I found myself in my basement earlier this week. It doesn't happen often, because my basement is scary as hell. My ex-husband collected pretty much every collectible thing ever made, and he left all that collectible detritus behind him when he moved out. Now there are mazes of old boxes and the empty wrappers of baseball cards everywhere. It's a rodents paradise.
I don't have rodents, of course. I mean, who the hell knows, really, rodents are squirrely little things. But since my basement is also full of mousetraps, I seriously doubt it.
So I was down there, climbing over the tipping towers of crap in search of Peabo's old size 7s to pass down to my redhead, when I ran into a treasure trove of clothes. My clothes. My old, teeny, tiny, I used to be a skinny person clothes.
Skinny for me predates Peabo, which means this stuff is really, really, colossally old. Like, 14 years or better. And I should have gotten rid of it a long time ago. But some stuff you just can't part with.
Like the first interview suit I ever bought, back when I was in grad school.
The only bridesmaid's dress I had that I ever considered wearing again. Except that I squeezed into it pretty much that just that one day before I grew right out of it.
An old, blue sheath dress that once fit me like a glove. I don't remember where I wore it, but I remember I felt fabulous in it. And that was apparently reason enough to keep it forever.
The slim-waisted, full cut white skirt my mom bought me for my birthday the summer after eighth grade.
The nearly backless, slit-up-to-here revenge dress I wore to my 10-year high school reunion, where I knew I'd run into my very recent ex. I'm pretty sure he didn't notice, and actually it wasn't really that racy, because when you get right down to it I'm just not that flashy. Or revengy. But it gave me the courage to walk into the room, and that's all I needed that night.
And a whole slew of what we'll call vintage Victoria's Secret - that is, some very pretty bras that I retired when I was pregnant with Peabo and never fit back into. They all have real wire underwires. Can you imagine? Real wire.
It all fits. Even the skirt my mom bought me when I was 14. Granted, it's snug. But it buttons. And I can sit down in it. And it still fans out beautifully when I spin around. Which I most definitely did when I tried it on.
That's what happens when you lose 47 pounds. You fit into not just your skinny clothes, but your very skinny clothes.
Most of this stuff is ridiculously dated. I'm talking giant shoulder pads and pocket hankies here, folks. But it fits. And while I may never, ever wear it, I put every bit of it back into my now empty closet.
Right next to the size 14s I can't bear to part with.
The black and white dress I bought at the Loft on the one and only shopping trip I've ever made with both my sisters together.
The dark orange shirt with 3/4 sleeves that I bought for my very first post-divorce date.
The soft gray sweater that made me smile every single time I put it on, mostly because someone once told me I looked pretty in it.
The form-fitting blue dress I wore on a very special Christmas date with my fella. I still remember walking home, warm and happy, in tall black pumps that left soft prints in the snow that had fallen ever-so-gently while we were at dinner. It's a great dress.
My closet is empty now, but for this handful of outdated or oversized memories. I've shrunk right out of pretty much every single thing I own.
I miss my clothes. I don't miss the extra weight, of course. And I don't want to fit back into that stuff again. But I miss my clothes. I miss the memories, and the feeling you get from wearing something that wraps you in happy.
Time to make some new happy. Which would be a lot more fun if I didn't have to go shopping to do it.