Wednesday, February 20, 2008

37 *

Living in DC, you'd think everyone would have all the federal holidays off. Not so for me and my fair fellow employees slaving away at CSE. We are working away every Columbus Day, each year on Veteran's Day, and never have the chance to plan a fun day out on Arbor Day. But by some stroke of luck, we were actually granted President's Day off this year. I suppose since I live fairly close to where a few of them have lived, I should have spent the day out honoring the Presidents, or at least making a stop by the Giant Sharpened Pencil in the Sky and said thanks to George the First for, well, being the first and stuff. Instead, I spent the day doing my three favorite activities: going to the early movie at E Street (Persepolis!), cooking up a storm, and cleaning.

For the last 7 years, I have moved at least two times a year. This gave me an excellent opportunity to be constantly going through things, cleaning out the closet, making room for new things, re-organizing the ever growing pile of shoes, etc. I've never had to actually plan a spring cleaning - it conveniently was the same time I needed to pack up from school and head home. After moving out to DC, I've been bouncing around a bit, and in my first year, moved 4 times. Each time I have to pack, I re-evaluate how much of this stuff I really need to keep (or rather carry...again) for the new place. But for the past 15 months, I have not moved once. It's a little mind boggling that I've found the ability to suppress my Moving-ADD habit this long. And from the looks of my closet, my lack of mobility has caused great havoc on my tendency to keep things long past their shelf life.

I attacked my closet Monday afternoon, first going for the fun stuff (I literally tried on every tank top, jean, sweater, and any 'questionable' article of clothing I own and pretended Stacey and Clinton were there with me), then dove into the more difficult stuff (how many pairs of brown pants do I need to own? Am I too young to have items for a costume box already because some of this stuff is hilariously bad...) and then my most difficult cleaning project of all - my shoes.

I love shoes. Seriously. I. LOVE. SHOES. Shoes can make an outfit. Shoes are the most fun way to accessorize. Shoes bring in a pop of color to an otherwise conservative/modest/dull outfit. Shoes, unlike your favorite jeans or lucky top, always fit. With all this said, and as much as it pains me to admit it, my shoe collection is a little out of control. I bought a lot of shoes last year. I wouldn't go so far as to say I bought too many shoes last year, but we teetered on the line of a full blown addiction for a while. I've tried to enforce the rule of throwing out one pair of shoes each time I buy a new pair (or two), but it's hard to say good bye to the favorites. Yes, those ridiculous pink sneakers give me blisters and make my toes bleed, but I had such a FUN time in those in Georgetown. Oh those old brown sandals I wore my first summer in Hell even though they were against the dress code but I received many compliments on my self-pedicures. Am I ready to let go of the memories and let these shoes walk into someone else's life?

In a word, yes. It's time. I have a hanging shoe organizer, a double stacked shoe shelf plus floor space and the shoes are still being double stacked and forced in. It was time to let go.

After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I parted with almost a dozen pairs of shoes. When all was said and done, I recounted my precious collection and was astonished to have it down to a reasonable level - 37 pairs of shoes. Everything fits, every pair has it's place of honor, and amazingly enough, I even have a little room to grow.

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