Friday, January 6, 2012


Why do I save paper napkins? Every morning I save the one I wrap around my toasted bagel so I can bring the bagel downstairs to my desk with my coffee. But later in the day, I don't throw the napkin out. I fold it and bring it back upstairs for tomorrow's bagel.

I save comfortable stretched-out panties -- some with un-elastic elastic and rips in the fabric -- my God -- some are maybe 15 years old! And I save bobby pins. I don't know why. After I use them, I put them back in a bobby pin box.

Why do I wear the black warm-ups that I bought 20 years ago in LA ? They're worn thin in spots; they don't keep my legs warm; I have to wear an elastic waist band to keep them up, but THEM I wear -- NOT the brand-new, well-fitting, tailored looking but similar warm up pants I bought last winter? I bought three pairs. I never wear them.

Why do I prefer my old things? Am I a penny-pincher?

Is it the syndrome of the housewife with the fancy parlor which she never uses, only uses if she's entertaining very special high-falutin' guests?

Uh oh... I think I'm beginning to understand this use old things syndrome.

I see it when my husband wraps the last bite of his steak in Saran Wrap. I see it in his closet that's crammed with shoes, jackets, pants, and shirts he no longer wears -- some of these things are former "best outfits." Also underwear. He's got about 10 unopened packages of shorts piled in one of his dresser drawers.

Furthermore, he compares prices when he shops, checking "ounces" in a package or a can, dividing it by the price.

I scoff at him, but perceive that it's the same as my saving paper, bobby pins, and panties. I think I should take all my old panties and his old jockey shorts -- throw them out! Today, immediately -- stop typing this post -- go upstairs and do it!

But ... no. I can't do it. A part of me thinks that all this has to do with time passing, the sense of aging, of you, yourself wearing out. You're comparison shopping yourself with younger folks because the old things in your closet are aspects of YOU that are no longer useful. And throwing them out ... well, throwing them out is ... well, it isn't death, but it IS preparing for the end of your life and throwing bits of you out.

Let's laugh. It's so typical, so common.

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