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
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: