It's time to purge that closet

November 8, 2011

Did you ever notice that your behavior changes as you age? Well, we kind of expect that as you mature. But this has nothing to do with maturity. And it’s not as extreme as, say, taking an axe to your phone after you’ve been put on hold for 90 minutes; of course that would be considered justifiable homicide of  a communication device by any good police department.

But as those birthdays roll around, you may find yourself doing things you wouldn’t have dreamed of at a younger age.

Myself, I never let birthdays interfere with my happiness. Usually as I approach another landmark, I simply go into my closet, put a pillow over my face and give out a yell, like Tarzan swinging from vine to vine.

And speaking of closets, which technically we weren’t, as you get older you will find yourself cleaning them out with a vengeance.

It’s like digging for a pot of gold at the bottom. There will be piles and piles of clothing, still with their tags hanging from the collar.

I know my closet is filled with dresses that have a size listed on the inside that would only fit a fashion model who exists solely on frozen peas and lima beans. She is always in danger of slipping through one of those grates on the sidewalk.

And yet, I can’t see myself giving this away.

Your brain plays this game with you each year. And as you get older, it gets more laughs from you cleaning out this closet. What if you get down to this size again, it asks?

And you’ve always wanted to wear this, even though when you bought it you knew that pigs would have to fly before you could get an elbow through the sleeve. None of this bothered you back then because you have seen pigs fly before.

But cleaning out that closet is a good thing. There are lots of clothes, just evidenced by the piles on your bed, that you could give to your local thrift shop or national chain like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

But somehow, the only thing remaining at the end of the day is a pair of shorts that really might not be relevant in the middle of the winter. Come on now! Forget the cataracts and put on those glasses.

The other behavior I’ve noticed as another birthday rolls around is that you start listening to talk radio almost exclusively now.

I didn’t say call in to talk radio, as you’ve always been too shy to pick up the phone. Let’s face it; you are also afraid someone from some government agency will knock on your door because of your inability to be articulate.

Anyway, you listen, learn and surely talk out loud to no one in particular regarding the comments.

You will see people in their cars all over Florida, yakking even though they are alone in their vehicle, laughing to themselves and holding their sides as they inch along in their cars.

I hear traffic in Miami is particularly brutal.

I do it myself, railing against the government, interspersed with driving directions. “No, no, I’m not letting you cut in!!…Congress should make it against the law, ….put your directional on!!! ……yes it is all a communist plot…don’t pass me on the right…why do we pay those fools if they are going to raise my taxes!!! Stop, stop, you are going to run into my rear end!!!” Yeah, I get strange looks, but I get a lot done too.

So you can see that behavior does change as we chase that clock around the corner. But there is some good that comes out of that also.

I like being called madam; I get a movie discount and there is always the excuse, “Because of my age, your honor.”

That could come in very handy.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.