Sunday, July 20, 2008


It is not possible to take an entire land wardrobe onto a small cruising boat. Okay, technically it's possible, but it's definitely not advisable. To reach cruising weight, I've got to pitch about 80% of my clothing. As I sorted through my closet yesterday, the "keep" pile loomed large and the "ditch" pile barely qualified as a pile. I was following an equation something like this:

I/Is + G = K

I = Inertia. Doing nothing is the greatest temptation of them all. Without a sailboat in my near future, I would allow every piece of questionable cloth to hunker down and stay. Even WITH a sailboat out there, I was having trouble. If there was any doubt about whether it should stay or go, staying automatically became the overriding factor.

Is = Insecurity. A fabulous outfit can mask any number of insecurities -- emotional and physical. In fact, a good wardrobe helps you cover all the bases, even that pitcher's mound on your backside. Stripping away all those masking options was leaving me feeling naked and insecure.

G = Guilt. The contents of one garbage bag represents at least 500 bucks, probably more. Trying to justify giving it away racked me with guilt.

And the K = Keep it. Yes, do the math and everything stays.

In order to bypass this mental math, I instituted a measuring cup and the Archimedes Principle. I allowed myself a large plastic bin that can hold any combination of outfits, shoes, accessories, bathing suits, etc. However, once it was full, that's where Archimedes stepped in. If something went in, it automatically displaced something else as if the contents were liquid. No mounding, no squishing.

The new equation: PB = SA or Plastic Bin equals Sailing Away.

Then when I looked at those five sweatshirts, it was easier to ditch three, because they're too bulky. That cute red sweater? Too impractical. Black wool blazer? Too formal. Gray wool pants? Too hot. Doc Martens? Too everything.

If I was feeling indecisive, I just looked at that plastic bin and the decision got a lot easier.

Three sweatshirts, the red sweater, the black wool blazer, they all went in white trash bags. Before I had a chance to second guess myself, I tossed them --five bags full -- in my car and headed for Goodwill.

Bag #1, filled with Inertia, straight down the chute. Bag #2, jammed with Insecurity, whoosh. Bag by bag, all gone. As each bag emptied, the white plastic, now lighter than air, fluttered in the wind and turned into wings.

No comments: