Self-Forced Shirt Toss

March 29, 2008

After doing the trash last week I walked to the bedroom with the intention to pick one T-shirt to toss. I had been thinking I have too many T-shirts, many of which I do not wear. I pulled them all out and could not pick one right away. Perfectly good shirts, some with memories attached. One really old one I was keeping only for the design printed on it, never to wear. I cut the design out of this one and tossed the shirt.

Also I got rid of a souvenir shirt that my mother gave to me decades ago as a joke (the design was a slightly humiliating comment on my behavior). I disliked the mockery of the shirt, but always kept it because it fit me and was a durable shirt that lasted all this time. I pulled hard at the collar to see if it would rip, but it didn’t. Really a well-made shirt! But it was my oldest one and it went out. Tossing it felt odd, like saying goodbye to a familiar friend. Maybe I felt that because I had it for so long? I really can feel resistance to discarding things and irrational attachment to them, but after they’re gone I don’t really miss them.

That reminds me of an old pair of boots that was one of the first things to go when I started to get rid of things. I wore these boots all the time every day and these were getting in bad shape. Replacement shoes were bought, but putting these super-comfortable boots in the trash was one of the hardest things ever. More than once during the night and the next morning I thought about taking them back out of the trash. But I stuck to my decision and forced myself to drive past the trashcan on my way to work. Now, years later I remember how comfortable they were, but don’t miss the worn-out shoes with splitting soles.

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