We're hitting that point that every couple hits sometime in their marriage: the realization that almost everything we acquired around the time of our wedding is wearing out and needs to be replaced. Bath towels, kitchen towels, pot holders, utensils, sheets: you name it, we need new ones. We've been married for more than six years, and though bath towels can last longer than that, they end up looking like the towels we inherited from Darwin's grandmother: shrunken and threadbare and so unabsorbent that you wonder why she kept them around even as keep using them because hey! they're there in the cabinet.
At the same time that all our wedding presents are falling apart, the girls need their entire wardrobe flushed and replaced. I went to a kids' consignment store on Friday, and while browsing I meditated on two things:
1) How on earth does anyone keep her children's clothes so clean as to be able to resale?
2) Thank God this store is going out business! What great deals I'm getting!
So now I'm going through the girls' closet and dresser and getting ready to throw away old clothes. I feel a bit strange about this. After all, some things are still wearable, in a way. But what are you going to do with a cute dress that's in perfect shape except for a large suspicious brown stain down near the hem that will not come out no matter what you do, even if you put a little bleach on the spot (but all that does is to bleach the area around the stain, which remains as brown and suspicious as ever)? Can you donate this item? But why should I assume that I can push off our stained togs onto "the poor" when I consider them basically unwearable? (And believe me, something has to be pretty stained before I pull it from circulation?)
I pass over entirely the matter of adult clothes, because what does it matter if I wear my stuff until it falls to rags? People only look at the kids, and if they're cutely dressed, no one checks my outfit.
One can obtain even high-end clothing at cut-rate prices on eBay or at Goodwill, but then there are some household items that are gonna cost ya, such as replacing the water softener. Does anyone have a diagnosis for a fifteen-year-old water softener which has has been full of standing water for months? The salt level hasn't budged in that whole time, and we're noticing that the water is starting to smell dusty. We keep debating whether we should find someone to service the thing or just replace it, and meanwhile we change out our kitchen sponge every week.
Good thing our seven year itch doesn't extend to replacing our old worn-out spouses. Now that could get expensive fast.