Speaking of Sam……

Dear Readers:

I beg your indulgence on two counts: one, for beginning this essay in the manner of an 18th century English novel, and two, for again writing about our new dog, Sam.   I promise this will be the last time.    Perhaps I shouldn’t promise, but I will try my best not to further subject you to my excessive gushing over our 15 pound wonder.  But today is Sam’s birthday.  He is one year old, and therefore deserving of another mention.

IMG_1013It’s been two weeks, six day, 12 hours and 42 minutes since we brought Sam home.   And it’s been years since we shared our home with a very young dog.   Needless to say, there have been certain necessary adjustments to our household.  Baby gates and other containment apparatus are now part of the décor.  My floors are strewn with rawhide chews that I have a tendency to step on with my bare feet.  Thus, in addition to sit, stay and come, Sam has been learning many curse words.

And, then, of course, there are all the dog toys that squeak incessantly as he tries to rip out their guts.  The other day a woman whom I thought was my friend brought Sam a fuzzy duck toy that quacks non-stop as he holds it in his mouth.  Unfortunately, it has become his favorite object.  And I wonder what I did to cause her to hate me that much.

Getting used to a very small dog when one has been accustomed to cohabitating with very large dogs is another matter all together.   I had never stopped to consider that small dogs can be hazardous to your health.  Unlike large dogs, they are below one’s line of vision, so one must take special care not to step on them, or worse, trip over them.  Excuse the pun, but I am learning this the hard way.

Then there are those instances when I call Sam, once, twice, perhaps three times, only to look down at my feet and see him staring up at me in puzzlement.  Hey, I heard you the first time.

But it’s been almost three weeks of delight, and lots of fun seeing the world through Sam’s eyes.  Although he was almost a year old when we took him home, he behaved as if he was discovering everything for the very first time.   Before us, he obviously led a very confined life.   It’s like he lived with the Mole Women, or was raised as Dog from Room.

During our walks along a busy road, I was aware that he was transfixed by moving cars and bicycles.  And people.  And other dogs.   He backed away from path lights and irrigation flags.  He barked challengingly at fire hydrants before realizing it was something he could conquer by lifting his leg.

Indoors also held many wonders.  Since there are no second stories in underground shelters or utility sheds, Sam didn’t quite know what to make of stairs.  But when one’s legs are only 6” long it is understandable that getting from one step to the next would seem as daunting as scaling the Empire State Building.  But he figured it out, and now bounds up and down quite competently, looking very much like a Slinky.

Our stall shower is another object of complete fascination.  He sits and stares at the water coming down as one might gawk at Niagara Falls.  And he watches me intently as I step naked into it.  I have to admit that I found it uncomfortable at first having a strange pair of male eyes gazing at my nakedness.  That is, until I realized that unlike his human counterparts, Sam wouldn’t be judging me.  At least, I didn’t think so.

He watches me blow dry my hair, Sam does.  I can’t begin to imagine how he might be interpreting this behavior.  But at least he doesn’t complain about the noise, unlike the other male I live with.

So all in all, the past two weeks, six days, 12 hours and 42 minutes have been a delight.  We haven’t been sorry for a moment.  Except perhaps for the incident when Sam ate a piece of baseboard molding in my husband’s office.

Or that his total cuteness impedes my efficiency  because I have to stop what I’m doing to pick him up and cuddle, definitely one of the advantages of a small dog.  Or that I now play second fiddle to a dog as I listen to my spouse professing his love for Sam.  But that’s okay.   Better Sam, than some bitch half my age.

But for all the joy that Sam brings us, we wonder if we jumped in too quickly, and didn’t allow ourselves sufficient time to recover from the loss of Davis.    But this quote I happened upon has been helpful:  “Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is diminished.”  So in another sense, having Sam is a commemoration to our other pets.  The quote was attributed to the author Dean Koontz, and just goes to show that even writers of gory mysteries can have a soft spot when it comes to dogs.

