By June Mathews
Several years ago, back when the media began reporting horror stories of bargain hunting thugs stampeding one another at midnight mall openings and breaking fellow shoppers’ arms for the sake of deep discounts on a limited number of home electronics, I decided Black Friday shopping was for the birds.
I figure neither a $5 toaster nor a $50 TV is worth my sanity – which is already, to put it mildly, in a precarious state. I’m similarly disinterested in acquiring any broken bones before December even begins – or ever, for that matter. I have a tough enough time managing all the baking, wrapping and other assorted chores of the holiday season as it is.
So while some folks are ready to hit the retail trail when stores begin opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, I stay safely tucked at home until the rush passes, preferring instead to conquer one of those household projects that always need doing but never seem to get done.
This year I chose to spend the morning after I’d twice gorged myself on holiday fare cleaning out my closet. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made, considering I’d so recently consumed an extra helping of dressing, two kinds of sweet potato casserole and at least one bite of each contribution to the dessert table (People work hard preparing Thanksgiving dishes, so I feel it only polite to taste every one).
So it probably should have come as no surprise that as I delved into my closet, determining what to discard and what to keep, an awful lot of snug-fitting clothing suddenly appeared destined for the donation pile. And the more things I tried on, the more depressed I became. Zipper after zipper failed to easily slide all the way to the top; buttons and buttonholes refused to comfortably meet. When I forced the issue with some favorite old jeans, all I got for my trouble was bugged-eyed, breathless and sporting a muffin top around the middle.
But I soon realized that were I to toss every slightly too-small skirt or pair of pants into the discard bag, my future clothing options would be significantly depleted. Faced with the possibility of a complete wardrobe overhaul, which I can neither afford nor wish to shop for, I decided temporary denial would be the wiser course. So I put everything back on the hangers and stuffed the whole mess back into the closet. Scarlett and I will worry about it tomorrow.
Then I pulled my favorite sweatpants out of the bottom dresser drawer, donned them as if they were the sleekest, skinniest jeans on the block, pulled on the matching sweatshirt and headed for the grocery store. After the horrible experience I’d just endured, I deserved chocolate.
And next year, I’m liable to head to those Black Friday sales. A few broken bones would pale in comparison to the trauma of cleaning out a closetful of clothes that no longer fit very well.
Email June Mathews at firstname.lastname@example.org.