The other day, while dressing for work, I was in my closet deciding what to wear. While sporting only leggings, a disastrous look of epic proportions, I selected this lovely thin-knit sweater, so new you could almost see its sales-tag swinging. But as my hand touched it, I instantaneously let go as if burned. My brain was shouting, “Don’t wear that! You have to save it!” Seriously, that is the thought I had, as if a sweater was a thing to save.
My rationalizing pathology cunningly lobbied for other alternatives. “Hey, wear last year’s new sweater! Or, that chenille one that can go in the dryer?” Sadly, I listened, and wore a sweater that, as mother would say, “had seen better days.” Later at work, whenever I noticed its uneven hem, I wistfully thought of my favorite sweater just sitting there in the closet, biding its time, waiting its turn.
Now, before you label me cuckoo, a moniker I’d only agree with, I would bet my pretty thin-knit sweater that everyone has their own “save-for-special-occasion” items. I mean who doesn’t have fancy china that languishes in a cupboard just longing for a holiday?
For now, I’ll stick with my own crazy-self and come clean on other things I’ve accumulated in the name of another day. For example, this handcrafted candle in the shape of a pear. What is that waiting for, an Anjou celebration? Or how about all the books I know I’ll never read again? Are they but props of decor? I even have these fabulous antique cloisonne earrings stored for safekeeping in a crystal container on my bureau. Am I somehow honoring their existence by not wearing them?
Then, there are the nonsensical items I save, some to a questionable degree. Am I the only one who can’t manage to throw away a twist tie? Really, how many does one need? Is there an open bread bag emergency in our future? What about all those plastic takeout containers, Tupperware-wanna-bes that multiply like rabbits. I’m all for reuse, but can’t we recycle sometimes? Dear lord, I remember the day I almost cried tears of joy when I learned wire hangers could be returned to the dry cleaner!
Next are items I save for one almighty special day - like a great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, expensive French lavender lotion, and fine monogramed stationary. Am I hoping the Obamas visit, so when they do, I’ll smell fabulous while serving a particularly nuanced 2014 Silver Oak, only to later send a lovely follow-up note on engraved ecru cotton paper? If so, you can be sure, I’d be wearing my very best black dress I’ve saved for years.
All this makes me ask, what am I waiting for? Truth is, these saved items collect dust while life goes on. By now, I’ve probably grown out of that black dress. And why not serve that exceptional wine at the next dinner I host? I’m sure my friends would also appreciate my wafting lavender scent as I pass the peas.
I have to admit, I’ve made this a mission of sorts, an effort to be more “power-of-now-y.” Channeling my inner Tolle, I’m determined to stop saving so I can start living. I’ll preserve the saving for sensible items, like money for retirement or irreplaceable family photos. And instead, I’ll wear that sweater, damn the torpedoes and all that jazz. I’ll throw caution to the wind and toss a twist tie - or two! And I’ll eat grilled cheese sandwiches off Staffordshire plates in the flickering light of my pear candle.