So Happy Birthday Sam! May you live long and prosper! And may your energy keep the rest of us young.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

You Gotta Love Him!

So I’m sitting at my desk trying to write this essay.  Instead, I’m allowing my mind to wander and my attention to be distracted.  My eyes should be focused on the screen while my fingers fly over the keyboard.    But every few minutes I swivel my chair to the right and stare at what may turn out to be one of the worst decisions we’ve ever made, or our personal Fountain of Youth.

Sam-dog.jpgWe have a new dog!

I know there are those who will immediately conclude that we have finally lost what remained of our marbles.  But you pet lovers will be supportive.  Won’t you?

This action was not part of our long range plan.  We are capable of rational thought.  Having recently lost our second dog, we had decided it would be sensible to wait a while, to exist in a state of doglessness and see how we felt.

But I caved to an impulse.  You’d think I’d learn.  Last time I succumbed to an impulse I dyed my hair purple, a decision which left me completely miserable as the color coordinated with nothing in my wardrobe.

(Pause.  I’m going to pet the dog now.)

If there is blame to be laid, then it must certainly land on my dear spouse.  He never should have left me alone last Saturday when I was feeling particularly sad and depressed over the loss of our beloved Davis, the Lab.  Of course, I never told him I was feeling particularly sad and depressed as I watch him go off to his golf game.  But after all these years of marriage, is it too much to expect that he just know?

After he left, I thought about going shopping to cope with my grief.   My favorite boutique was having a designer trunk show, something that normally would arouse my endorphins.  But I couldn’t muster enthusiasm, which really caused me a good deal of concern.   When a woman can’t get energized by the prospect of a shopping trip, you know she’s ready for latest psychotropic cocktail.

(Pause.  I’m going to play with the dog now.)

I’m back.  Where was I?  But not being a big fan of drugs, I did the only other thing that would ease my pain.  I contacted The Dog Lady.

The Dog Lady was a name, phone number, and email address that was sitting in a folder for such time, if ever, that we would be ready for our next pooch.

We, that is, myself, and he who can’t read minds, had already discussed the type of dog we would get if we were ever to get another dog.  And this particular Dog Lady was a source.

I told myself it was a harmless email, merely exploratory.  Probably there would be no dogs to our liking for a long, long time.  Probably our names had to be placed on a waiting list.  Probably she would immediately determine we were too old to be doing this.  Probably all of the above would be true, so it was perfectly safe to send the email.

(Pause.  He’s looking at me.  I need to hold him.)

Probably, I was wrong.  No, definitely I was wrong.  Dog Lady responded within 10 minutes, stating that, after reading my requirements, she just happened to have the perfect dog for us.     Perhaps if she hadn’t sent the photo, I could have let it go.  As I went twirling around the house, it was clear that my spirits had lifted.

When he finally arrived home, I shared the photo with he who can’t read minds, and it was quite something to see a grown man melt!

We met Sam on a Tuesday.  He’s an 11-month-old Jack Russell, who liked to be held and drenched us with kisses.  He was every bit as cute as his picture, with personality to match, and we were smitten.

Once we made the commitment, I had to prepare for Sam’s arrival, which meant buying what was necessary to keep him, and our home, safe.  Although he was almost a year old, it would be a while before he outgrew his puppyish ways.   After my fourth trip to the store, I realized I should have thrown myself a baby shower, and registered at Petco.

(Pause.  Sam needs more water.)

We have now had Sam with us for a grand total of 4 days, and we have become fast friends.  He truly is the dog of our dreams, had we been dreaming about a dog.

We look at each other, that is, he who can’t and me, and wonder what we’ve done, as Sam bounds back and forth from one to the other.  But truth is we haven’t stopped smiling.

Perhaps Sam will wear us out.  Or perhaps he will keep us young.  My money is on the latter.

