Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We Dug the Small Space Alone, or, My Pal Becomes a Wastrel

The thing about writing to you online is the privacy. Not mine. It is my choice to open up my Closet to you, and I do it willingly and happily. And most of my friends read it often, if only to have the ability to halt one of my oral stories with "oh yeah, yeah, right....I read about this on your blog." But it is the privacy of others that gets compromised. However, to me, if you're wacky enough to sign on being my best friend, you get a few bumps in the road like me blabbing my big fat mouth. And what I am going to blab about right now is MBF Tracy's Closet.

It was with great excitement that I flew into Houston this weekend to celebrate (a tad early) my birthday. Tracy had designed a fabulous, kidless trip, and I knew most details beforehand so I was properly revved up. We had "Carmen" to attend, Mark's for a true affaire gastronomique, most definitely good champagne in the fridge, and a friend with such a wonderful desire to spread happiness that the ability to procure anything I wanted was a mere request away. So who would think that the most thrilling part of the trip would be stepping into Tracy's giant, under-utilized, walk-in closet?

Now everyone who knows Tracy, or knows me and my stories, knows that MBF is frugal. She comes from a Mayflower stock that believes in hard work, and not living off the principal of your earnings. So today, in part because of her parsimonious nature and in part because her husband is a Wharton-bred executive, she and her family live in a large, beautiful home in Houston. She has decorated it well, while comfortably, and there is only one room that required serious attention. And it was in that room that I was prepared to engage her in a parting of clothing that would leave her with three shirts hanging, a pair of running shoes, and a pashmina. But I didn't have to tug hard; she surprised me by being very ready to part with her fabric past. There were amazingly few pieces that required convincing ("well, Trace, I think that it is a little worn, but you've really had good use of it since 1983"); she jumped to the word "Out!" several times before I even could. And even her panicking sense of money being stuffed into charitable bags was quelled by the fact that who really should keep a pair of shorts they remember being bought for their 28th birthday? Not her, as they flew off the hangers with abandon. I am so proud of her.

I admire my friend's lack of relationship with material goods. It is a great contrast to my relationship with them, one that actually includes visiting favorite purses at the store. Symbiotically, she allows me my admiring of objects of desire, while I allow her to visibly think, "you so don't need that", as I finger the goods. And I am very aware that the emptying of her closet was a big deal.

I know, people change as they get older. And my friend, so generous with others, really stepped out of her box by dumping old clothes and being generous with herself. But what will never change is that quick run through of the pockets she did, wisely, just in case....


tracy said...

Is wastrel really a word? I am so happy you used the word worn vs the actual,"...hey these are dingy" even though they were. Thank you for helping clean the closet aka the dumping of the 90's. But there still is serious work to be done, we didn't even get to the shoes...hey Timberlands here I come!

Laura said...

Okay, then, how about:
"My Friend Becomes a Scattergood"?

Hmmmm, shoe shopping? Alllriiiight, if I haaaaave to.