For as long as I can remember, I have lived my life in a state of “organized clothing chaos”. I’ve spent a quarter of my life in a frenzy, searching for something to wear! I continuously try on the same clothes that never… ever manage to fit. My sizes go up…and then they go down, only to go back up once again! It’s enough to drive a person mad! Looking into my walk-in closet…and then both closets in the spare bedrooms, one might think it would be easy to find SOMETHING to put on! It isn’t. You see, portly people hoard clothes….it’s a sickness… yes, but one that is on the rise!
I have an explanation for my disorder, as I am sure all of you will understand. First, you hang on to the outfits you once loved, even though they are old, ugly and out of style; these are the things you pranced around in ten years ago, when you were at your smallest. On the other end of the spectrum, you must also hold on to the absolute largest pair of pants you were ever forced to wear. You do this, just in case you ever make one of those Weight Loss commercials posing for the camera, proud and smiling and standing in a single pant leg. In the back of your mind, you also recall the holiday feeding frenzy you endured last winter when you gained 17 pounds and were convinced you might be headed for those “fat” pants once again. The utter embarrassment of having to buy pants in such an enormous size causes enough anxiety to keep them folded and up on the closet shelf. With those outfits as your anchors at each end of the size spectrum, you have everything imaginable in every conceivable size hanging there in between. “What if I go up you say and better yet…what if I go back down? What on earth will I wear if I throw everything out?” You voice this knowing that a decrease in size and a big loss on the scale is indeed “just cause” for another celebratory shopping spree!! This shopping binge always includes just a “few clearance items” that aren’t really your size…but will be, one day! Ahhh, and yet, another addition to your collection.
There is that one item that always seems to fit… SHOES! Big or small, like Cinderella, I can always find a pair of shoes that slide on my foot! This is why I have 6 totes of shoes in my basement. I have literally, hundreds of pairs, many still in the box. When I was at my heftiest size, it gave me eternal comfort to be able to walk into any store and ask the clerk to bring me a size 7. This was the one, single purchase that allowed me the dignity of feeling normal and not finding it necessary to whisper my size.
I suppose the saddest part of my woeful tale is the simple fact that locating something comfortable to wear from my massive collection of clothing is such an overwhelming chore, that I find myself wearing the same 4 shirts and my favorite pair of jeans, day after day…week after week. It is a vicious cycle indeed that I find myself immersed in. Yes….my name is Alana and I am a hoarder.