And, yes, there is a chance that Sam will outlive us.  In which case, we are considering a codicil to our will.  Our kids will have to deal with sharing six ways, instead of five.  Just look at that face.  Tell me, wouldn’t you?

(Okay, Sam.  I’m all yours now.)

Posted in Pets | 14 Comments

Unresolved Redux

happy-new-year-333459134So, folks, here we are again.  The baby in the top hat, sash, and diaper is once more about to kick the old geezer out of the way, as the number on the calendar changes to 2016.  And with another birthday pending, I hope this image will not become a metaphor for my life!

I’m sure for all of you 2015 had its ups and downs, but overall, I hope you emerged at the top.   And as much as we might tell ourselves that New Year’s Eve is no big deal, just another night, and that Friday will follow Thursday, as in any other week, there is a sense of closure and a new beginning.

Politics has certainly been a highlight of 2015, or should I say lowlight.  Tuning into the Republican debates and Trump tweets has been like binge-watching the Comedy Channel.   And I’m sure we can look forward to much more in 2016.  As for the Democrats, I was starting to give Bernie Sanders some serious consideration.  But now, I can’t be sure that I won’t be getting Larry David.   And if I do, would that be so bad?

On the personal side, my husband and I shall be entering 2016 dog-less.  Our beloved Labs, Bette and Davis, who have been featured in many of my essays, and were the inspiration for my book title, How Old Am I in Dog Years?  both died this year —  Bette in May, at age 15, and Davis just the other day, at age 16 1\2.  I know we were extremely fortunate to have them for as long as we did.  But they are very missed, and the house is strangely empty.  For now.

And New Year’s resolutions? Fuhgeddaboudit! A complete waste of time and psychic energy.  So instead, last year I made a list of habits I definitely would not change in the coming year.  And I’m proud to say I accomplished every one of them.  Therefore, adhering to the adage you can’t argue with success, I am re-listing.

I present my  personal reforms that will once again NOT happen in 2016.

  • Spend more time at the gym.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Give up Cool Whip
  • Lose weight.
  • Shop less.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Organize my drawers and keep them organized.
  • Stop wasting time watching Law and Order
  • Improve at golf.
  • Learn French.
  • Cook at home more often.
  • Always hang up my clothes before I go to bed.
  • Read James Joyce.
  • Wear a bikini.
  • Complete a London Times crossword puzzle.
  • Solve even one clue of a London Times crossword puzzle.
  • Have a neat desk.
  • Never write another critical essay about my husband.

So, whether you’re celebrating tonight in finery, jeans, or pj’s, I want to wish you all a happy, and above all, healthy New Year.  Jokes aside, it is a clean page in a new book, and we should all try to make the most of it.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you again for your support, and ask you to stay tuned in 2016.  There will be a new name, and a new web site coming soon.  A whole new look, but the same old me!

Posted in Holidays, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Fried White Potatoes

As much as I gripe about the tedium of the holiday season (see T’is The Season To Be Cranky,  November 30, 2015) I must confess that there is one time-honored December tradition to which I happily succumb.

As soon as the calendar informs me that we are about to embark on the eight days of Hanukkah, I am overtaken by a compulsive urge to make latkes.  Completely forgetting the horror of clean-up, I am motivated by visions of the succulent food with the delicious, crispy brown edges.

As an aside, one must always consult the calendar to verify the arrival of this holiday, because, unlike Christmas, it has no specific designated date.  Rather, from year to year, it tends to hover over the month, and its descent is always a surprise.  Not being a student of the Hebrew calendar, its landing always appeared to me as being completely arbitrary, although I’m sure that’s not the case.  But, like all Jewish holidays, it’s never on time.  It’s either early or late.  In fact, I can recall one year, in the not-so-distant past, when Hanukkah was so eager to arrive, it actually collided with Thanksgiving.

