Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Shopping!

Yesterday I hosted a smashingly successful Clothing Exchange.

I e-mailed the girls in the English Department and invited everyone to clean out their closets, bring any clothes/shoes/accessories they were tired of wearing, and come over to my house for mimosas and a clothing exchange. I went through my own closet after Christmas and was relentless about getting rid of things. Difficult for me! That stuff has been sitting in the garage, waiting to be donated and seemed like a perfect excuse to have a party.

There were ten of us all together and we piled everything onto my dining room table and a few chairs and then commenced digging through the clothes, grabbing things to try on, recommending things to other people to try on, and then modeling the clothes that worked. There were no tug-of-war fights (let's face it, we're all grad students and our clothes just aren't that great). And there were ranges of sizes so that if something didn't fit someone, it might fit someone else and everyone was generous and agreeable. Plus if one found something she really liked, it could be quietly tucked away in her bag and no one would fight her for it!

It only took a couple of hours to get through everything, and it was fun to hang out and get new stuff and not spend any money. I made my Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs, which were a HUGE hit. (Recipe available in This World's Very Magnificent Cookbook. Only now as I typed that did I just realize that the title of that recipe book matches all the siblings' last names. I was oblivious. How funny.) This is the recipe that won a kids' cooking contest in the late '80s or maybe 1990 and it still delivers.

It's true that today I have experienced a pang over a sweater that I donated and would *maybe* like to have back, but I know that it has gone to a good home with my friend Anna. And I hadn't worn it in over a year... I also got a couple of useful and cute things out of the exchange -- a button down white shirt, a pair of cute canvas flats that were half a size too small for someone else. Of course, when it was all said and done, we still had a lot of stuff left over (dressy sandals dyed apple red size 6/12, anyone?). The idea of loading up my car with all this stuff and dragging it somewhere seemed daunting, so I just scheduled an online pick-up with the Vietnam Veterans Association. They will be coming over tomorrow to get everything and then I will feel very satisfied about decluttering my life, gaining a couple shirts and a pair of flats out of it, and donating to charity. And it didn't cost a thing!

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