How Many Clothes Do You Really Need? And an Almost-Forgotten Tradition

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stuffed closet

One thing the pandemic has shown me is that I’m quite content wearing the same 10 outfits over and over again.

Now, I’m retired. My husband has health issues, so I really don’t venture out much. There are still 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day in my county, and even though we’re vaccinated, I just don’t want to expose hubby to germs. Once a week, my Bible study group gathers on Zoom. Otherwise, I see very few people other than hubby and our grown children. Obviously, if I had a job or socialized, I would want more variety in my closet.

Back in pre-Covid days, I’d visit one of my favorite stores each month and check out the clearance racks. Even though I didn’t need new clothes, I’d justify that I couldn’t afford not to pick up a few bargains. Besides, I could always donate some clothes to Goodwill to make room for the new ones.

I have, from time to time, worn some of my better clothes at home just to enjoy them, but mostly I wear my “everyday clothes,” which are older and softer due to many, many washings.

On a totally unrelated note, the other day I remembered a tradition from my childhood—birthday spankings. Does anyone (probably you’d have to be a senior citizen) remember those? On your birthday, your teacher might have the class sing Happy Birthday to you; then, with great drama (and very little force), she’d put you over her knee and proceed to give you a spank for every year of your new age, plus one extra for good luck, and a “pinch to grow an inch,” while the rest of the class squealed with delight. I sincerely doubt any school district would permit such frivolity in this day and age, but do you remember birthday spankings, or did I just hallucinate them?

8 responses »

  1. Birthday spankings! I remember! I wonder where and why that funny tradition started. And I’m with you on the clothes. It’s all about comfort these days, and I’m perfectly happy to wear the same things over and over as long as they’re comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clothing…ditto…every word…ditto. Even before retirement, when I was going into the office every day, I had implemented a simplified wardrobe plan. Looking at the shirts hanging on the rack…most purchased from Goodwill, I saw I had amassed over 15 navy/white striped shirts. It prompted me to set up a regular Mon-Fri routine. Mon, navy/white stripe. Tues, tank top under white button shirt. Wed, pale blue pull over shirt. Thurs, WHATEVER. Fri, white pull over shirt. Every week. While not as simple as the daily black turtleneck of Steve Jobs, it made dressing each morning much easier. And just like today as a retiree, I could (and can) easily rely on a minimal # of shirts + jeans. The struggle for me today is now to gain the courage to donate all the rest of my closet to Goodwill.

    Liked by 1 person

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