But back to latkes.  For the uninitiated, a latke (pronounced lat kuh, with emphasis on the lat) may appear to be nothing more than a fried potato pancake.  But in truth, the little latke is so much more.  It’s a fried potato pancake with a soul.  The making and the eating is a treat for all the senses.  Therefore, once a year, I say throw food caution to the wind, swallow an extra statin, and prepare to enjoy starch cooked in oil.

Actually, as a holiday tradition, it’s all about the oil.  Cooking with oil is a commemoration of the ravaged temple and the miracle of the small amount of olive oil that kept the eternal light burning for eight days, instead of just one.   But it is not my intention here to retell the Hanukkah story.  If one is interested, one can always consult Rabbi Google.  Rather, it is to praise the latke.

gluten-free-egg-free-latkes2.jpgLatke.  I even love the sound of the word, which I find somewhat sensual.  Uttered slowly and softly, letting the tip of the tongue rise to plant a gentle caress just behind the teeth, could there be a more loving term of endearment?  Come to me, my little latke.

But like all things Jewish, the proper preparation of latkes is not without differences of opinion.  Traditionalists claim that the only authentic way to make them is to grate the potatoes by hand.  Since I don’t believe that a preferred methodology is discussed in any biblical text, I stand with those who shred by food processor.    The outcome is just as good, and one’s knuckles remain intact.  (Contrary to popular belief, knuckle blood is really not the secret ingredient in a good latke.)

I prefer to get my tactile fix from squeezing the liquid from the shredded potatoes, then combining the other ingredients with my 10 digits.  Want to release your inner child and relive the early developmental gratification of playing with your food?  There’s nothing like being up to your elbows in potatoes, onions, eggs, and flour (or matzoh meal if you prefer).

And what can compare with the aroma of frying the latke?  Nothing, except for eating the latke.  Garnish as you like – apple sauce, sour cream, even caviar.  And voila!  The dull potato has been elevated into a luxurious treat.

And I say fie on the spoilers who attempt to ruin the entire experience by suggesting healthy alternatives.  Like baking, instead of frying.  Or substituting other vegetables for the potato.  A kale and cauliflower latke? Really?

And don’t even think about using a prepared mix!

I confess there is a downside to this otherwise joyous experience.  I must now begin to repair the damage that used to be my kitchen.  But not even the splotches of potato starch that have landed on my floor and counters, and the splattered oil on my stove, can detract from my satisfaction.

And the secondary benefit?  The memory of the experience that comes from the lingering odor of potatoes cooked in oil which will permeate the house long after the eight days have run their course.

And once everything is nice and tidy, I know I will forget the mess and do it all over again next year.  Whenever Hanukkah decides to arrive.

Posted in Cooking, Holidays | 2 Comments

T’is The Season To Be Cranky

If it’s Thanksgiving, can Christmas be far behind? Or does Christmas now start before Thanksgiving?   Somehow I think it does.

At least a week before turkey day, or perhaps even more, as I innocently approached my local supermarket, I thought I heard the rather loud clanging of a bell.  At first I thought it was someone’s cell phone.  Poor guy, I thought, he must be really hard of hearing to have his ring tone up so high.   Or perhaps it was a fire drill?  It was 85 degrees and I was in Florida.  Can you blame me for not thinking about “Ho Ho Ho?”

But sure enough, there she was.  The lady with the red stocking cap, sweat pouring from her brow, imploring us, in the spirit of the season, to deposit coins in her cauldron.

89163f33a238b5e825a89d506be59013.jpg“The Season!” Why am I never quite prepared for this?  Could it be because I exist in a subconscious state of denial about what will happen when my calendar flips from October to November? Surely I’ve been alive long enough to become wary sometime around Halloween.  Or am I lulled into forgetfulness now that I live in the Sunshine State, where the closest thing to a snowflake is the white color of a golf ball?

The truth is I hate this time of year.  And my irritability seems to increase in direct proportion to the number of candles on my birthday cake.  An annual sense of dread overtakes me when I realize I can no longer escape the inescapable joy of the whole thing.

