Today I reap the benefits of my own laziness and procrastination, by reclaiming from the trunk of Sam’s car a sweater I tried to donate to Goodwill in 2009. Huzzah!
Working from the ground up:
- Lazy puppy turning her back to the camera! (Actually watching Sam to see if he’s going to bring her a treat before we leave for work)
- Brown leather riding boots, Born, ca. 2007. Yay! Welcome back boots, welcome back struggling to zip them over my SUPER MUSCULAR calves.
- Brown tights. I recently did an inventory of my hosiery. I have four pairs of brown tights. Shrug. Oh, by the way, if like me you are on a constant quest for inexpensive jewel-toned tights, this is the time of year to find them at Meijer.
- Sleeveless orange dress, Old Navy, summer 2012. My favorite go-to base garment!
- New Look (I think) teal v-neck sweater with slightly puffy sleeves and fitted cuffs, summer 2007. I spent my senior year of college working on a massive research project about the Lindisfarne Gospels, which turned into a history of major libraries and librarians in England. As a graduation gift, my mom took me to England and we visited all of the sites I had studied. It was amazing. She bought me this top at a boutique in Durham, where the Lindisfarne Gospels stayed for many years, and where St. Cuthbert rests to this day. It (the sweater, not the manuscript) is made of a really soft, fine knit that holds its shape really well.
So why, you might ask, did I try to give away a flattering top in one of my favorite colors, which also happens to be a souvenir from one of my most treasured experiences?
I will tell you: pure spite.
Back in 2009, Sam and I had been married just a couple of months. We were living in a perfectly sufficient apartment that I hated beyond all reason (“I hate this wall! I hate this patch of carpet! I hate these cinder blocks!”), and we were trying to figure out all kinds of things having to do with sharing your life and your space FOREVER UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE with this stranger, who until now you would have sworn was your favorite person on the earth.
The stakes just felt so high. Dinner wasn’t just dinner, it was setting a precedent for how we would shop and cook and eat every meal FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.
As you can imagine, laundry, too, was not just laundry but a boundary war. At least it felt that way to me.
Because he is a good-hearted, hardworking man who was raised by his parents to shoulder his share of the housework, and because he plays a lot of sports generating a lot of sweaty socks, Sam has always been very attentive about taking care of laundry. In the early days of our marriage, this sometimes included mine. Or at the very least, moving my stuff from one machine to another so he could carry on with his stuff.
And one dark, inevitable day, this sweater went into the dryer.
I perceived that it had shrunk, and I threw what we might generously call a hissy fit. In a storm of passive aggressive rage, I declared it forever unfit for the length and shape of my arms and torso and stuffed it into a bag of clothes to donate. This was a move that I grieved for years, and which had zero impact on Sam’s life except for five minutes of bewilderment and annoyance when it happened. So you could say the punishment fit the crime.
You could also say that I had control issues. And communication issues. (Former roommates of mine are now either laughing or crying hysterically). Sorting through these over the last several years has probably been the greatest gift of married life.
But what of the sweater? Well, the bag went into the trunk of Sam’s car and, as it happens, it stayed there until two weeks ago. (I would just like to state that for the record we have, in the last four years, successfully managed to donate many other bags of clothes and things that we didn’t need anymore. But for whatever reason–call it providence–this one was basically forgotten). I washed the sweater to freshen it up, let it air dry, and lo and behold, it is after all not ruined. And so I have sheepishly reclaimed it.
TL;DR? Keeping your laundry separate may save your sanity and your marriage. Also being spiteful and passive aggressive only hurts you and your own wardrobe.