I gave away my favorite pants by accident last week. It was bound to happen. When I’m cleaning the closet in a self-righteous Spring-induced charitable mood, things move fast.
I piled clothes on the bed in categories: Things I don’t wear, new things I wish I’d never bought, (A hanging price tag is a reproach) and the biggest bunch of all, things that don’t fit anymore.
While bundling all of this together to donate to the Family Service Thrift Store, I spotted a blouse that was a maybe – a great color – it might still work. Better try it on before giving up on it. I grabbed my favorite sleek black pants from the closet and put on the blouse. Nope, still not a fit.
So, two giant armloads of clothes into the back seat and two giant armloads of clothes dropped off, and I went about my other errands.
Next day I went to the closet for my favorite pants and they weren’t there. You can see where this is headed. Back to the thrift store. Since they were nowhere in the house, that’s where they were likely to be. I had delivered my custom tailored pants for resale and not on purpose. Who does something that dumb?
A lot of people do, judging from the reaction of the volunteers at the thrift shop. I’m happy to buy them back, I said. They were sorry, but they had already tagged last week’s merchandise, which was now hanging in the store. Just go out there and find them.
There was half a hope my pants would still be in the store. I’m a tough fit – very long legs. Those pants wouldn’t interest just anybody. I looked. I’d know my pants anywhere, and they weren’t on the racks. Already sold. I started to grieve immediately. A woman and her favorite black pants – that’s a serious relationship.
Not only did I not get a chance to say goodbye, not only did I not leave them on purpose, but because they’ve now left me and moved on to another owner, they seem so much more important in retrospect. I tell myself it’s best to let go of the past, forget I ever knew them. But I know I won’t. Every time I pass a woman with long legs wearing sleek black pants with a certain fit, I’ll do a double-take. Because by now, of course, those pants have become, in memory, the best pants in the whole world and I am convinced I’ll never love any other pants again in exactly the same way.
Ó By Anita Garner