As I stood there, looking at everything I could donate, I started to reminisce about different times that I wore some of the different articles of clothing and shoes.
There was the dress I wore the first time the hubs and I went out. The big camo jacket he lent me when we went to visit his family in Tallahassee. On the shoe rack were the flip-flops I had been wearing when I slipped off the curb and broke my foot. The Uggs I bought myself the first time the hubs and I went to DC to visit my best friend and her husband. I also saw the chalkboard that I documented my last pregnancy on, peeking out from behind the clothes.
I couldn't believe it. All these memories hang in front of me every day and I rarely think about them. Instead, I go to the shelves that store the yoga pants, t-shirts and nursing tanks (even though I'm no longer nursing) that I wear every day.
I gazed at the clothes that I haven't worn in 2 years, and that's when I started remembering.
Stuffed away in the corner behind some dresses, I saw the edges of a large white box. The box that houses my preserved the dress I wore for my first wedding. I thought about all the planning that went into the wedding. How many inches the bridal store altered off the dress each time I went in for a fitting due to the weight I was losing to be in perfect wedding shape. The honeymoon and the first few great years of marriage I had, before it all started going down hill.
Hanging above and to the right is my navy blue Ralph Lauren blazer that I used to wear when I worked for a prestigious local real estate company 10 years ago. I started thinking about how that was where I worked when I became pregnant with my first 2 children and up until a month before my second was born. I ran my fingers over the now dusty shoulders and remembered the baby showers they threw for me. The excitement of expecting my first baby and then my second (surprise) child.
My eyes scanned to the left and the white Chico's bag caught my attention. I lifted up the plastic to reveal the sexy white dress I had purchased to wear on my 30th birthday, almost 5 years ago. Snug, tight fitting, deep v-neck, white satin dress. I looked a little closer and saw a tiny smudge of the lipstick I had worn that night. What a night it was. There were 7 of us, we rented a limo and went out for a night on the town.
I looked up and something red and shiny looked back at me. The red satin sheets I had bought when I did the boudoir photos for the hubby about 3 years ago. What a blast that was! I felt so glamorous - wardrobe changes etc. I kicked the hubs and the kids out of the house for what was supposed to be 2 hours, but turned into 5. He was furious. He knew I was having pictures taken, but didn't know exactly what. When he was on the way home I had to shove the red sheets up in the closet where he wouldn't see them. I had to hide the tie that the photographer had left behind. It was exhausting. I experienced what it must feel like to have an affair in your home and have to hide the evidence. No thanks, that is definitely not for me!
Hanging down with my pants were a pair of Aeropostle jeans I had bought a little over 4 years ago. I would kill to be able to fit in them now. I had worn them quite a lot that winter. It was not long after the hubs and I had met. I'm not as skinny now as I was then. The result of my divorce had caused me to lose a lot of weight. Too much, in the hub's opinion, but I don't agree.
A flash of yellow glimmered in among all my dresses. It was the bridesmaid dress from my best friend's wedding almost 5 years ago. I shook my head in disbelief that it was already approaching 5 years. That was such a fun week. Unfortunately, a combination of Xanax for the stress and an open bar caused me to totally flunk my maid of honor speech. She had 2 maids of honor and of course Liz's speech was rehearsed, coherent and perfect. I, on the other hand, was a total blubbering mess. My best friend still teases me for it now. I actually had a couple of people tell me afterwards that it was the most heartfelt speech they had heard. I only wish I could remember what I had said. Then again, maybe it is better I don't remember.
I turned to the right and saw a few of the shirts I wore during my last pregnancy hanging there. Not maternity shirts, but long stretchy shirts that I paired with leggins. My baby will be a year old in just over a week. My mind wandered back to when I found out I was expecting. The hubs had just had back surgery, and unbeknownst to me was going though withdrawals off the Dilauded he had been taking. Word of advise, don't break any big news to someone who is in the throws of withdrawals off drugs. Seriously. You would have thought the world was coming to an end. Thankfully, a few days later he took the news much better. Of course we couldn't imagine not having her now, but it was definitely a stressful time for us.
I was about to turn to leave, when I saw the dress I wore to the courthouse to marry my love. Short, spaghetti straps, white. I chuckled when I thought about that "wedding". It was probably the quickest ceremony in the history of ceremonies. It was August 3, 2012. We had the hubby's twins for the week. First my daughter came down with the flu. Then the following day it was my son, the next day was the first twin and Thursday was the second twin. I dubbed the photo album on my Facebook page Four Sick Kids and a Wedding. They looked miserable. Pale with dark circles under their eyes. It was the only chance we had to do it with all of them there, and that was the most important thing to us. We stood in the little 8x8 room with the cheap beach-themed decorations, kids sitting on a bench to our right, as the officiant spouted off the usual "do you take this man/woman" vows. I cried, we kissed, we signed the license and that was it. We were ushered out as another couple was ushered in.
As I turned off the light and closed the door behind me, I decided that I wasn't going to clean out my closet just yet. Sure, I may practically live my "mommy clothes", soft, comfortable, stretchy, but I never realized how many memories were housed in there. It is like a scrapbook of my life and important events.
While I may no longer wear those things, I'm not yet ready to let go of the moments in my life that they represent.