The only time I can summon up the energy to weed through through my possessions is when I am trying to avoid doing something else. That happened this weekend.
I can barely close some of the dresser drawers in my bedroom, so I worked on those. Other than the things that actually should be in the drawers — pajamas, underwear, scarves, etc. — the excess baggage roughly falls into three categories.
The first is clothing-that-I-may-or-may-not-ever-lose-enough-weight-to-fit-into-again. My life history is told, more or less, through Levis blue jeans here.
Tchotchkes fall into the second category. These are things that people usually have brought me back from their overseas trips, because I never go anywhere and they all probably feel sorry for me. Most of these items are little containers. Because they don’t take up much space, I will never be able to bring myself to get rid of even one of them.
Completely impractical and sentimental purchases compose the last group. Some of these are decades and decades old. For example, the black velvet, intricately beaded and sequinned Indian — New Dehli Indian — belt that I have never worn . I bought it in the 1980s and I visit it occasionally. It’s a little artwork. I should just call it that and frame it.
I’ve also held on to two pairs of stockings that date back to my junior high school days. One is a pair of Kelly green fishnet hose. I wore these only once to a free, outdoor Jefferson Airplane concert at Griffith Park. There was a red-haired girl dancing to the music in the middle of the audience. Everyone else was seated on the ground. The swaying girl was in a dress of this exact color and material. And she wore not one thing on under that garment. This was about 1966 or 1967, and I am sure she would have been arrested by the L.A.P.D. for indecent exposure had the policemen standing guard at the concert not been so mesmerized by the sight of a nearly-naked girl writhing to the soaring voice of Grace Slick belting out “White Rabbit.”
I have saved my loud green fishnet stockings because I thought I might wear them one day to a “1960s” costume party. But no one has thrown that party, and I doubt that anyone will now. It would probably be painful to see graying versions of our younger, more carefree selves in clothing that wasn’t all that flattering even when we were 16-years-old.
I should probably pass the green hosiery on to my son, who can pass them along to a girlfriend. These are the people who probably will be attending a 1960s Retro party in the next couple of years.