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Archive for the tag “Clothing swaps”

Attack of the Swap Monster and Smart (Slick) Girls Gone Wild

A few posts ago I mentioned cleaning out my closets for a charity clothing swap.

Well, I went last week with two of my friends and it was a raging success…

At least it was for the crazy woman who left the joint with probably four trash bags filled with new


old clothes.

I’ve never been to a clothing swap before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I did figure I was going to find some good stuff because I was trusting in swap karma, in which I gave up really nice clothes and shoes.

Well, my friends and I were a bit late to the party, so I think we probably missed all the really desirable items, or the lady who left the joint with four trash bags of clothes took it all and intimidated the other women.

And this, my friends is how she did it.

Since me and my friends were late, the stragglers were excited about the prospect of new items to paw over. A little too excited.

Tables were set up according to size and as I tried to empty my bags, one woman in particular followed me step, for step until she became so impatient, she started taking clothes out of my hands.

She wasn’t totally rude, she actually said, “I’m stalking you.”

To which I simply flashed a smile that you give the crazy woman from “Single White Female” to make her believe you are friends so when she isn’t looking you can bludgeon her with the closest blunt object within arm’s reach.

This woman stood out from all of the others, not just because of her massive stash– which me and my friends are still puzzled about how she got all that stuff in her car. But because for her, it seemed this was beyond just finding something cute, it was an obsession.

She was trying to put on stuff that if you eyed it, you just knew it wasn’t going to fit, but she was determined to make it work.

I will admit. What outweighed the scary swap monster’s antics was the happiness other women displayed taking my clothes and shoes. One woman was so excited about a particular dress and said she’d be wearing it to a wedding she’s attending.

But there was one shirt I didn’t consider would ever be an issue.

The event was held at a high school cafeteria. While the leftover clothes were going to a local shelter, monetary donations were being collected for the high school’s debate team. Girl members of the team were there helping out and were also participating in the swap.

In addition to the grown women who snatched up my items with the quickness, the debate girls were also in the mix, grabbing items.

I laughed when other older women were trying to figure out how to wear a scandalous shirt (many cut out areas, backless and a gold chain halter tying it all together. Yes, scandalous) I retired from my college days. One woman said she couldn’t possibly wear it, have a photo taken in it and end up on Facebook, because she would surely be fired.

At first I felt like dang, did they see me put this down? Do they think I’m a stripper? I quickly said nervously, “I wore it in college! In college!”

So I still let out a self-conscious chuckle and went about my business.

While taking a break with my friend who found nothing (she was disappointed), but was observing a woman trying on one of her castaways, my eye was drawn to a tall, beautiful teenaged debater. She was organizing her finds (which also included a pair of cute boots I parted with) and then I saw a flash of turquoise fabric attached to a gold chain.

That damn minor scooped my scandalous club shirt! Hannah Montana scooped my damn club shirt!!

At first I was shocked. Then I laughed. Then I got worried.

As I started to tell my friends what I was seeing, I began to rock back and forth chanting/praying, “Please don’t let this child get beat down for having this damn shirt, please don’t let this child get beat down for having this damn shirt.”

My friends quickly reminded me as sneaky as she was about grabbing the shirt, there was no way in hell her parents were going to catch her wearing it.

We surmised the pretty young thing was going to go to a “sleepover” with a friend one night and do the ol switcheroo and hightail it to the club and  prance around like a video vixen with a fake id.

I prayed she was at least a senior and had already turned 18.

I wondered if I should have pulled her to the side and told her with scandalous shirts come great responsibility and a whole hell of a lot of attention.

Should I have told her to put it back? Or should I have given her a speech about not being half-naked to be beautiful or just told the child if she’s going to rock it right, have some boob tape on hand to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions. I was so conflicted about how to handle this young woman in training; would I be a reckless irresponsible member of the swap community if I didn’t say anything? Or would I be too much in this young girl’s business if I did?

I pondered these questions with my friends, and we all kind of agreed scandalous tops are a right of passage, we did it. Now it’s her turn for better or for worse.

I still feel like an accomplice to a crime though.

I added to my prayer, “Please don’t let her get pregnant because of my old top. Please don’t let her get pregnant because of my old top.”

My friend, who is a mother, overheard me and laughed a sarcastic laugh.

“Girl please, if she was going to get pregnant, a scandalous top is not going to be the blame.”

As for what I brought home?

It was the least scandalous shirt ever. It even had shoulder pads. I convinced myself that maybe I could remix it into something fabulous since I’ve been feeling all crafty lately.

Basically, I didn’t want to leave empty-handed. I had to have something to show for the experience.

I may just save it for the next swap…

I leave you with what I should have said to the young lady, courtesy of Aretha Franklin and Lauryn Hill:

Cleaning Closets and Musical Reunions: This Is Kind of an SWV Album Review

This post is kind of random, as all of my posts are really.

In preparation for a charity clothing swap this weekend, I took to my closets and attempted to purge.

I think I did a great job.

I finally let go of some stuff I swore I’d fit into if I lose like 30 pounds in the next four days.

I let go of barely worn shoes that hurt my feet too much, that were collecting precious space on my shoe rack and collecting dust.

I amassed far more than the five pieces everyone is expected to bring and that made me feel good.

It also made me feel good to pull out these old clothes and the memories and adventures attached to them (from as far back as college and high school).

I even managed to unearth a vintage USA Grant Hill Dream Team Olympic Games Jersey from the ’96 games. Gee whiz. I’m keeping that.

I also got to retire one of my most scandalous and infamous club tops.

I was laughing hysterically at some of this stuff, meanwhile I was not only giving away the tacky, but some lovely summer dresses and my first boucle suit (every classy woman must own a Chanel-inspired boucle suit).

This purge made me think of old friends, boyfriends, fun times, mischievous times and big mistakes. I wasn’t sad to see these clothes go, I actually felt great, because now I can either get new clothes at the swap or buy some without guilt. Whoo hoo!

What makes my spontaneous late night closet cleanse even more fitting, is the fact one of my favorite R&B girl groups of the 90’s, SWV dropped their new cd today. From articles I’ve read, I think their last album was 15 years ago.

I will never forget how I felt when “I’m So Into You” came out. It always made me dance and just get dizzy from the prospect of what the hell it will feel like to fall for someone and have them like me back. Then “Weak” was the super love jam of the 90s and that beat from “Anything” sent the summer parties into a frenzy. Hearing Coko belt “Anything you want me to do, I’ll do eeet” was the part everyone waited to get to. That song and Nate Dogg and Warren G’s “Regulators” were the only reason folks bought the “Above the Rim” soundtrack.

I’ve been listening and sampling and the first couple of songs from “I Miss Us” successfully took me back to Long Island summers, Hot 97, roller skating and crushing on the track star, and going to watch boys play basketball. As the cd went on, to my delight in addition to doing those songs they do so well, they were also singing the grown woman stuff I could relate to right now. I don’t foresee it being the best-selling album ever, but the die-hard fans who miss feeling butterflies and passing (paper) notes are going to put this on repeat. These ladies have been through some things, they are mature, but they still have a sugary sweetness that makes you want to round up the crew, get a karaoke machine and crash a high school talent show.

Here’s to the old, the new, the mortifying things of your youth that make you fall out with laughter now.

Here’s to SWV and their latest. Co-Sign. Well done ladies. Yall cover of Patti LaBelle’s “If Only You Knew.” Lawd. And Coko ain’t the one going in at the end. This album erre body is sanging lead. That’s what’s up, Lelee and Taj!

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