Thursday, September 14, 2006

Magical Thinking

It was Christmas in September at my place last night. That's because I went on an on-line shopping binge last week. I was after clothes that fit.

Because, you see, clothing shrinks on the hanger.

I know this for a fact. I used to have a closet full of wonderful Brooks Brothers suits, most of which I acquired in the 1980's, when I worked on Wall Street. Then I went through a bad patch, "the dark years" as I call them, and when I came out of the other side of that, well, wouldn't you know it, every one of those damned expensive suits had SHRUNK on the hangers. Probably from years of neglect and lack of use. They withered away, like the Velveteen Rabbit, from lack of love.

Eventually those turncoat rags all wound up being dumped at the Salvation Army clothing depot in beautiful, downtown, Trenton, New Jersey. Trenton now has the best-dressed homeless men in the mid-Atlantic region.

The dress shirts went, too. About 30 of them. All white, of course. Working on Wall Street had been like working for IBM or the Catholic Church. Everybody dressed alike. The only concession to individuality was in the choice of ties. That eventually spawned a whole industry making "power ties" for the power brokers wno worked on Wall Street. Anyway, I kept the power ties, but the shirts had all shrunk, too. Even though they weren't on hangers but were, instead, boxed and starched. Just the way I like 'em. But it was clear that 15 1/2" necks were no longer operative in my life.

So, thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good, albeit slightly past its prime, clothing went to charity, and I started buying stuff from that most magical of places, Land's End.

Anyway, my point is, that clothes shrinkage is a slippery slope. Once you acknowledge that it has happened, it seems to happen again, even more quickly than the first time. It gathers speed and worsens every time. By now I've reached a point where shrinkage is occuring from season to season. Last year's winter trousers have, inconceivably, shrunk a full size from the last time I wore them, causing my gut to push my belt over into the "90 degree" position. How embarrassing! Donning last year's loose-fitting shirts is suddenly like strapping myself into straight-jackets on loan from Bellevue.

Well, last week I'd finally had enough. So I paid (yet) another visit to my old friend, Mr. Land's End On-Line, and dropped (yet another) couple of hundred bucks on some new threads.

When will this madness end? To whom do I have to talk about this rampant plague of clothing shrinkage? WHY DOESN'T SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT????

Because it's somebody's fault, dammit, and it's certainly not mine!


Bev Sykes said...

Don't talk to ME about clothing shrinkage, fella! It's really bad when you can't squeeze into your size 2XX muumuu.

Alan said...

hmmm. I have a different problem, sort of. I have clothes in a range of sizes, many of which seem to have grown too big for me. I also have Way too many clothes. Although I gave away tons of clothes before abandoning my old apartment, including most all of Joel's things I still have literally more clothes than can be jammed into the two closets in this apartment and we are literally awash in clothes (though many of the clothes are Not in fact washed-- we are almost too broke to do laundry and it's not like we could run out of things to wear any year soon ;)

JoyZeeBoy said...


You've inspired me! I'm going to do a blog on the subject of


Hugs Bro'