Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rethinking Old Traditions

When I was younger I remember going shopping each fall for that years winter coat. It signaled the change of season, that Thanksgiving and Christmas weren't too far away, and neither were the breaks from school.
Grandma would take me to the store and I would try on various jackets and coats, picking out the perfect piece of outerwear for the season and I would generally be able to talk Grandma into getting me a couple of sweaters as well. After our shopping expedition, Grandma and I would go out to lunch before heading home. It was a ritual that most frequently just Grandma and I - something I looked forward to each year.
Now that I'm an adult and responsible for purchasing my own wardrobe, its a ritual that I've kept up for myself. Each year, right around Halloween, I usually start shopping around for a new winter coat or jacket. Some years I get something a little funky, some years I get something more basic and sensible. Some years I've gotten coats that were completely different than the previous years. Some years I've gotten a coat that was almost identical to the prior years purchase.
A couple weeks ago, my sister called me asking if I had any old clothing that I would be willing to donate to a new resident at her rehab house. A few nights before a new woman had joined their home and had come in with only the clothing on her back and she didn't have any family in the area to bring her clothing - it would be about 3 weeks before they would be able to come to Northern California and bring her anything.
It was perfect timing, really. I had just been thinking that I needed to go through my closets and dressers and clean out the clothing that either no longer fit, or that I just didn't wear anymore. I was debating between washing everything and putting it aside for a yard sale next spring, or just dropping it all off at the Goodwill. Between the options available, I decided that I would much rather give the clothing to women who are making genuine efforts to improving themselves, and who could use the items more.
In the midst of going through all of my clothing I realized exactly how many coats and jackets I have - its an insane amount. Even after taking FOUR coats up there, I still have at least SIX coats and jackets in my closets. Absolutely insane. I realized then that I have ZERO need to purchase a winter coat this year. I may never need to purchase a winter coat ever again. How much money have I spent on winter outerwear in the past few years? And how frequently do I wear each of those pieces? Not often enough to justify them all. Certainly not enough to justify buying another one this year.
However, I did still online browse this years options. This time, I did not purchase any and since I knew I would not be making any purchases I paid no attention to price. These were some of my favorites....

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