I think the way Christmas has been commercialized is the crassest representation of this country, second only to Las Vegas.  I shouldn’t care.  It’s not even my holiday.  But whether I claim it or not, it doesn’t prevent my senses from being assaulted just about everywhere I turn.

You might say it’s sour grapes.  And it’s true that as a kid growing up Jewish in a Catholic neighborhood, I did suffer from crèche envy.  But I’ve long gotten over that, as well as the fact that my childhood home had no chimney.

Rather, it’s all that phony cheer and forced good will, and the fact that I’m compelled to listen to recycled Christmas music in every store, every restaurant, every public place you can think of, including rest rooms.  And if I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I will personally push Jimmy Stuart off that bridge.

And the relentless, ridiculous TV commercials?   When was the last time you received a Mercedes-Benz as a gift? And if you did, was it wrapped with the bow?

I detest that urgent call to buy, as if it was a violation of the Patriot Act to donate to a charity instead of purchasing useless gifts.   Black Friday begins on Thursday.  Cyber Monday begins on Saturday.   My birthday is in February – will someone decide to move it to December? At this age, I can’t afford to be rushed like that.

Each year I entertain a fantasy about running off to a place where no one has ever heard of Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, and remaining there until at least December 30th, just to play it safe.  But I’m not sure such a place exists anymore, at least not where my frequent flyer miles will be honored.

So instead I’m contemplating the construction of an underground shelter, or perhaps a safe room.   I shall entomb myself there in early November, and you can pass me my Thanksgiving dinner through a slot in the door.  I will consider emerging on New Year’s Day, by which time, hopefully, my husband will have disposed of all the holiday cards, photos (except my grandchildren’s), and heart-warming family year-end  letters.

And all of this madness is supposed to be commemorating the birth of a key religious figure?  You tell me, what would Jesus do?

And while you’re thinking about that, did you know that there is reason to believe that Jesus, was not, in fact, actually born on December 25th?  Don’t take my word for it.  Go ask Reverend Google.

Legend has it that he was born in the winter in Bethlehem, his birth heralded by a shepherd sitting on a hill tending his flock, who saw an unusually bright star in the sky.  (Perhaps this was the first sighting of an alien space ship, and it actually took place in Roswell, New Mexico.  Just sayin’.)

The reality is that a December night in Bethlehem is hardly conducive to hill-sitting, since it is cold and wet at the time of the year, and no shepherd worth his staff would plant his butt on the ground.  Even the sheep were kept in shelters.

Instead, it is conjectured that Christmas as a birthday celebration is all wrong, and Jesus might actually have been born in warmer weather, say around August or early September.

But despite my intense seasonal displeasure, I dread the thought that this might be so.  Because if it is, then heaven forbid, there goes Labor Day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

A Schticky Business

I admit I know next to nothing about current popular music.  When it comes to recognizing artists and songs, I dropped out somewhere in the 80s.  In fact, I have a recurrent nightmare that I’m a contestant on Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions, and way ahead of my two challengers.  Then comes the final Jeopardy category:  Today’s Top 50 One-Name Artists.  Luckily, I awaken just as I’m about to write Liberace.

Although I have no clue about what is broadcasting through the ear buds of some 16-year-old, I haven’t failed to notice a general escalation in weirdness.  It appears that it’s no longer enough to have talent.  In fact, talent may not necessarily be required if you have a really good schtick.

(For those uninitiated in Yiddishisms, schtick is a German\Yiddish word that literally means “piece,” but in common usage refers to a gimmick or someone’s signature behavior.)

I’m desperately fighting the urge to say “in my day…..” for all of the obvious reasons, but I can’t help but think of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and all of the other greats who just got up there and sang!  But to be fair, we had our share of performers like the above-named Liberace, and Elvis, who were famous as much for candelabras, gaudy outfits, and sequins, as their talent.

