Thursday, September 15, 2011

When You See Me Walk By

I'm sort of a pack rat, I guess. I've mentioned before that I like to go to the flea market and go to yard sales where I pick up all sorts of crap.

One thing that I will normally not purchase used are clothes. I'm not sure why, maybe it stems from childhood when mom was a frequent visitor to neighborhood yard sales where she tried to find clothing for her ever growing kids at a cheap price.

I'm not proud or anything (maybe, a little) but the thought of wearing the neighbors' used clothing really gives me the Eeewwwwwws. None of my neighbors on Cherry Fork Road had the cooties or anything but I'm sure Missy really didn't want to see me walking around in one of her 'Alexander' shirts.

All of this brings me to present day. During a recent surge of physical activity (not sure where it came from) I decided to root around through some old boxes and see if I couldn't get rid of a few things. The first box that I opened contained a varied assortment of green and yellow colored shirts in different sizes with different monikers on the front and back. What I had found was the box that contained all of my old t-shirts and jerseys from when I was a child.

As I looked through the box and read the names on the backs of the shirts I was transported back to my childhood. At one point in time I had been called the following names: G.G., 1st grade; Strawberry, 5th grade basketball; G-whiz, Tom Downing called me that; MyMy, junior high; Mia, still called that; G, still called that; Palmer, never liked being called by my last name and lastly, Gianetta. I had shirts monogrammed with all of these names.

It's been 35 years, do I really need to keep these mementos?

After a few moments of thought and reflection, I decided it was time to let the old shirts go; they were in good shape so I thought I would donate them to the local thrift store.

A few weeks later I had stopped at the park by my house to go for a walk when I noticed a group of small children playing on the jungle gym wearing a familiar looking color. When I approached closer, I was surprised to see four little kids wearing four of the t-shirts that I had donated. I struck up a conversation with the mom and discovered she was just overjoyed to have found these shirts. She home-schooled her kids, ages 8-11, and when they went to the park she liked to dress them in similar colors.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time except one little boy who was upset and kept trying to read the back of his shirt. Intrigued by his actions, I approached him with this question, "What's wrong? Don't you like your new shirt?"

"It's okay, I guess. Except my name isn't Palmer, it's Alexander!"


Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

I love their reaction! Especially little Alexander's. Too bad you didn't have one of your neighbor's Alexander's shirts to donate when you got rid of yours! :)

I really struggle with getting rid of some of the stuff I wore when I was a kid. I'll always save the Holly Hobbie dresses Mom made me, but I'm getting the courage to get rid of the ones that Scooter doesn't wear. I've hung onto them long enough! I take pictures of the ones I really loved before I donate them, and once they're gone I don't think of them again. At least then it's just a digital memory and not taking up space.

mannoy said...

Buying used clothing is populaar here in the Philippines. We call them Ukay Ukay.



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