It's not about the house.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't-Don't-Don't-Don't-Look at What's in Front of You

Remember this?

In case you can't tell, it's my bedroom closet.

I’ve cleaned it twice – and written about cleaning it twice – since I started this here blog, but both times I left the bottom part alone.

I don't know. I got too bored with the whole thing before I hit the floor, I guess, and justified it by telling myself I always did manage to find the pair of shoes I wanted. Eventually. I’m not saying it didn’t get ugly, especially when I was looking for the white high-heeled sandals on a sticky summer’s day -- already pressed and powdered and slipped into the salmon chiffon sundress -- swearing like a sailor and sweating white eyeshadow-trails all the way down to my strapless bra. But I did find them. Eventually. Fuckers gave me bleeding blisters in an hour, too, which handily (or footily) defeated the whole purpose of a fresh French pedicure and white strappy high-heeled sandals.

But I digress.

The point is that this time I started with the shoes. Except for actually that isn’t true. I started with the random articles of clothing that had accidentally (or otherwise) wound up among the shoes. And I say “(or otherwise)” because there is someone in this house who thinks the best way to find the thing you’re looking for – that particular pair of painter’s pants, for example, because lord knows they aren’t all exactly the freaking same – is to pull everything else out of the cubbyhole and leave it in a pile on the floor. And so someone else in this house decided to stop bothering to fold the goddamn painter’s pants (for example) and put them in the goddamn cubbyhole, since they were just destined to end up in a pile with the strappy sandals, anyway.

Have I digressed again? Oh, golly.

Anyway. I began this time by pulling out all the random bits of non-shoe-ness and arranging them — well, arranging them in a nice, neat, hip-deep pile on the bathroom floor. Hey man, that’s tomorrow’s job. Leave me alone.

Once the clothes were out of the way, I gathered up the shoes in pairs and made three rows: one for his, one for hers, and one to give away. The throw-away ones went straight in a trash bag, into which I then dumped the dirty cat box, tied it up, and carried it outside to the curb before Johnny could come home and insist the nine-dollar black stilettos with a heel-tip missing, or the faux-Keds that even after Clorox-treatment remain a noxious Cape Cod grey, might be worth saving.

Despite what some of you advised me a few weeks ago, however, I did not work up the nerve to throw out anything of his. Call me a pussy if you want to, but I’ve been through it, and there are only so many screaming-yelling fights about moldy old Birkenstocks a girl can take before she decides the twelve cubic inches she might free up aren't that important.

You think that Birkenstock thing was a bit of writerly hyperbole, don't you? Unfortunately, no.

 Bleah. And they're broken, too.

Turns out when you leave old leather buried in the back of the closet for four years worth of sticky summer days, it actually gets moldy. Freakin’ yuck. So I started a fourth pile for Johnny’s yuckies, hoping he’d see the light – or the blight, as it were – and work up the common sense to throw them out himself when he got home. You know how that turned out for me, don't you? Yeah. He says he's going to get them fixed. Eventually.

The sad part, though, is that his Birks weren’t the only things collaterally damaged. Look:

My spare pair of oxblood Fryes! Boo hoo. I got them at a flea market, used, for like five bucks, but they were relegated to the back of the closet almost immediately because it turns out they’re a size too large. I really should have tried them on first and left them there for someone else, but I don't ever try anything on -- and besides, then someone else would have gotten a pair of vintage oxblood Fryes for like five bucks! Now nobody gets them. Freakin’ yuck.

Aw, hell. Johnny’s not home yet but even I know you can’t just throw out a pair of vintage oxblood Fryes, even if they are a little moldy! If I’m not going to wear them, I should at least give ‘em to GoodWill. But you can’t go giving GoodWill moldy shoes, now, can you? Even if they are some seriously stylin' oxblood Fryes...

And this is what I meant when I said the other day I got distracted. Because I cleaned those kick-ass boots with Murphy’s, I polished ‘em with Mink, and when I had ’em all shined up I stepped into them just to see how nice they looked -- and damned if they didn’t fit me after all! I don’t know if my feet have been expanding recently to keep up with my ass, or if the mold has magic leather-shrinking powers, but now those too-big, five-buck, Frye boots fit! So now I have two pairs of stylin’ Frye boots for kicking ass!

And one slightly-worse-for-the-wear pair of red faux-Keds for running fast.

Flush with that success, I decided to tackle some of the other grossness. Because I knew damn well Johnny wasn’t going to get rid of any of it. Not the broken Birkenstocks, not the board-stiff Thom McAnn wingtips he seems to think are actually nice, not the black hand-me-down workboots that are obviously too big for him and never worn. The workboots were still new-looking, but the rest of them I cleaned. Got into a kind of groove, actually, and enjoyed it.

Even if it did take me two freakin' days.

Oh! And I finally figured out why he’s never worn the throwback Desert Boots I bought him back in 1997. Because look:

Just not the same size whatsoever, even though he tried on six different pairs in the store.


I wonder if the new pair would fit me.


Sparkle Plenty said...

Those redeemed and revitalized boots are SWINGIN', Ege, SWINGIN'! Makes me want to go root around and see if I can find me some cool moldy boots somewhere around here...(I suspect not, unfortunately.)

ege said...

Unfortunately is right, SP. It's always a damn shame when a girl doesn't have a single pair of moldy boots in her closet.

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring. I have an old pair of also second hand docs kicking around under my wardrobe that I noticed were a bit mouldy the other day. Perhaps this weekend is the weekend to tidy them up.