Major Wardrobe Malfunction
By Elaine Viets
At four in the morning, we were awakened by a thundering crash. I thought burglars had broken down the front door.
Don leaped up to investigate. The cat crawled under the bed.
The cat had the sensible response.
My closet had come crashing down. Shelves piled with shoes, plus two twelve-foot poles jammed with clothes landed in a heap on the floor. The anchor screws had pulled out of the wall. Make that anchor screw, singular. A bit of metal the length of my pinkie nail was supporting half a ton of clothes.
This arrangement had defied the laws of physics and gravity for four years.
My closet was the creation of our condo’s previous owner, a DIY-er who should have dialed a pro to do his repairs. I’ll call him Dale, because what I really want to call him can’t be printed here.
Dale the DIY guy "fixed" a worn spot on a $10 toilet seat with Wite-Out. He repaired the broken chain in the toilet tank with duct tape. Dale installed a monster brass-bladed fan that wobbled, kitchen wiring that smoked, and a maze of plastic pipes that clogged. When we were out of town.
It took about three thousand dollars to undo Dale’s DIY.
We thought we’d caught everything Dale did himself – until my closet crashed and I faced a mountain of suits, shoes, shirts and pants. I hadn’t worn about half of them in years. I knew I’d put them on again . . . some day. After I lost five pounds. Or ten. Er, twenty.
Okay, the truth. When the Saudis invite the Israelis over for a pig roast, I’ll wear those clothes.
After the closet crash, I found outfits from the 1980s, the ugliest era in fashion history, except the 1970s. I unearthed rhinestone scarves and a freaking catsuit, which was in style for exactly six seconds. What was I doing with a catsuit? Channeling Emma Peel?
As I went through the wardrobe wreckage, I searched for the reason why these things were in my closet.
People claim Claritin is a harmless antihistamine, but I know better. It’s a mind-altering drug. Why else would I buy an orange satin blouse? And that freaking catsuit? It wasn’t even Halloween.
(2) I have a multiple personality disorder
That explains why serious suits, respectable casual clothes and T-shirts with slogans suitable for church picnics are side-by-side with belts covered with fake jewels and enough bling for a rap concert.
(3) The dress stores brainwashed me
Thanks to soft lighting and sweet-talking saleswomen, I own a cerise silk sweater with knitted-in shoulder pads. And a mustard-yellow blouse that makes me look jaundiced.
It was only after I got home that I saw myself as I truly am – a woman with seriously ugly threads.
The closet crash made me face reality. I can no longer close my eyes to these horrors. They will not magically erase themselves. I must face reality. I made some expensive mistakes and now I have to correct them.
I spent the weekend sorting through the rubble. The designer clothes went to a resale shop. The rest went to Goodwill, where they will be yet another burden for the poor.
And I swear on the ghost of Coco Chanel that I will never, ever buy any more weird, expensive clothes.
Because we all know this is true, don’t we: A waste is a terrible thing to mind.