Monday, March 14, 2011

When Is It Time to Let Go?

So I have this shirt. It's been with me for a long time - through many years, houses (and a boat), it has lived on my shoulders, cocooned me at night. It has a pithy quote from an early feminist! It's getting really funky.
Try as I might, I find it really hard to let some things go. I don't think it's a unique problem. There are material objects that we cling to because they remind us of another time...a simpler, younger, less complicated time. Whether it's a trophy collecting dust in a corner or a box full of VHS tapes, these are the things that have a special place in our hearts and otherwise just take up a lot of space.
So how do you choose to let things go? I have had a lot of experience with this question. I lived on a sailboat for almost 5 years, and we had about 90 square feet. That's it. So there was a long process of paring down to get to that tiny space. Furniture? Nope. With the exception of a cedar-lined chest my husband created back in the wooing-me days, everything went to friends, neighbors or whoever came to the corner and took it away (it was amazing to see what people thought they'd find useful). Kitchen utensils were sparse - no microwave, toaster, blender - we had two cast iron pans and one saucepan. Clothes were mercilessly disposed of, and we buried a "treasure chest" of knick-knacks in Golden Gate Park (but that's another story altogether).
Somehow, this t-shirt made it through. It must be 15 years old. I cut the neck out long ago for comfort. It's been washed probably at least 4 times. Kidding! Maybe 400. It has holes in the back and lots of coffee stains and no longer stays on my shoulders. In short, it is now less t-shirt than tube top. A baggy tube-top, which is not really functional.
I think it might be time for it to go to the big rag pile in the sky. Goodbye, sweet shirt, goodbye.

Holes and more holes you can see through other holes


  1. It was a great shirt. Maybe you could keep the feminist quote and patch it onto something?

  2. Keep It! It's a priceless memento!! Think of the memories it holds!! Keep It!! :-} :-}