Black Linen

Getting rid of clothes … it’s not easy.  There’s the issue of whether they fit, of course; but there too, it’s then a reflection of “I may yet fit into this” or in my case, having lost weight “I may get fat again and need this.”

Which, when it comes to my black linen  (pants and shirt) I just can’t see —  they’re just too large for me.  Linen is of course comfortable, but it is a real pain to maintain — I am horrible at ironing, so I send anything that needs to look pressed out; and those prices have been increasing.  I understand; labor costs money.  But will I get $6.00 worth of enjoyment out of a clean pressed linen shirt?  I don’t think so.

For them to once again approach anything stylish they would need to be altered — and then they never do look right, especially if you take off too many inches .  And that would be money … which I don’t know if I would value as in the past I have spent money to get things altered only to realize I’ve never worn them again since the lie of the fabric isn’t right or the pants-pockets have shifted or some other issue.  Or simply that they’re just no longer fashionable.

I worry far less about what truly is “fashionable” than I did when I was younger; I think it is also that I no longer imagine myself in certain spots while wearing said clothing.

But it is tough getting rid of clothes that you’ve worn to certain events or during certain times of your life; it then brings up the idea that will you still be that person?  Are you ready to cast out that person, that event, the thing you did in these clothes?  I wore the black linen pants to a Sade concert; it was an excellent show.  I’d liked her music really the first time I heard it — in Canada of all places.

And so at some level the pants represent a Sade concert-going person; a grown up with erudite tastes.  Who knows to wear Brooks Brothers black linen trousers when attending such events.  On the other I don’t really go to any more large concerts — I used to all the time but I just don’t see the value for the money in them any more with hassles of security and hundreds of dollars for tickets, only to find out they want five dollars for a bottle of water.

The shirt I remember wearing in Paris and getting misplaced (I am rarely lost; after all I am always where I am) on the Left Bank, after having one of those long multi-course lunches one used to have in Paris and I suppose some people still do.  Why I recall that it was this shirt I’m not sure, but maybe even when I bought it I thought it would be the perfect thing to wear should I find myself in Paris on afternoon.  Anyway we figured out where we were and decided to go to the Islamic Center which had a fascinating exhibit on Moroccan pottery;  because of course I’m someone who wears a black linen shirt to a long lunch in Paris and then sees an exhibit of Moroccan pottery.  And I’d like to think I still am but that I don’t need the black linen shirt to do those things.

So I took these down to my Salvation Army on 23rd Street and when I walked in to drop them off, the woman who was handling donations was listening to Cheryl Lynn’s “Shake It Up Tonight” so I complemented her on her musical choice, took a receipt, left  and did some grocery shopping.


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