Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Once worn Twice shy

Today I went on a cleaning spree- along with my young 20 something maid. She absolutely loves to help me clean my cupboards, drawers, shelves, shoe racks. I can see the colour green all around. But hey hang on .There`s a reason and you will find it soon.
The neat shelves give me a big high. I absolutely love it when the maid (M for convenience)brooms and removes mounds of dust, scraps of paper, my lost pen, safety pins, crayons, some more crayons, that very important circular that I had searched and searched in vain last month etc. Ah! The treasures that these sprees bring are worth every second. I don` really care much for Feng Shui and all that but must say that once the cleaning spree is over I feel content, smug and dare say a very pious ,dedicated Naari!!
Now the secret for M`s delight at this very unpleasant chore. .Everyt ime we clean my cupboard she gets one of my outfits or a bag or a nighty. And the shoe rack obviously gets her footwear. And all this is done with great secrecy. You see my Mother-in-law (MIL for convenience) believes every bit of clothing and footwear needs to be preserved. We must use it till it can be used. Never mind if that lasts forever. I could kill the manufacturers of these slippers. They just don`t tear and if they do (Thank God for small mercies!),she promptly sends them to the mochi. Hence you see I have to be very discreet when passing on clothes and stuff.
A girl -okay make it a lady ,needs clothes .Period. Now I know that DH (Darling Hubby) can be painful while packing but its humble me ,who takes the cake when it comes to the number of clothes and accessories that I absolutely need. Forget the number part because its infinite you see.
Now I have these regular jeans ,t-shirts, shirts, tunics, trousers, capris , skirts, pajamas . Ditto for formals. Not to forget party clothes. Also Indian wear-Sarees, Salwar- Kurtas, Shawls, Strolls. And accessories. Bags-casual, party and formal. In black, white, blue,pink,brown –one in yellow –it’s the colour of the season. And then matching footwear. And Jwellery, makeup. Gosh !I already am getting sick of the cumbersome list. That`s a lot of stuff to hoard. Besides, trends change at the drop of a hat.
Last year I was into flats and bling chapplas. This year ,I feel I carry heels with a lot of élan. The big Blue bag with gold trimmings is’ oh !so not happening ‘this season. And that pretty Rani pink kurta with Kundan work is just so passé. So what do I do. I don`t have a younger sister in town (and even if she was she wouldn`t be caught dead in my stuff!).I cannot pass them to the local ashram or to the good old bartanwala. Pssst. Do they still exist? Friends? Well we move in the same circles so that is like social hara kiri!
Also I need to keep updating my wardrobe. You see I can repeat a outfit ,specially the formal and party wear, only that many times. Then what do I do with it ?If I hoard them, like my MIL expects her dutiful DIL to do, I will have no space for anything new. Anyone living in Mumbai will empathize with me-we all face extreme space crunch you see. And I strongly believe that the only constant thing in life is change! I just have to buy a outfit and then shoes, bags ,jwellery to go with it. Else I could buy a bag first and then go on to the rest.
So I pass them on to M, who is really thrilled with them. She tells me that she wore the Rani shocker for her cousins wedding in the village. And everyone was so impressed with Mumbai that they want to shift here pronto. The tunic she says she will wear when she goes ghoomne bahar with her husband. Bambai mein nahi haan.Sab hasenge na phir. She blushes.
So there. The secret to a happy ,hard working M and a relieved me . What are you waiting for?Go ahead and just do it. It will bring a smile on at least 2 people`s faces. You and your M. As for MIL –well that`s just something you deal with. Alone!


Mampi said...

A beautiful and crisp piece. Maza aa gaya.
But you are a rich girl i must say. over here, i keep my clothes for ages, and my MIL says, kisi ko de do...THough she and I both beleive in old is gold and go on wearing the same clothes for as long as we can, he he he.
By a divine co-incidence, when I was in the middle of your post, my M came and said, "har taraf kapdey hi kapde, pehntey toh ho nahi aap. Pehn'te toh wohi 5-6 suit ho."
What a respect !!!

DeeplyDip said...

sadly for me, my maid is much taller and bigger than me. So no chance of passing on the clothes to her. So the only hope I have is to donate the clothes at a charity - which again is dicey. Lats month I went to drop off some clothes at a local church - and was told that they have too many clothes so please do not give any clothes.
So well I have been horading and collecting my stuff to donate during ramadan when more chairities come forward and accept it.
When you give away a fav piece of clothing, you want to be assured that its in the right hands and will be used. I totally agree with you that the old has to go to give place to the newcommers!

Renu said...

U write evrything in a very interesting way.I think hoarding is useless,fashion changes, sometimes size also changes:). I always believe that clutter be removed from ur mind and house both to bring fesh items and ideas.
I have myself seen that if a saree is kept for a long perionm, for me it looses it sheen, because by tht time we have a few new ones, and why not wear them.

D said...

I hate to send my shoes for repair to the mochi: where would I house all the shoes I hoard if I never give the old ones away?

Piper .. said...

hmm..lucky maid I must say. And lucky you, to get such help. Here I have to do the whole thing myself! But I must say that I`m verry different from you or from normal women in this respect! And that`s an understatement. I dont splurge on clothes,shoes,bags,jewellery,make-up. Hell, I dont ever use make-up. Never have. Not even a lipstick. I dont own a lipstick. I have 2 purses and 3 pairs of sandals. Oh and one pair of nike joggers. Same for clothes, though i`m sure you wouldnt want me to make a list of my wardrobe here! :) I`m your MIL`s dream 'bahu'!! :-)) Do you find that strange? Its been like that forever. I dont even remember ever dressing up or wanting to. Yes, I do have an obsession for books and music cds. And that is where I splurge. My home looks like a storehouse of books and cds! But somehow I`ve never done girly things. I guess I must. Sounds like super fun from your post :-))

Reflections said...

Wow....an ideal employer from ur maid's perspective.
Actually I do the same once a yr. But I dont think my maid is as pleased as urs coz I wear very sedate colors & almost no extra frills;-P

my space said...

@Mampi..casual clothes toh I wear till they are in tatters!! I still wear this white tshirt which looks I have inherited from my grandmom`s mother!!!
Its the formal party wear clothes which drive you mad..they have a very short life -sp.the trendy ones.
@deeplydip--exactly.But our Mom`s and MIL`s are convinced that we only waste things..."You will give this to the maid?pagal ho?rakho we`ll see later", and that later hasn`t come still..
@Renu :-). Old must make way for new..
@d.I hate it too..unlesss its my fav pair.then toh I`l wear it till eternity.

my space said...

@Piper-touchwood ,we have ample of househelp in India..Start indulging in girly things..it`good fun..as for make up ,I only wear a lipstick and polish..Bags and shoes I splurge on..
@Reflections..ideal? You got to be joking!

Indian Home Maker said...

LOL I feel the same way when I clear my cupboards, wardrobes, lofts, chest of drawers...the satisfaction is great and the maids do love these sprees.
And space crunch is a fact of life for me too, many times I give away something I could use maybe sometime ...simply because there is nowhere to keep it :)