I was sitting and reading a book with my first cup of coffee, morning chores done, sun shifting across the yard to shine on my breakfast room table, exactly where I like it, when a thought came to me. The male character in the scene I was reading, who can only think scientifically because he has Asperger's, was wondering in his very technical manner how he could express himself to the girl he has come to understand that he loves, in spite of his emotional limitations. He has had experiences with lots of girls, so doesn't need to worry about the mechanics of a physical relationship, but this one he wants to keep.
My thought? Yeah. I'm like William. I try on people like clothes, and when they don't fit I toss them away.
That's really sick. Really just kind of mean and cruel, and I surprised myself with the realization. But then I understood that I don't fit them, either. I am not one for keeping clutter around, and pick and choose people in my life the same way I decide which garments stay in my closet and which ones need to go. The ones that fit will always fit, no matter how I change, the same as some of my favorite dresses and blouses. Fortunately, I haven't expanded and contracted so much over the years that they've been permanently pushed from my life. If they don't fit the way I like at a certain point, and they are the kind that give and stretch a little and don't mind waiting for me to try them on again when I'm at a different place, I may look in the back of my closet and find that they are the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I may wonder why I didn't just change a little to fit them rather than thinking that they no longer fit me.
Some I've torn into rags because I thought there was no hope for them, only to regret it the next minute. Others get hastily shoved to the side as soon as I try them on. Then there are those that just sit there, never being worn, until I wonder why I ever brought them home in the first place. I have some that were given to me and I just keep them because, though I've never worn them, I've grown to love them and just like having them around. They aren't clutter. They've earned a special place.
Every once in a while I come across a piece of clothing that is so beautiful and genuinely good, maybe even made from organic, natural fiber, that I have to have it. But it ends up being so uncomfortable to wear that it chafes. People I find in this category I can't bring myself to part with. Though they irritate me to no end, I just smile politely at them every chance I get and hope they never, ever suspect how badly they rub me the wrong way, and cross my fingers that others don't feel the same about me.
I rarely make frivolous clothes purchases, but try my best to care for what I have so that I can keep things I love around for as long as possible. There are always those one-time only garments, however. Bridesmaid gowns, cocktail dresses, costume pieces, things that never get worn again. You only needed them for that one event and they were fabulous fun while you had them. I love it when these "one-time-use people" come into my life.
I attend as many concerts as I can. It's my thing. It's not my husband's, so I usually go alone. But always, as I stand in long lines to enter a venue, or at the foot of a stage waiting for the opening act to emerge, someone around me will introduce themselves and we hang out together enjoying the show for the remainder of the evening. We usually exchange emails or I'll say yes, I have a Facebook when they ask, which I know they'll never find because I keep it private. It was fun while it lasted, but it's so nice to know I never have to see them again. I've tried them on. They fit only for that one occasion.
Others I've tried on a couple of times, just to see if I'm looking at them from the wrong angle, only to decide that they've got to go. My favorites you will see me wearing in countless photographs, the ones I love having around to wear every day, or just can't ever seem to part with.
I don't think I'm being cold hearted, though that was my first thought when I realized that I "try people on", it's all about self-preservation. I've had some spontaneously combust while I was wearing them! You only let that happen once. And sometimes I can feel the heat as soon as I get near a person and know they're going right to Goodwill.