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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Purging (Cont.)

The energy of the New Year is stimulating the urge to purge...or it's just necessary. There is a disadvantage in living in one place for a long time, in my case, a rather small tenth-floor apartment (though large and cheap by Hong Kong standards) for 15 years, with no attic or basement and seriously limited closet space. Until here and now, the divestment of possessions has always occurred because we were moving. A little like dying I guess, or at least starting a new life, you realize there's stuff just not worth taking with.

And it's so hard to get the stuff out of the house. Used to be the charity scavengers would make occasional visits; we could leave stuff at the mailbox lobby, but the wise tree-slaughtering building management put an end to that convenience, probably for some insurance liability reason.

So now my purging of stuff usually means just moving things around until constipated piles accumulate and must be taken to Goodwill or Salvation Army. This is making me think of digestion; bulimic purging is equally messy although certainly more dangerous.

In order to accommodate a gift from the Wizard, I have had to sacrifice a closet which was largely occupied by shoes and bags, because I once alluded, not seriously, that it would be a great, or at least logical place for a large television. (Even though conventional wisdom is to not install televisions in a bedroom.) And now it will be. Ostensibly this will be better for my eyes than watching so many videos on my laptop, an in-bed-habit. (I live a sort of kang lifestyle.) Now I will be able to watch swordfights and conversations over tea tables, nearly life-sized, going on in my closet! And read the subtitles too (which was difficult and distracting from a distance on the now-obsolete 19-inch screen).

But the dunging forced me to finally discard 15+-year-old suits and shoes that even if they fit, I would probably never wear again. Lacking a sister or a daughter (or a friend who would accept the stuff) I am left to bag it all up for Goodwill. (One word of advice from a friend; when you do this, NEVER go back to visit the bag.) I could take it to a consignment shop, or do some e-Bay trading, or have a garage sale, but that would just become another task. (Or I could wait until I became thin (if not young) again, but likely from some wasting disease which would not encourage the wearing of tailored tweed suits and silk blouses.)

The Wizard is very good at purging. But then, like many men, he buys new clothes, like uniforms, once a year, identical pants and socks to replace the ratty ones. He fails to understand the emotional attachment women have for old clothes, many of which outfits he bought for me; he always liked the career girl look, tailored suits and bowed Ferragamos. And a particularly difficult issue is what to do with old which I mean lingerie that looked good when I was 32, but now is silly as a hippo in a tutu...underwear you can easily throw out when it gets sloppy, but silky, lacy, satin can you pass on used garments of seduction in a Goodwill bag or put them in a dumpster. I suppose some sort of witchy sacramental burning ritual is called for, crones in caftans chanting some passage from the Story of O while torching the lacy demi bras and thongs and teddies, feeding the fire with old bottles of Chanel No. 5 and the weirdly named Samsara.

In the end purging is about balancing practicality and passion. And "letting go." It is easy to speak about these things, like speaking about clearing the mind in meditation, but in actual practice, it takes great will. How many shoes and handbags does one actually need? (Hardly any.) But how many do you love? (All of them.) In my mind, this associates with fantasy promiscuity, looking for the perfect man. (With whom I already live, the one I would never discard.) These comments probably belong over on the yin side, so female, but the energy is all yang.

So now I am stranded among piles of old clothes and accessories (to say nothing of old board games), finally cutting some cords of attachment...but first I want to get that plasma TV installed so I can see Song Il-guk and Vincent Zhao (also perfect men) in high def.

Maybe I'll look through that lingerie pile again.


The Rambling Taoist said...

Here's what we do with old underwear and socks that are too ratty for the donation pile: we cut them up and use them as rags. There is nothing like dusting a table with an old pair of skivvies!!

baroness radon said...

I don' think I could bring myself to do the dusting with a lacy silk negligee; in one maybe. Mopping up cat vomit with satin tap pants? No way.

Of course, I can barely bring myself to do the dusting in the first place.

sybil law said...

I have an extremely hard time parting with shoes. Not much of a problem getting rid of old clothes or lingerie, though. Shoes almost always stay - the lingerie goes in the garbage. I don't really ever wanna wear thongs again, anyway!