The Journal Gazette
Saturday, July 24, 2021 5:42 pm

Pandemic realities lead to closet discoveries

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

When it comes to clothes closets, this year could be called the one of discovery.

Most of the shoes in my master bedroom closet are stacked on shelving above the clothes racks. While purging shoes in late spring, I noticed some clothes I hadn't worn in more than a year had light layers of dust along the shoulders. With few places to go, I leaned mostly toward casual wear last year - the kind I pull out of drawers, rather than off hangers.

Some news reports have pointed to retailers seeing sales increase as people stepped up shopping this spring and early summer – many undoubtedly spending some of the federal stimulus windfall to look for new clothes and shoes, among other items.

Some of the clothes and shoe-buying binge may have been based on necessity. Most of us have seen or heard references to COVID 15 – referring to the number of pounds many people gained while failing to social distance from the refrigerator even as options for physical activity and entertainment nearly dried up at times.

A friend who was packing for a trip around the July 4th holiday shared during one of our conversations that she was pulling items out of her closet and trying them on first – instead of automatically throwing them into a suitcase – just to make sure the fit was still good.

In some cases, she was disappointed. I told her I understood the pain. Personal experiences will do that for you.

And then there's dry rot, which happens to far more than wood.

While dining out with a group of ladies recently, one person shared her shock at having worn a pair of shoes out in public, not realizing until on her way home that they had peeled since she purchased them. It was the first time she had worn them, but she said the shoes hit the dumpster outside her house as soon as she got out of her car.

Another lady added to the laughter by sharing she had been around a few people who were trying to solve the mystery of small pieces of material littering the ground near where she had been sitting. Those little flaky pieces also happened to be the result of dry rot – from the shoes she had on.

For those who see the half empty glass, not the half full one, let me pour into you. Although going through clothes closets might bring sobering realities, there is a bright side.

It could be a good time to recommit to our health and fitness and – barring dry rot – find some items to donate to a nonprofit that helps provide clothing and other goods to those in need.

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