At this very moment, I have hanging in my closet a really nice fleece jacket. It’s the kind that zips into an outer waterproof shell and creates what Columbia Sportswear once termed a “clothing system” but now calls an “interchange”. In other words, I once had a super-dee-duper winter parka. The time it got washed with three crayons hidden in Biggest pants’ pocket only heightened the jacket’s awesomeness? I mean, what jacket wouldn’t be improved with subtle blue, green and red streaks all over it? But right now, I only have the fleece insert hanging in my hall closet. Why? Because somewhere out there, in the wild blue yonder, is the shell to my winter parka.
No, no one stole my jacket, although somebody probably got it for a steal. Because it appears I have donated it to charity.
It was one of those train-wrecks-disguised-as-a-good-idea moments and it goes like this:
Back at the start of June, Mister Soandso and I had some out-of-town guests and the four of us went to the beach for the weekend. Being the Oregon coast, the weather was crappy and the forecast was for no better. Both Mister Soandso and I took our best rain gear along for the trip. However, our guests needed some appropriate attire (scuba gear would have worked well, in hind sight!) so we stopped at a Columbia Sportswear store so they could shop to their heart’s content. Which meant that both Mister Soandso and I picked up a few things as well.
In the hullabaloo of packing to return home, some stuff just got put back into the Columbia Sportswear shopping bag for the return trip. That bag sat in my laundry room for a bit, then got carried to this room and that room, you get the picture. The important part to grasp here is that I don’t actually know what all was in that bag. I just remember seeing my shell in there.
Well, a few weeks ago, I decided that there was just too much stuff in my house and I started an honest-to-goodness purging campaign. At least once a week I try to drop off a bag or two of stuff at my nearby Goodwill. It is simply amazing how many tee-shirts three children can outgrow, not to mention all the other stuff a family of five accumulates.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not an actual hoarder. Its just that the acquisition syndrome sneaks into your house one day when you’re not looking and then goes wild. A Twitter friend of mine, Sandra Wickham, encourages folks to get rid of one thing every day as a way to lighten the load in your home. It is a great idea and one I’ve been doing with relish. However, here is where that mystery bag comes into play.
The other day I looked for it. Really looked so I could finally put the dang jacket in the hall closet with its fleece. And I can’t find it. Anywhere. I have looked all about the house and the dang thing is gone. And I’m pretty sure I know where it is.
Yep, I’m guessing that in the decluttering fervor, more things got put into the bag and the whole shooting match was dropped off at Goodwill.
Which leads me to this point. What else was in the bag?
My imagination is running wild. Shoes? Socks? A pair of undies? We have no idea. But an even more pressing question is this: what was in my pockets? A receipt from the grocery store? A used kleenex? A tampon? A fifty dollar bill?
I have no idea but the options are driving me nearly insane.
So take it from me, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry via a decluttering fervor and a careless trip to the Goodwill. So go on, get rid of one thing. But make sure you know what’s in the bag before you drop it off.