Sunday, 3 August 2008

Rant My Garments

I hate clothing. I hate shopping for it, I hate washing it, folding it, putting it away. (There´s no way in hell I´m ever going to iron it again in this lifetime, so help me God!) I do not dislike wearing clothes. I just hate dealing with them when they are not on my body.

The past couple of days have been chaotic and overwhelming, and like the crippled old wardrobes that lean crazily against our bedroom walls, piles of unworn clothing lie at the bottom of it all.

While we´ve worked hard and had some success at organizing the rest of The Peaceable, the big bedroom where Paddy and I sleep is the last holdout of the Living Out of Cardboard Boxes period of our lives.

In piles tall and short are fat winter duvets, pretty quilts, American sheets that don´t fit Spanish mattresses, curtains that don´t fit any window known to man, gym shorts that would get me arrested, pants the color of a robin´s egg, nice skirts and jackets I used to wear to the office, thick wool sweaters, a dozen winter hats and scarves (the dogs have hidden all the gloves in the barn), doilies, tablecloths, a Goodfellas-worthy pinstripe suit, beautiful silk scarves, and several hundred unmatched socks. Much of this came over from America more than a year ago.

Most of it is useless here. We both wear the same four or five simple outfits, over and over. The rest is just silly.

So sorting through all these clothes and fabrics is overwhelming and depressing. Where should it all go? What do we do with it? Why do we have these things?

They don´t have closets in Spain, at least not in 500-year-old former cattle sheds. People here have old-fashioned wardrobes to hang their jackets and dresses in, and dressers for their folding clothes. When we moved in we found three huge, cheaply-made old wardrobes in the house. We put some of our stuff in them, and as the house evolved we shifted the wardrobes from garage to barn to house again. They did not take it well. Their veneer peeled. Their legs buckled. Their latches let go and they spilled their innards onto the floor. (Believe me, I know how they felt.)

So off we went to Oviedo Ikea (again), me and Paddy. We set up ground rules first. We agreed not to speak unnecessarily to one another until we finished shopping and arrived at the sushi place for our reward. We drove over the mountains on the expensive toll road (“Way too much scenery up here,” Paddy grumbled, breaking the rules), and the toll-taker who welcomed us to the Autonomous Community of Asturias short-changed us by 5 Euro. It was not an auspicious start.

We managed. Two cartloads of wardrobes, enough to fill an entire wall of our big bedroom, as well as needful household items with amusing names like Lersta, Spamvörk, and Söt Barnsvig. We squeezed it all into the Kangoo, but only by having Paddy ride in the jump-seat in the back.

We finally got to the Japanese restaurant. It was closed.

Anyway… clothes.

Back here at The Peaceable, we wrestled the giant wardrobe boxes into the bedroom, where I spent my weekend. I assembled, disassembled, dissembled, cursed and swore, and finally, ta-daa! Two Liksvek Aspelunds!

To make room for the new we had to move the blanket chests and the lurid old wardrobe we´ve been using. To make room for the old we had to move the dresser from the Apple Green room into the hallway. The upstairs bathroom is full of boxes and bags of clothes and shoes, and two baskets of clean clothes are still waiting downstairs. We have to assign everything a drawer, a hanger, or a hiding-place, and put it there. It is hateful and boring, but when it is finished I won´t have to do it all again. At least until the next round of laundry.

I hate clothing. Shoes, too. And Ikea. And sheets.


Melinda said...

Rebekah, Thank you for the deep belly laughs reading your truly simpatico post. Since returning from the Camino this spring I've been promising to finally go through the overstuffed closets and unburden myself of the repressed chaos hiding there - still promising to do it - but have to deal with the everyday (which turns into everyweek) laundry first (agh! help!).

Always inspired by your adventures within adventures...


Ryan said...

When you can't purge, go to IKEA, that's the way! I'm just catching up on your blog - hoping it will put me in the mind set to write. I always love reading what you have to say.

Glad to hear things with this situation turned out as well as they might have. I still say throw away or pass off anything and everything you haven't touched in the last year.

God bless IKEA.