where the writers are
What's in your closet?
Closet Envy....Me

The question was....

How's it hanging?  Write about something hanging in your closet you've had for a long time.  Write what memories you associate with that item.

 a friend asked

at first i was stumped because to be honest....most of my closet is filled with junk i can't fit anywhere else but the more i thought about it the more i wrote and the more i wrote the more i thought and finally it became something i really wanted to share with everybody.

i recently moved into a new apartment with bright cheery windows and lots of sunlight
i've been here a year and i just cleaned off the second shelf to put some of my clothes on
the floor and the top shelf are filled with books and dvds because i haven't gone to ikea
to get the bookshelves i've been promising myself since i first moved in
yet recently i went to the store and bought a beautiful flowered sundress
now ya'll don't know me like that but i used to be a clothes hound, i'd buy stuff in the size i wanted to be instead of the size i am
and it would sit for months, years, decades even (hence those sergio valente's i've never been able to put my whole body in and zip up)
when i moved from the house i was in i chose to throw away just about everything
i wanted to start fresh and clean in my new life
so that meant my clothes hoarding days were long behind me
and basically i had nothing but "interview" or "work" clothes, i once went to a club with my girlfriend who was dressed in this black catsuit type outfit complete with full length coat, pumps and make up
i looked like i had just closed the nunnery down in my black ankle length skirt and non descript printed top, pony tail, lip gloss and flats 

i looked at myself in the club mirror and said "dammit i look like my mother getting ready to go to work". there was nothing sexy or interesting about me except my personality....and after that little incident my self esteem took a serious nose dive for the rest of the night

o i had jeans and t-shirts but i didn't have "jeans" and "t-shirts"

i had given my sensuality away in a basket and couldn't get it back
over a two year period i saw my closet turn from possibility of catching something to damn i caught a virus

all my clothes were comfort clothes....the stuff you wear when you clean or run to the market and hope nobody sees you
i once stayed in the house all weekend because every single thing i owned made me look like i was about to give birth
i hadn't been pregnant in 14 years
it was hideous to think i had allowed myself to become "FRUMPY" i was now the chick in the car pool drop off lane with the drool and ambient stains on the front of her sweat shirt, the mashed carrot stains on her pants and the really frizzy hair
i had begun to equate my lack of clothing options to being a good mom, my kids needs came before my own,

i could live without the cool sneakers even though i'd had the same ones for 2 years which were run over and leaning and occasionally had to borrow my sons in order to have something decent to wear.
so one day i brought the "sexy" bra so the girls could get a little happy when we got dressed
then i refused to wear anything black or dark (that left out 90% of my wardrobe)
then i brought non basic white panties (oooo gurl that was a special day....no bloomers ma...yay)
then i brought flip flops, which made me have to have a pedi and a mani cause my feet looked like shrek
then one day i brought "real" make up not just lip gloss, i had a vague recollection of the fashion fair make up counter so i went to target and got covergirl (i love fashion fair but seriously, 20 bucks for lipstick....maybe next year)

now i made up my face before i went out every morning even if it was just to the store
i gave myself a new do, no more ponytails unless i was cleaning the house
i still didn't have any clothes to wear "out" except to religious functions but one day i was in burlington coat factory where my daughters been working for the summer and i found an orange skirt, a matching tank top and some jogging pants all for.......$7!!! (after her discount of course)
at first i hated the top because it has this little ruffle thing in the front....i felt like my mother...clothing options for fluffy girls on a budget are a little shaky

i am no where near 90 ok i'd like not to dress like it.
but suddenly i had options, when i looked in the mirror i could see the woman who used to live inside me who flirts incessantly and smiles adoringly who once said every year she would do something she had never done or always wanted to do on her birthday
who while hanging out with friends in NYC's Greenwich Village had flirted so openly, outrageously and was so brazen to walk up to the finest man she saw and ask him out on a date, kiss him and then tease him for the rest of the meal while she and her friends giggled and laughed and had fun all with non alcoholic beverages and all she wore was a white tank top and a pair of cut off jean shorts
she didn't need the "costume" she was bold and beautiful and flirty and sexy and free
i saw that woman in the mirror, she was peeking out at me

by the way the guy i flirted with that night; we became pretty good friends after that and he loved the fact that i was always always a lady, passionate and beautiful and smart. he and i hung out and just had fun

i began to see glimpses of who i had been and i liked it

so i began to do stuff, i went out more even if just to garden parties or book readings or to the market
i still only had a few clothing options but those jeans started looking a little better to me now that my boobs didn't hang on to my knees for support
the 4th of july was coming up and i wanted to take my son to the concert in the park, i had it all planned.

i'd gone shopping with my god mother to just get something simple but when i walked into the store they were having a 70% of sale and i had a credit card with extra cash
the first thing i saw was the peach, cream, blue and yellow sun dress marked down to $15
i was afraid to try it on because i didn't think i would look good.....my godmother forced me to try it on so i wouldn't have bring it back just in case it didn't fit
well honey let me tell you, not only did it fit but it was full size smaller than what i usually wore

I had loss weight
my new frame of mind which had come about over a two and half year period, for the first time in nearly 13 years i was out of a size 26/28 Officially
the dress wasn't tight
it didn't hug
it didn't pull
i could move in it and not feel like a sausage
i had my wish
to some it may not seem like much but to me it was a whole universe of different
suddenly i wanted to shop
i went to target and by habit picked up a 3x and found them too loose
i found white cotton capri's, a white tank top and a white and gold floppy hat like the one Patti LaBelle wore on the cover of one of her albums back in the 80's and i got a pair of sunglasses
my 4th of july outfit was complete
except for the shoes, i still didn't have any shoes to wear
i had pumps and mules but those didn't go with this outfit
the tone was I'm flirty but I'm doing me right now not you besides i just to tease

but then i looked at me and i thought to myself
so what they're dirty, run over and your son's
make'em shine like a million dollars

and i did

if they noticed the sneakers they didn't say anything cause i was smiling too bright to worry about it
i didn't actually go anywhere on the 4th because my son had just returned from vacation and didn't feel like going to the concert and i didn't want to leave him alone
so instead the next morning i got up and dressed in my independence day outfit minus the hat and i shined all day long
just because i could

then the next morning still feeling the full bravado of my new attitude

i put on that sundress that had sparked such a gleeful shopping spree just to wear to the office (which happens to be about 20 feet from my bedroom but the neighbors were very appreciative)

so hanging in my closet is a dress that nobody but me will pay attention to

because its not fancy and its not expensive

but its me

its the most beautiful dress i've ever seen