Like those items in my wardrobe that somehow seem to survive each campus relocation and epic closet overhaul despite the fact that I rarely wear them, there are guys in my life that I keep around even though I know they’re not quite right. Standing in front of my closet at 8:30 a.m. today, I found myself staring at an entire wardrobe overflowing with nothing to wear and I began to panic. The clock was ticking and the whole try-it-on-and-throw-it-on-the-floor routine still lay ahead of me while three voicemails waited in my inbox and snippets of last night’s phone conversation with a boy (who gave me an all-or-nothing ultimatum, screw that) replayed in my mind. I felt overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by clothes, a boy I didn’t like all that much and a damn flashing envelope icon on my cell phone. Uh, maybe I need to clean out my clothing collection and my love life. Let’s take inventory.
Skinny Jeans. I spent all of last year coveting those tight cigarette pants (skinny jeans). Not just any skinny jeans, but white skinny jeans — I wanted to go for the New York trendster thing and intended to wear them with my yet-to-be-purchased black Tory Burch ballet flats. Despite everything I knew instinctually, I wanted to believe they would look good on me and that I could pull them off without looking like a clown-footed hot mess. I wanted to believe this so badly, in fact, that in a dressing room at Saks Fifth Avenue there came about the corruption of reason that led me to spend an inordinate amount of my hard-earned money on a trend that probably wouldn’t last through the season. The fit was fabulous and made my ass look spectacular; however, I can’t bring myself to wear these things out of the house because they, admittedly, look hilarious on me. Hilarious. We’re talking an oompa loompa breed of fug matched only by, like, an actual oompa were he a 5’8” female creature. If I were to wear them in public, I’d feel as though everyone were staring at me… and not because of my spectacular ass. To keep from looking like a sausage, you have to wear skinny jeans with a giant tunic top so then nobody can see said spectacular ass anyway. Lost cause, I say, and the only time these jeans will see the light of day will be alongside Uggs on a winter Sunday morning’s march to Collegetown Bagels.
Trevor is my pair of skinny jeans. He is gorgeous — and I mean attractive in a collar-popper way (and, coincidentally, pretty skinny too) — and the sex, though in random spurts when we’re both single and down for it, has always been phenomenal. We’ve been hooking up on and off since freshman year in the miraculous and elusive no-strings-attached arrangement. But every time I entertain the idea of a relationship with this guy, I bring his ass to a party and Trevor in Public is obnoxious and embarrassing enough to remind me that there are only two tolerable options for us: he should be either inside me or far, far away from me. This guy’s personality is the WORST.
Skinny jeans and Trevor: the ass is spectacular, but in public it just won’t fly. Give them both to Goodwill so another woman can enjoy the spectacular ass, perhaps someone who is better equipped to deal with them in public.
The Fat Pants. I have this pair of jeans I bought from GAP way back in the day, okay? As opposed to the asscrack dance I play with my Sevens and Citizens (is it showing? Is it not? Why did I have a muffin top yesterday and today these jeans are so baggy it looks like I crapped my pants?), the GAP pair is consistent, forgiving and stable. The pair features a) a normal rise so said asscrack dance is not an issue and b) a looser-fitting waist than my normal jeans…and yet, they’re labeled a size smaller than my usual designer denims. Glorious. I wear these exclusively around Thanksgiving and bloated period days when sweatpants seem too indulgent and I cannot bear to deal with the bagel. They’re as good (if not better) than my other jeans, yet there is something that makes accepting the fat pants as anything more than fat pants feel like settling.
I hate to compare a boy to my fat jeans, but I will. Liam makes me feel awesome about myself. He compliments me constantly and makes me feel like a goddess of sorts. But he’s very… generic. There is nothing particularly special or notable about him—no embroidery on the back pockets, so to speak. He makes me happy when I’m around him, yet when I’m not with him I don’t particularly wish to be. When I feel shitty about myself he is there for me, always reliable, and yet for some reason I cannot bring myself to throw him into my normal rotation of… jeans.
So Liam, like my fat jeans, is good for a pick-me-up once in a while, but never anything permanent despite the fact that he is a good dude. I will not surrender to the fat pants nor settle for a generic pair of jeans when I really want the designer ones. To Goodwill they both go. Someone out there is into GAP jeans, I’m sure.
Killer Stilettos. I have these badass gold four-inch stilettos. For a woman of my height, four-inch heels are the “big guns”, so to speak, to be busted out only when the situation necessitates, um, being six feet tall. But I can’t walk in them for more than 15 steps. They give me insane blisters and every time I pull them out of my closet, I try to convince myself that I’ve worn them frequently enough that they must be broken in by now.
And yet, no. Blisters every time. Stilettos will never be comfortable and they can never be “broken in” like a pair of Rainbows. Neither can slutty man-pig Ryan. He is an asshole. I can’t change that. Next.
The Khakis. Khakis are so…“eh.” You never really think “hey, this top would look totally slammin’ with my khakis.” They’re for laundry days or for when you have a guest speaker in your classes. They’re a strandby to be utilized when your Polo oxford needs a little something-something to take it up a notch from those hotel school chicks you see around campus.
Jacob is my khakis. He’ll always be hanging in my closet but will never be the first guy I drunk dial and will never be the last person I say goodnight to. He’s just…eh. He’s beige. Some people dig beige. To Goodwill with these.
Favorite Black Halter Top I’ve Had Since 10th Grade. The thing has been washed so many times that every inch of the fabric is pilled and the elastic in the built-in bra is more or less is useless to the point that it probably laughs at the breasts it should be supporting. The tie around the neck has worn down to pieces of string so teeny that strapping the top to my body is a struggle and getting the top to cooperate and act like a mature, legitimate piece of clothing is pretty much impossible these days. As a garment, it is ugly and useless.
As a human being, so is my ex.
* * *
I packed my khakis, giant stilettos, fat jeans and skinny jeans in a bag to take to Goodwill. The halter top has been tossed in the garbage. The next step is to get the corresponding dudes out of my life. Girls, no matter how casual, having any type of romantic involvement with a variety of boys that don’t excite you is not worth the effort. Profound, I know, but it’s surprising to find out how many of my girlfriends just kind of keep dudes kickin’ around the same way we keep our closets full of crap we never wear. If the clothes or boys don’t excite you now, they won’t excite you later.
If you’ve got a pair of white skinny jeans, fat pants, khakis or a 6-year-old tattered halter top, throw them out already, would you? You’ll never feel comfortable with the skinny jeans. You don’t ever want to surrender and settle for the fat jeans. Khakis will bore the shit out of you and the old ratty halter top has had a good run but it sucks now—time to let it go.
If we all listened to our mothers and followed the “if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it” rule with our closets, we’d be much better off. Less clutter, less stress and fewer reasons to panic in the mornings before work. We should apply that rule to the men in our lives, too: if you haven’t given any thought to dating him in a year, donate him to the Goodwill of the dating world. Throw him back. Let him go. One woman’s skinny jeans are another woman’s dream pair of pants and the less clutter you have in your heart or in your closet, the better.