On Thursday, when I offhandedly offered to bring others’ “gently used” shoes along with my own to a local Shoe Drive for Haiti, my generous coworkers overwhelmed me with 80 pairs of shoes the next day.
That gesture sent me to my own closet this week and I packed up clothes I no longer wear to donate to a local clothing drive. Not as easy as it sounds.
I found the hardest things to give away were my Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein skirts and dresses. Okay, not the haute couture originals, but spiffy duds I sewed from designer patterns once upon a time.
Back when I was stitching up a storm, I lovingly crafted these garments, splurging on fancy fabrics and buttons and seam binding, not to mention the pricey patterns.
Can I fit into these duds now? Um, no. But parting with them felt like giving away a piece of myself, my history, the crafty kid I once was.
But then it struck me that not only do these creations deserve to get out on the town instead of being hidden away in the back of my closet, but somebody out there might need a C.K.-knockoff a lot more than I do.
The other day, I was waiting for my husband to pick me up at the subway station and a young man in his early twenties walked up to me. He looked a little scruffy so I reflexively reached into my pocket for change.
“Are you the person who lost the phone?” he asked sheepishly.
“No,” I answered, sliding my hand out of my pocket.
“Oh, I found this phone and contacted the person who lost it and they’re supposed to meet me here to pick it up.”
“Oh, no, not me, sorry,” I said. “That’s really nice of you, though.”
The guy went back to waiting in the cold, dark night for I don’t know how long.
An everyday hero in my books….
P.S. Here’s Canada’s Emily Haines of Metric with “Help I’m Alive.” Enjoy!