Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The 'What Ifs' In My Closet

It takes a brave woman to show off what's in her closet, and I'm here to introduce to you one of the bravest. I got to know Tami Clayton through Kristen Lamb's Blogging To Build A Brand class, and she is as clever as they come. On her own blog she writes about traveling in Morocco and weequashing with Benedict. Intrigued? Check it out. I don't want to spoil the surprise.  ;)

And now, Tami has been gracious enough to open her soul closet for your inspection...

One day not too long ago, I decided it would be a perfect time to avoid a rough spot in my novel clean out my closet. I am the kind of person who thinks in terms of "what if?" scenarios and as a result, I have a whole bunch of "what if?" garments taking over hanging in my closet.
Staring into the depths, the first thing to catch my eye was the funky, colorful 1960's dress I haven't worn since that one Halloween party six years ago. Should I keep it? What if I accidentally enter a time travel portal and am sucked back into the 1960's? I'd want to be able to fit in right away, wouldn't I? Best keep that one. *puts dress back in closet*
How about this lovely hand-woven wool sweater from Peru? (Not that I've ever been to Peru and never mind that it was purchased in some hippie shop in Illinois 20 years ago.) Undecided, I decided to try it on and was nearly swallowed in a literal ocean of itchy wool. I could have easily fit four other people with me inside that sweater and we all would have been cozy, yet comfortable. I looked like a ball of yarn with legs, a neatly woven Sasquatch. Why am I hanging on to this and what possessed me, at all of 5'4", to buy such an ENORMOUS thing? Did I have a subconscious thing for Yetis?
Hmmm... What if I needed a quick, impromptu costume of Sasquatch? This could work in a pinch as ol' Big Foot. Just add a wig and a little facial hair. Or what if the sun suddenly vanished from the sky and the earth's temperatures plummeted? Wouldn't I have need for such a sweater? Think of the children I could save!
Reality, the buzz kill that it can be, suddenly came knocking on my door and said: That thing is as big as a freakin' house. Not to mention it takes up a huge portion of real estate in your closet. You do not need a Sasquatch costume. Furthermore, the memories of that time of your life when you actually wore this monstrosity are neatly stored in your psyche, not in the sweater. You don't need the sweater to store them for you.

Fine, Mr. Killjoy. But it'll be on your head when the lives of many poor, innocent children are snuffed out because the sun dies and they suddenly freeze to death. Just sayin'.

Next up was a shimmery gold (yes, GOLD) sleeveless dress, circa 1995, that I wore to a New Year's Eve party, complete with matching GOLD pumps. I couldn't even bring myself to try it on. What if it didn't fit? What if it did? To what occasion would I wear this? Is it tacky? Yes? No? It's kinda retro-glam with a nod to both the 40's AND the 80's. That's possible, right?
*knock at the door*
Reality walks in wheeling the 360-degree mirrored closet from TLC's What Not to Wear: You are a piece of work, let me tell ya. Hold that thing up to you and stand in the Chamber of Doom. C'mon. Don't be shy. You did consciously buy it after all. I'm only here to help. There you go. *quickly closes door and latches it* Now, tell me what you see.
Um, well...
Reality: *flings open the door* Exactly. There are no words to even describe it. Again, the memories from that night are right here. *taps bony finger on my head* Time to let the dress go.
But what if I get offered a part in the remake of Goldfinger? This would be perfect for that!
Reality stares at me and shakes his head.
Fine. Have it your way. But at this rate, I will have nothing to wear if Armageddon strikes or Hollywood calls or there's a sudden need for a Sasquatch costume. What will I do then?
Reality, putting a hand on each of my shoulders, looks me squarely in the eye: Then go buy what you need when you need it. It will be there, whatever it is you're looking for. Save the what if's for your writing, not your closet.
I don't know about you, but when someone says "trust me" - even if they are fictional, anthropomorphized entities that I talk to in my head - I become a bit skeptical. What if he is wrong?
But then again, what if he is right?
What if I stopped cleaning closets and got back to writing?
What if?
...but what I want to know is, where's the picture of the shimmery gold shoes? And for you reading along, what's hanging in YOUR closet?
Thanks Tami, for a delightfully thought-provoking post.


  1. This was a fun post :) For a moment, I thought, "Hey, maybe I could do something like this." But blue jeans and tie-dye shirts can only carry interest so far, I think :(

  2. See, I think you're on the right track. A story about a 1960s girl who loves Sean Connery and dreams of being in a movie with him, so she changes the wild, colorful dress for the gold one, drives to the film studio to find Sean but gets eaten by Sasquatch instead.

    I'd buy it.

