Every year, my husband gives me pajamas for Christmas. He started this tradition when we were dating, and I find it incredibly sweet that once a year, he girds his manloins and heads to Victoria’s Secret for me. He thinks that’s the only place on the planet that sells women’s pajamas.
This year’s pajamas are particularly comfortable. They’re like long underwear, and I’ve worn them approximately 120 hours in the week since I received them. These jams manage to make me feel sporty, comfortable, warm, and svelte, all at the same time. My Guy for the jammification win!
So, my week of jammified comfort left me ill-prepared for finding an appropriate outfit for New Year’s Eve. We were meeting friends for dinner at a nice-but-not too-nice restaurant. I knew that if I were a guy, I’d wear slacks, a shirt, and a sweater. Basically, I’d dress like my dad because he always looks appropriate.
But I’m a woman. Dammit.
So, I stood in our freezing-cold closet and attempted to cobble together an outfit that was nice but not “I’m 22 and headed out to the bars.” Something that was a bit more festive than I’d usually wear, but not trying too hard.
I looked at my dress pants. Some of them were literally dusty. Now that I no longer work for The Man, my days are spent in jeans and yoga pants and the fleece pants that My Guy and I lovingly refer to as “couch pants.” But for a very chilly New Year’s Eve, I figured that dress pants might be just the ticket.
So, the dress pants I bought 10 years ago don’t really fit anymore.
They fit, but they create a slight muffin top that’s kind of a confidence crusher.
The last two and a half months, I’ve been working out like I’ve never worked out before. Not working out like a madwoman, but just working out beyond just hitting the treadmill. I haven’t lost weight, but I’m fitter. I’m gaining muscle. And I’m thinking that maybe that number on the scale is just what I’m supposed to weigh, since all roads seem to lead back to the same number all the time.
But I have a closet that has lots of clothes that are … a little off. They’re from a previous life when I was 10 pounds lighter, 10 years younger, and living a life that isn’t at all where I am today.
So, last night, freezing in my unheated closet and trying to figure out what I could wear to dinner besides my ever-present pajamas, it occurred to me that I could cull my closet. I could donate those clothes that are no longer just right. They could be a blessing to someone else.
But that would mean admitting that the part of my life those clothes belonged to is really, truly over. It would mean announcing that yes, I wear t-shirts and torn jeans and am no longer the type of woman who wears dress pants, even on special occasions.
Truth be told, I never really liked wearing dress pants. But they just seemed so grown-up. It was like trying on being a fancy, corporate lady. Like being Day-to-Night Barbie.
I’m not a fancy, corporate lady. And I’m so much happier now that I’m not trying to be. It looks like my new year’s realization is that it’s time to hand off the dress-pants baton.
I threw on a favorite dress, purple tights and a pink sweater that totally didn’t go together but made me happy, and called it good. Because, as Bill Murray chanted in that famous scene from “Meatballs,” IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER.