What Will You Never Purge?

By Janey Womeldorf

What Will You Never Purge?

Apparently, the most depressing day of 2015 will be Monday January 26th.

“Blue Monday,” as it has been referred to, started back in 2005 when UK psychologist, Dr. Cliff Arnall, created a formula which concluded that the Monday of the last full week of January was the year’s most depressing day. This was largely due to failed New Year resolutions, bad weather, Christmas debt, post-holiday blues and other downer thoughts like closet stress caused by tight clothes from all the pigging out you did over the holidays. (Okay I added that last one.)

Either way, I plan to take no chances this year, so on January 26th, I shall go shopping – nothing lifts your spirit like a new outfit. Of course, I could go to the gym, but the mall’s a good a place as any to get your 10,000 steps in, and at least shopping results are immediate. Another feel-good option could have been to sink my teeth into my favorite food group but a dress lasts longer than a bowl of pasta, and nobody has ever complimented me on my endless bowl.

I have shopped for, and bought, hundreds of items over my 50 years, and it’s amazing the amount of detail I can remember – whether it was on sale, where I bought it, even what I wore it with. Is this natural? I have also seen hundreds of items come and go. Some I’ve regretted, (like the three quarter-sleeve, black, slinky top that was identical to the one I forgot I already owned and hanging in my closet); a few I’ve ruined, (don’t eat spaghetti Bolognese wearing anything other than red); but most I’ve purged, (you can only move a button so many times before you have to lose weight or admit defeat). The only survivors are those select few, cherished items – I call them the life changers.

I was 42 when I bought my first pair of white pants. Until then, anal practicality superseded fashion – I just knew, the first time I’d wear them, I’d drop food or spill some wine and that would be the end of that. Talk about boring – besides, can you say washing machine? They were linen, from TJ Maxx, and cost me a bargain $10. As soon as I put them on, my face lit up, and I knew. I wore them out that night with white, wedged sandals and a paisley, light-colored, flowing blouse, worn outside and loose. I felt like I had just walked off of a Chico’s advertisement. When my husband saw me, his mouth dropped open and all he could say was “Wow.”

I now own five pair of white pants in varying lengths and fabric and no matter what I pair them with, I feel sharp because everything pairs well with white. My original white linens though are still my favorites. I loved them when I bought them, and I love them now.

I have a waist-coat hanging in my closet that I found at an army surplus store in London over two decades ago. It was a one-of-a-kind reversible: Black corduroy on one side; cream, black and red plaid on the other. It was the envy of most that saw it, and it was the first time in my life I ever felt stylish. I have never considered myself a fashion guru but that waistcoat made me feel like one. I was 25 then; I am 50 now, and it still hangs in my closet. I will never get rid of it – the emotional attachment is just too great.

I have been blessed to go on several cruises, usually with two formal evenings per cruise, plus my husband was prior military so we often attended formal functions. In all that time, I have had dresses that looked “nice” but never stunning – until I found my princess dress. I bought her at a consignment store eight years ago for $12, and all I can say is that it must have pained the woman before me to give her up. She is emerald-green, full-length, slinky, sleeveless and halter-neck, and she fits me like a glove. The first time I wore her, the combination of shimmering emerald and my copper-red hair was hard to miss amongst the sea of black formal gowns. It was the only time in my life I felt like I turned heads; admittedly, it was the gown that turned the heads not me, but I didn’t care. She made me sashay, not walk, and heading out, arm-in-arm with my tuxedo-clad husband, we felt like Fred and Ginger. Once in a girl’s lifetime, every woman deserves to feel like Cinderella. She still hangs in my closet and will grace me once again on an upcoming cruise. No other piece of clothing comes close to how she made me feel, and I will always love her for it.

Throughout these outfits, I have been lighter, heavier, younger and older, but they all made me feel good regardless. Therein lies the magic of shopping – only clothes have the power to do what scales cannot. A close second to my never-to-be-purged, lifetime trio is the collection of clothes in my closet that I call my classics. Most have been with me for over a decade, and although they never changed my life, they are trusted friends who never let me down.

So on January 26th, I will be in a mall, shopping. I may not find another life keeper but at least I won’t be dwelling on debts, weather and depressing stuff. The only thing that might get me down is the extra pounds I still won’t have lost from pigging out over the holidays. One positive thought though is at least, I’ll be getting my 10,000 steps in. And if all else fails, I’ll just wait six months. Why?

The happiest day of 2015 falls in June.

About this writer

  • Janey Womeldorf Janey Womeldorf once went to work wearing different shoes. She now freelance writes and scribbles away in Orlando, Florida. It’s probably best.

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