  3. I still have one of my favorite pair of jeans from 25+ years ago. And that sweater from Peru looks really familiar? :P

  4. Both dresses are retro gorgeous and I would wear them, don't throw them away they are back in fashion and are not tacky.

    I love the jumper but get what you mean about being itchy.

    Good post, loved it.

  5. What a pretty wood armoire. Fun to read about your time-wasting techniques and to see that you too have a gold dress from the 90s. I also have a short, spaghetti strapped green, shiny sequin dress from that era. Wore it to a wedding!! One of my girls pinned it up and wore it as a mermaid costume one year. It's still in the Halloween costume bin (that's where many of my old clothes go).

  6. Ahhh. This post was just like lying back into an effervescent bubble bath. The funny part was, anyway.

    The other part was like dragging a broken toenail across a computer screen. Why? Because it reminded me of how much I need to clean, downsize, rearrange and blow up my closet! Will I do it soon? Only if Mr. Reality pays me a visit!

  7. *looks sadly at the size 2 jeans that will never fit again*


    *no comment*

  8. Thanks for hosting me, Liv! Can't wait to have you in the kasbah for a cuppa tea.

    Mike - I'll bet there's a few more interesting things in your closet. Perhaps an octopus or two? ;)

    Jillian - love the story idea. May have to use that.... :)

    Elaine - A pair of jeans from 25+ years ago? Wow. That's longevity. I don't think I can fit into anything of mine from 25 years ago.

    Michelle - Thanks! I like how you think.

    Sara - Glad to know other people hang on to such items like I do. I actually still have my high school prom dress. It's hideous but I haven't parted with it yet.

    Jodi - I'll have Reality come visit you. I've had enough of him for now. :)

    Kristin - I can totally relate.

  9. I think of some of the things I still have in my closet and have decided the best comment is "no comment." Anything else and the gremlin who lives in my old Birkenstocks will haunt me.

  10. I think if you wore the gold dress while writing, you would be inspired out of your "trouble spots."

  11. I love this post. Thank you.

    I'm afraid of my closet. I'll go and write now to avoid the closet...

  12. I'm with Sara, that armoire looks like a beauty. I'm a crazed, but fussy clothes-a-holic, which means I clean-out my closet often, if only to fit more stuff. Of the the three, the only one to go would be the potential Sasquatch outfit. That one lost my affections the moment you mentioned itchy. My #1 clothing rule is that whether gorgeous or even hideous (hey sometimes ugly is cool!), it has to feel good against the skin or away it goes.

    Loved this peek into your closet, but honestly, I was expecting to see Benedict hidden in there :-(

  13. Ah, the old time travel porthole slide into the sixties. It could happen. But would you have time to grab the dress?

    Not that I have tremendous experience with time travel portholes - no more than average - I'd say you won't have a lot of advance notice. Time travel is pretty much a come-as-you-are.

    Let the dress go, Tami. Ease your white-knuckled grip from the wire hangar and just. let. go.

  14. Fun! I would totally keep that funky dress. Not sure about the sweater though. I used to keep everything but getting rid of way more these days but not my funky clubbing outfits ;)

  15. Fun! I would totally keep that funky dress. Not sure about the sweater though. I used to keep everything but getting rid of way more these days but not my funky clubbing outfits ;)

  16. SQUEE! Tami and Liv on the same read. What a treat.

    I am brutal when it comes to clearing junk from my closet. The pack rat, "I might need it someday" award goes to the hubster. You wouldn't know to look at it, though.

    And, we have a paradigm shift going on in our master closet. My husbands crap -- er, clothes -- take up 75% of the space. He has things going back to the seventies. He said he was going to clean it out when we put it on the market. What did he remove? Two old golf shirts.

    LOVED those pics and the visit from your inner self. Great post.

  17. I'm might have to have Tami come help me with MY closet. Jeans from 25 years ago would be new compared with some of the shoes I own...Hey, they might come back into style!
    Thanks, everybody, for stopping by and leaving comments. I've so enjoyed hosting Tami (& my other WANA112 classmates) over the last few weeks. If any of the rest of you want to come visit, please please let me know. Thanks again!

  18. This was fun! So interesting to take a peek into other people's closets, isn't it? ;-)
    But I'm with Mike, if I did a post about my closet, it'd be mostly about jeans and t-shirts...

  19. Haha! Oh no, I have a similar silver dress from the 1990s that I held on to for the longest time! :D That Sasquatch sweater looks nice and cozy, though ... :D

  20. AAgh, reminds me of a task I have been procrastinating on all month--the closet clean-out. I try to do it every year so I don't end up with clothes from the 60s (wouldn't fit me anyway)--or a forgotten skeleton.

  21. I love sweaters. I sympathize with your reluctance to toss it. I think you need to travel to Peru and get one that fits properly.