The modern music business seems to be a breeding ground for schtick.  I have only to think of some of the most popular divas over the recent years, like Cher, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper, whose constant reinventions made you believe that every day could be Halloween.  And Michael Jackson? Great performer, but also no shortage of gimmickry, white gloves and all.

Which brings me to today, to the one I had regarded as the current Reigning Queen of Schtick, the highly gifted musician and singer, Lady Gaga.   That is, until a week ago, when I happened to watch Saturday Night Live.

I’ve been a fan of SNL since its inception in 1975, when staying awake past 11:30 on a Saturday night, or any other night, for that matter, was not the insurmountable challenge it is today.   Currently, I might make it for five minutes of the opening skit, then it’s lights out.  But I digress.

For some unknown reason, on this particular Saturday night, I was wide awake.  Okay, so maybe I was a little bit curious to watch Donald Trump, who was hosting, deliberately try to be funny.  Or maybe it was the sausage pizza I had for dinner.    I’m not sure.  But one or the other was a sufficient stimulant.

2E39DF7200000578-3308945-image-m-50_1446966796265I was doing great.  I rode along with the show right up to the musical guest segment , and heard Trump announce:  Ladies and Gentlemen:  Sia!

What followed was the appearance of an apparition on the stage, which, judging from the shape of the body, I guessed was a woman.  I say “guessed” because I never saw her face.  She was wearing a white, long, straight-haired wig with bangs that hung down past her nose.  Where the bangs stopped two cartoon-like Betty Boop eyes were painted on either side of where I figured her nose was located.  This of course assumes that her face was actually constructed in a manner consistent with human anatomy.  (Above photo shows similar outfit in blue.)

(In light of her mysterious identity, I found it odd that she chooses to call herself “Sia.”  Is this her given name, or merely part of the schtick.  Hey, one wants to call out, I can’t see ya!  Haha!)

Oh, and let me not forget the giant black bow that sat on top of the wig, which, for some reason, conjured up images of Minnie Mouse.   A short coat dress and very tall boots completed the outfit.

I have to admit I was both mesmerized and highly befuddled.  Why would someone choose to look like she was just deposited on earth from a space ship? Was she a practitioner of some exotic religion that had not yet become mainstream?   An escapee from Disney World?  Or merely on her way to Comic Con?

I believe she had a nice voice, but I couldn’t really tell.  She had a tendency to mumble in a Dylan-like fashion, but I could occasionally make out I’m alive; I’m still breathing, which was a giant relief since her bangs were covering her nose.

She was accompanied during her performance by another woman in a similar wig, but whose face was exposed.  This poor woman appeared to be suffering, a conclusion I drew from watching her writhing, jerky movements, and the amount of time she spent on the floor.  I thought someone should have immediately called 911.   But in retrospect, I believe she was dancing.

I was intrigued.  I forgot all about Donald, and did some checking into Sia.  Where have I been?  It seems that Sia (aka Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) is a currently very popular and prolific singer-songwriter hailing from Australia.  She hides her face, she says, because she doesn’t want to be recognized.  She doesn’t want to be famous.  So she sang at the Grammy Awards, standing in a corner, body turned to the wall.

Sia —  your persona as your “anti-fame manifesto?” Really?

If you’re so fame-phobic, why do you choose to perform before thousands of people?  You can just keep writing songs for others to perform, while you yourself sing only in the shower, or along with your car radio, with the windows closed, like the rest of us.

But, hey, what do I know? After all, here I am writing about you.  And I highly doubt you’re composing a song about me.  So I guess schtick pays, and pays well.

And like Liberace, Sia is no doubt “laughing all the way to the bank.” That is, if she removes her wig long enough to find her way.

Posted in Entertainment | 1 Comment

Transition Time

Greetings from Florida.   I’m pleased to report that once again we have arrived safely.  And once again I find myself surrounded by all of the suitcases and boxes of clothing that now require unpacking and stacking back into the closets and drawers.  Each year as we make this transition I vow I will do better, be smarter, bring less, buy less.  But all my promises seem to go the way of New Year’s resolutions.  If I needed any further proof that I’m a complete failure at minimalism, here’s an essay that I posted two years ago, on this very topic.  Sadly, nothing has changed.

