Coats...it must be in my DNA
So, for those who’ve been curious and who’ve been asking – the decluttering, mass exodus of items from the Romano household is continuing.
After about a week’s reprieve so that I could focus on the Whitley County EXPOsed and other goings-on, we’re back at it here. Today we tackled the coat closet and the unfortunate overflow of coats, mittens, hats and scarves to various other regions around the house. What a mess! I just know this coat collecting is a genetic thing. It’s from Grandma Main. When she lived at the old house on Camden Drive in Fort Wayne, she had a hall closet probably three times larger than mine – filled with coats. Fantastic coats. Nearby, there was a full length mirror to look at yourself wearing the coats and it was always fun to get in that closet and try them on. She’s always been a very glamorous, fashionable lady – so marveling at her coat collection was among my favorite things to do on a rainy day at her house. I can still smell the scent of soup on the stove, hear the great sound of rain on her roof and imagine myself flinging open the doors of the massive coat closet and rummaging around inside there. Even the closet had a great smell – a mixture of her perfume and wool, I think. There were wool coats, rain coats, lightweight jackets, 3/4 length jackets, jackets with 3/4 length sleeves, fur coats, fur-trims, plaid, bright colors, you name it and it was in there.
My favorite coat of all time in that closet was this mist blue leather coat with big buttons. It was trimmed in grey fur with white tips and probably dated from sometime in the 1960s. It was beautiful. I think my sister may have it now. It’s not necessarily the kind of coat I can imagine anyone wearing – except maybe a movie star with blonde, perfectly coifed hair.
Some of the coats I decided to donate today were among those hanging in the closet back in the days when I enjoyed digging around in there. I’ve enjoyed having them, but I haven’t really worn them. One green rain slicker, when I put it on today, elicited screwed up eyebrows from the males in my house – and an assurance that I should not wear that jacket or anything like that jacket ever. So, I put it in the bin. I lovely grey wool coat, which I just loved when I was in high school, also went into the bin. Several jackets I remember wearing on rainy adventures in Scotland also went into the bin. A lot of memories tied to jackets, I guess. But, like I said, the coat obsession came from my grandma.
I decided that it would probably be easier to part with these coats while she’s still alive. I have sentimental attachments to certain things and I’ve realized the hard way that it’s easier to get rid of things you associate with people you love while they’re still alive rather than after they’re gone. I have quite a few things that make me think of my mom, articles of her clothing, and getting rid of those just isn’t very easy to do. She didn’t really have sentimental attachments to things herself, so it helps me to think of her when I’ve been forcing myself to part with things I don’t really need to have around anymore. She’d probably laugh at me and say, “Jen, just get rid of it!”
I’m also finding things that I know other people will appreciate. In the coat closet today, I came across the little black leather jacket Jamee wore as a little guy. It sure will look cute on my twin nephews in a couple of years. I also found the brown and pink polka dotted corduroy jacket and matching beret we bought for Mahri when she was about age two. She was adorable in that jacket and I just know my niece, Eleanor, will be as well.
Speaking of my genetic pre-disposition to certain things...did I mention shoes? Yes, I see that hurdle up on the horizon. It is time to cut the shoe collection in half...at least. No, friends, I will not be parting with the lime green, fuzzy wedge sandals with the rhinestones! Not a chance!
I think we’re going to make a serious dent in the cleanup process around here over the next three days while everyone is on spring break. Keep asking me how it’s going and wish me luck! This is a surprisingly life-changing, liberating process.