Though not quite January, the Tossing is already in effect (thank you Erica for that apt descriptor -- I'd never heard it before but I'm now going to go around saying it to myself daily). Yesterday, I got two new dressers. How excited was I. These are my first grown-up dressers, believe it or not, and the sock, underwear, and t-shirt tossing that went on yesterday afternoon was like early New Year's Eve in Times Square -- the hooting, the tossing, the exclamations. "I'm going to have a drawer just for my bathing suits!" shouted I.
"How many bathing suits do you have?" said he.
It turns out that I actually didn't wind up having room for a bathing suit drawer, after all, but never mind. I couldn't have been happier. All my clothes fit beautifully in these two pieces -- hardwooded with dovetailed joints and brand new knobs -- and my newly cleaned up closet. When everything was refolded, extra unworn stuff turned out, and all placed in neat stacks and on its own hangers, it became very clear: I don't need any new clothes, I needed new dressers. I counted 47 skirts. That seems excessive, actually. But I love skirts and made (or designed) most of them myself so it was nice to see them hanging so expectantly again. Previous to yesterday they had been folded up willy-nilly and stuffed into one of those hanging shoe bag things. That's just wrong.
It's unbelievable how happy storage makes me. I sat for about 45 minutes on the dog's bed and stared at my dressers in a state of utter peace and joy. I'm not kidding. When I mentioned in a previous post about the background in photos being a singularly reliable way of remembering how it was, and perhaps indicating something about how it will be, I was thinking entirely about this picture. It's my sister Julie in our childhood bedroom circa summer 1994, right before we both left home. When I look at this picture even now, I remember the panic I felt in that clutter then; our house was 1,200 square feet (and over 100 years old, with only two closets in the entire place), and five of us lived there for over twenty years (my parents for almost thirty). My sisters and I shared a room for much of that time, well into high school and vacations from college. I wish I could say that this particular picture shows something unusually cramped about the state of our quarters in general, but it doesn't; it's quite an average glimpse, and yes those are her dresses hanging from the ceiling. My childhood dream, aside from wanting a horse, was to have a small, empty desk with a few sharpened pencils and a banker's lamp where I could do my homework. I had gotten a Laura Ashley decorating catalog somewhere around eighth grade, and I bonded with it so ferociously that those lightened, calico-ed spaces imprinted themselves and became synonymous with my vision -- both childhood and adult -- of comfort and order and serenity, and happiness.
I love my new dressers. Thank you so much, lovely husband, loveliest of people, for this early birthday present. You see me as no one else ever has.