any, and isn’t  particular about them.  It’s that he never OUTGROWS them!  The man is not aging properly.   Oh yeah, the hair is greying and thinning (sorry, Dear, but it’s true) and he has some “maturity spots” as the dermatologist calls them, but where is the paunch?  the pot belly?  the beer gut?  Why doesn’t he have extra chins sliding down  over his shirt collars?   Why do the shifting sands of time rage only in MY closet?

To add to the problem he is sentimental about clothes, saving them to remind himself of special occasions.   In addition, he never, ever changes styles. . . he’s as button-down classic now as he was when we married.  No leisure suits, Nehru jackets, or zoot suit disasters in HIS closet. 

This morning I put all of his shirts in one closet.  Suits and dress pants in another.  Golf shirts in still another.  Each closet is full.  That way he can see the quantity, compare, and decide what he wants to keep.

My stuff  is thrown on the bed; It won’t take long to go through it.   I outgrow clothes at about the same rate as my grandchildren.   My sands have been in a duststorm for about 30 years now.   Any article of clothing is  either going to be  too small, too  rump-sprung or gap some place it shouldn’t.  Even if it survives those tests, it probably has a blob of grease or bleach spot on it.   Still something in there that passed those hurdles?  No doubt it’s because it’s so ugly I won’t wear it.   I used to have a weakness for clearance sales.

My approach to Dearly Beloved about the closet cleaning was, as I reconsider now,  um. . . indelicate.

You’re taking up too much closet space.  Let’s say you’re going to have occasion to wear a suit fifty times before you die.  Does it have to be a different suit every time?

In defense of my insensitivity, I’d already made the same decision about my pantyhose.  I figured I don’t have fifty wearings left in this lifetime and ditched all but a few pairs.  “Sunday” dresses?  I’m not sure I have one.  I’d have to dig deeply; pants and a blouse or sweater  usually get me anywhere I’m going.   Sweats and t-shirts take me through regular days. 

Dearly Beloved nodded sagely as I explained my plan  for putting double rods in some of the closets and how even so, it would be smart to thin out some of the things we will never wear again.  He went to the bedroom and came back  wearing a cashmere sweater I’d unearthed from the back of one of the closets.  

“I figure I may as well get a couple of wearings out of this before I go,” he announced with a smirk.   “I’ll save my two and a half wearings per year of  suits so I won’t feel. . .  rushed. ”   He reminds me that since he wants to be cremated, he doesn’t have to count that as a wearing.   “Besides, I always thought I looked good in a suit!” 

He’s right about that.  He DOES look good in a suit.  I pondered  that for awhile . . . the man still has good buns.  I sought  him and his cashmere sweater out to apologize. 

“I’m sorry I said that.  I’d like to revise my estimate.  Keep the suits.  You might have a religious conversion, join a formal church , and  want to attend every  Sunday.  That could be fifty wearings right there.  (He’s previously nixed churches because men DID wear suits every Sunday. It’s the tie that sends him fleeing even though he probably has 200 of them.)    OR you may decide you want to take me out for elegant dining every night.  You may want to take me on a cruise.”

He nods, agreeing completely.   “I could, indeed.”

The thing is, he’s still got to get rid of some of those clothes to give me some closet space.   If we’re going to do all that, I’ll  need to do some serious shopping.