first published on BlogHer
If you have been to my house, you will know definitively that I never throw anything away. I am a keeper. I am a person who has done a variety of crafts, and when I see a piece of fabric on the floor of any size I can't help but think, "this one inch square of burgundy velvet will come in handy some day if I ever make a tiny chair for a mouse or something." Likewise, I horde pretty paper, small cardboard boxes, shells, buttons, toilet paper tubes, and anything else that seems like it might come in handy some day.
Before you go calling Hoarders on me please know that I do have limits of the amount of stuff I allow myself to hoard and I do have several times a year when I go nuts and throw a whole lot of stuff out. If I did it once a month I'd be better off, but come on, now. Let's not go crazy here.
I have trouble getting rid of useful things, or potentially useful things even beyond crafts. For example, I was sitting on my friend Asterisk's front porch earlier this summer. In the bright sunlight it was glaringly obvious that my legs were a completely unnatural shade of orange with an interesting variegation. I had tiger legs -- orange tiger legs.
We had a small conversation about it:
ME: Apparently that second coat of self-tanner was a mistake.
HER: You think?
ME: Well, it looked ok after one coat, but two coats seem to be a little orange. And apparently I suck at applying it evenly.
HER: I think perhaps self-tanner is not your thing.
ME: I think you are right. I think orange tiger legs is not exactly the look I am going for.
HER: So are you gonna throw the tanner out?
ME: (mortified) Why would I do that? What if I have an emergency?
HER: An emergency where you need to make your legs orange?
My bathroom is stocked full of half-used shampoos and lotions that I was disappointed in but still can not acknowledge that they were a colossal waste of money by tossing them in the garbage.
With clothes, I have been socialized to believe that it would be a crime against humanity to throw them away. There are too many poor people in the world that need slightly ill-fitting clothes, so I bag them up and donate them. Except for undergarments. Donating used undergarments seems like recycling gone too far.
Who would buy them? What would they do with them? Would women in a homeless shelter really like used underpants? I would not. I would rather cheap, ugly, new underpants, or no underpants. I would be grossed out by used underpants. I feel underpants should go in the trash.
Yesterday I found scrunched in the back of my underwear drawer a pair of underpants that I had only worn a handful of times. They were still vibrant and bright, and the elastic had not yet sprung. It was like finding a secret forgotten present of new underpants, and what girl doesn't like that?
I gleefully put them on, and either they shrunk in the wash, or my ass has increased in size monumentally since I purchased them. They were about two inches too short in the back, proudly displaying my ass crack to anyone who might be peeking, and in the front they barely covered my flower of femininity. Best yet, they had a long tag that fluttered right between my cheeks and tickled unmercifully.
I did what any fiscally responsible person would do - I left them on and pulled my jeans over them. My jeans were new and stiff and NOT (so far) a buying mistake, but they were a little bit of a hassle to get on and off. Once I got them on, I was keeping them on. (I seem to have more foot than jeans makers allow for at the ankle.)
I tried unsuccessfully to tug off the tag while hopping on one foot, but not only would it not budge, but my efforts seemed to result in the extra long tag now standing at attention like a little flag, perpendicular to my crack. I found a belt to avoid plumbers butt and hopefully keep those underpants and their flag-tag under control. I put on my new lace-up army type boots and walked downstairs, and that's when I knew it was all over.
I could not leave the house like this, with my underwear creating total mayhem under my jeans. The top two inches of my bum was exposed. My tag-flag was niggling. My femme-flower was in danger of busting free entirely if I ordered the wrong entree or leaned too far in any direction.
The Pants Had To Go. Off with the boots, off with the jeans, off with the belt, off with the pants.
But, but, but do I really need to toss them? Shouldn't I keep them in case I ever lose 10 pounds? They are practically new and adorable, after all!
I did not toss the pants. I ignored the pants, sinisterly mocking me from their spot on the bedroom floor. I slept with one eye on the evil plotting pants. This morning I gave in. The pants were consigned to the trash, but not before a photo-op. (Sorry, I'm not brave or stupid enough for a photo-op with the pants on.)
Good bye, cruel pants. We almost had something good….