Monday, February 15, 2010

An Embarrassment of Britches

I guess I'll start this one out with what's becoming standard: A disclaimer. No, this isn't about a wardrobe malfunction. My life has been blessedly free of those of late. It was sparked by an article I read last week from the UK, discussing the fact that the average woman hoards an inordinate amount of clothing she can no longer fit into.

Guilty as charged. Although, at present, it's not so much clothing I can no longer fit into as much as it's clothing that, for one reason or another, I simply don't wear anymore. But whether it's a matter of fit or style, the embarrassing truth of the matter is that I may even be worse than the average Jo.

Before I could muster the courage to confess my own sartorial excess, however, I had to know if others on this side of the pond were kindred clothes horses. So...I conducted an informal survey on Facebook, starting with shoes, then adding on pants. (Okay, I'll admit it -- I was just going to go with the shoes, but "britches" worked better with the title that came to me, so I branched out.)

I have the loveliest FB friends. I won't name names, but though some of my generous responders are positively saintly in their restraint, I'm relieved to know that I'm far from alone in this. And since they were kind enough to bare their closets to me, it's time for me to come clean: Shoes? About 100 pair. Pants? About...*gulp* 60. (Not even counting several pair of track pants, pajama pants and the partners to all my suit jackets.) And of those? There are probably 10 of each I wear regularly.

So, now you know. My name is Susie, and I'm addicted to apparel and accessories. (And maybe alliteration.) They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I don't know if what I've revealed truly qualifies as a "problem," but it certainly qualifies as a space hog. And while those Space Saver bags positively fascinate me, I don't believe they'd constitute adequate penance. So, in recognition of my excess, and in anticipation of the Spring I'm certain is just around the corner, I am hereby pledging to clean out my closets -- yes, I said "closets," plural -- ridding them of at least 50 pairs of shoes, and 30 pairs of pants within the next 30 days. Those in suitable condition will be donated to Good Will (or another worthy charity -- I'm open to suggestions).

I invite my fellow thread hoarders to join me. Come on - it's for a good cause! (And our closets/dressers/under-the-bed-boxes will heave a collective sigh of relief.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

How Pooh Are You?

No, that isn't an indelicate allusion to my blog title. It's about the stuffing you're made of.

It's human nature to label and categorize -- others, ourselves. At its core, it's probably a matter of risk assessment and survival. But regardless of what motivates it, we all do it. Sometimes with malice; often in fun. Who hasn't taken one of those silly Facebook quizzes to see, "Which 'Grey's Anatomy' or 'Sex and the City' Character Are You?" (I'm mostly Meredith, by the way. And terminally Carrie, of course.)

Long ago, I began categorizing people as Winnie the Pooh characters. This wasn't an original concept -- I don't recall if it was borne of my reading 'The Tao of Pooh' or some other work. But most folks I know did seem to fit one Milnean archetype or another. And I'm confident if I were to describe a friend as a "Tigger" or an "Eeyore," anyone familiar with the denizens of The Hundred Acre Wood would form an immediate and fairly accurate impression of the personality at issue.

It was with a certain amount of pride that I accepted the label of "Pooh," when a friend assigned it to me. Though I wasn't sure how I felt about being likened to a bear of very little brain, I did consider myself fairly amiable, dependable, and, more often than not, peaceful. You know what they say about pride, though....

I made the erroneous assumption that our personality types -- our characters -- were static: Once a Piglet, always a Piglet. I took my Poohness for granted. And somewhere along the line, I wandered away from it -- or it from me.

I didn't notice it quite so much while I was being Rabbit. When one is extremely busy and very important, there isn't much time for introspection. However, when I found myself sounding (and feeling) exceedingly Eeyorish, it occurred to me that perhaps I really had lost my way. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for poor old Eeyore, but I don't want to be him.

Quite frankly, to the extent we get to choose our character, I'd like to take a little bit of (the best of) all of them: the bravery of Piglet, the intellect of Owl, the exuberance of Tigger, etc. But mostly, I think I'd like to get back to that calm, steady, peaceful place of Pooh.

So, help me if you can I've got to get
back to the house at Pooh corner by one
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done,
count all the bees in the hive,
chase all the clouds from the sky .
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh,
back to the days of Christopher Robin,
back to the ways of Pooh...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Not What You Think

I've been contemplating creating something of this sort for months. On several occasions, I've remarked to others that my dream gig would be writing a column that's part Erma Bombeck, part Tim Allen, part Carrie Bradshaw -- somehow incorporating tales of my misadventures in domestic engineering and my observations on parenthood and on male-female entanglements into a humorous melange others might enjoy perusing.

I wanted to give a nod to both the fictional Carrie and the wry and witty Erma in my title, so, initially, I went with "Sex Over the Septic Tank". However, I found myself worrying that no matter how familiar with my writing some might be, that title might just keep getting misconstrued. I don't know that I'd ever advocate actual sex over an actual septic tank. There's something rather unseemly about the notion. And I certainly didn't want to trip folks up with an unwelcome image or impression. So this morning, I ditched the potentially problematic preposition and opted for the tamer conjunction, settling on "Sex and the Septic Tank." (Tim got short shrift there, I realize, but I figure the reference to small scale sewage treatment systems sounds vaguely home improvementish as well.)

In short, this blog isn't really about sex and/or septic tanks. But an effort to find a way to laugh at and live with the life I now find myself leading. Thank you for indulging me.