Out of the Closet

Twice a year I am forced to confront a terrible truth.  The catalyst for the reckoning happens to be bi-latitudinal (if there is such a word!) living.  I migrate, like the birds, south in the winter and north in the summer.  Unlike the birds, who seem to have mastered the art of traveling light, I transport boxes and suitcases full of spring-and-summer weight clothing from one location to the other.  The foreplay to the actual packing involves opening the door to the closet, staring at the contents in horror, and saying to myself, “how did I get so much stuff?”

It is at that instant when I must face up to the fact that I am a recreational shopper!  (What woman does not have her own moment of reckoning?) Not quite as bad as being a shopaholic, but almost.  And…it’s a slippery slope.

After all, how many adorable tops or pairs of pants or smart shoes does one person actually need?  Did I say “need?”  To a recreational shopper, “need” is a four-letter word.  As those of us who fall into this category readily recognize, “need” has absolutely nothing to do with it.

There was a time when I was concerned that my enjoyment of shopping was some kind of neurotic pleasure-seeking; compensation for low self-esteem or a substitute for never having been breast-fed.  So I discussed the matter with my therapist.  She listened raptly, sitting forward in her chair, as therapists do, staring directly into my eyes, while I was staring at her gorgeous Armani suit.   Thankfully, her response to my dilemma was very reassuring.  “For you,” she said, “shopping is not a neurosis, but a creative outlet.”  A creative outlet – wow!  How could I possibly consider stifling this instinct!  As much as I was overwhelmed with gratitude, I couldn’t help but reflect that in all the months I had been seeing her, she had never worn the same outfit twice.  I wondered if she, too, was “one of us.”

Creative outlet or not, there is only so much room in one’s closet and one day it was clear that I had reached the tipping point.  I must issue a restraining order on further purchases and undertake a closet purge.  A friend of mine, who was also shares my artistic burden, suggested that I use her wardrobe consultant who would come to my house and help me rid myself of the excess.  How appropriate, I thought.  Since I frequently felt that I was possessed by some kind of fashion devil, what better than a closet exorcist!

So she came and performed her priestly magic. Eight large black shopping bags (destined for Good Will) later, my closet was cleansed.  I felt cleansed, like I could now exist among the righteous.  I stared at empty hangers and a blouse that I hadn’t seen in two years.  This was how I would live from now on.  This was the new minimalist me!

My resolution lasted about three months.  Not bad.  This was two months, three weeks, and four days longer than any New Year’s resolution I had ever made.  Then the creative impulse began seeping back in.  Slowly at first, but soon regaining its old intensity.  But I was on guard.

I began inventing a set of rules.  Buy something new; get rid of something old.  Maintain the balance and the empty hangers.  This worked for a while, at least until the major sale at Bloomingdales.

I wonder, am I fighting nature?  Is the shopping gene part of female DNA?   I don’t think that most men feel the same kind of rush as women do when entering the parking lot of an outlet mall.  But then, again, I’m not inclined to let out blood-curdling shouts of excitement watching twenty-two men in helmets and shoulder pads come rushing at each other, squabbling over an elliptically shaped leather ball on a cold winter’s day.

So the war of the overstuffed closet continues to wage, though periodically I do win a battle.  I am still overwhelmed by the quantity of stuff that gets packed and shipped to and fro.  But I am reaching a new level of acceptance of my tendency towards recreational shopping.  Hey, my bills get paid at the end of the month and I never buy what I can’t afford.  And I can always purchase an extra box for packing.  Also, I think I have found a solution to the tenement-like conditions in which my garments sometimes reside.  My husband doesn’t really need all those suits and jackets, does he?

Posted in Fashion, Shopping, Snowbird | 2 Comments