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Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This morning I woke up ready to celebrate May Day.  What's more fun than wrapping up a tall pole with some long strips of fabric, I ask you?  Nothing, that's what.

This May Day also marks an end and a beginning.  It's the end of my 32nd year, and the beginning of my family's life as Chicken Tenderers (definitely not to be confused with chicken tenders).  That's right, the baby chicks arrive this week. 

As you can imagine, I bounded out of bed this morning with an extra pep in my step.  A wiggle in my walk, if you will.

And then a different kind of mayday hit me.  The distress kind of mayday.  It was coming from my closet.

MAYDAY.  MAYDAY.  MAYDAY.  This is Abby's closet.  There are 17 articles of clothing hanging in me.  I require immediate assistance.  MAYDAY.  MAYDAY.  MAYDAY.

I went through a variety of emotions.  They were so jumbled that I will not be able to recreate them here for you in any particular order, but they included at least the following:

Panic.  I have two sleeping children down the hall, asshole.  Can we be a bit more quiet about this?!?

Shock.  Who knew my closet could talk!?!

Anticipation.  With a talking closet, an entirely new income stream has just presented itself.  Will all the paying visitors prefer to listen to Closet Confidentials from the bed or from the pile of laundry by the dresser?

Confusion.  I thought "coming out of the closet" meant something completely different.  Thanks for nothing, Ricky Martin.

Parental.  I warned Closet that it better not make me come in there, and I reminded it that making a hoax mayday call is a criminal act in many countries.  If this was all some big joke, Closet was going to have all its nice plastic hangers taken away and it was going to be all metal hangers from the dry-cleaners, all the time.  So Closet better put its thinking cap on and decide if was going to be a good Closet or a bad Closet.

What I got in response:

MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY. This is Abby's closet. There are 17 articles of clothing hanging in me. I require immediate assistance. MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY.

So Closet was sticking with its story.  I was left only to acknowledge that Closet was right.  It WAS in grave and imminent danger.  At that moment, I felt nothing but shame.

I opened Closet's door a crack, and all that stared back at me was darkness.  Not because there's no light in my closet, but because every piece of clothing in Closet is black.  No, that's an exaggeration.  There are a few hits of grey, navy blue, and one white button-down shirt for when an invitation specifies virginal attire.

Basically, if you were to judge me by Closet, you would think I'm a professional pallbearer.  Or that my family and friends have astoundingly bad luck and are constantly dying on me.  Or that I just escaped from somewhere and am trying to blend in with my surroundings by keeping to a strict color scheme of non-colors.

The other remarkable thing about my clothes inside of Closet is how few there are.  If I spread out my fingers and then touched my hands thumb-to-thumb, I could cover the distance across the entire line-up of my hanging wardrobe.  I am only left to conclude that I watched too many Today show segments on how to make a month's worth of outfits using only 6 different pieces.

Actually, that's not true.  I know why I have so few clothes.  I am a horrendous shopper.  It's a chore and a process that scare me.  Just typing this, right now, is making my stomach churn and I kind of have a sweaty feeling in my throat.  I didn't even know sweaty throat was a possible condition, but I have it right now just THINKING about shopping.  That's how extreme my condition is. 

When I walk into a store, I wander around like some cave dweller that has just been exposed to light.  There's lots of stumbling involved, and my hands are constantly rubbing my eyes and patting my temples.  If my children are with me, they immediately start crying because they think I'm about to die, and that's alarming to the pre-school set.  I usually end up in the exact part of the store where I have no business being, like Men's Tall, and I spend 5-7 minutes pretending I'm tie shopping for Pau Gasol.  Finally the calendar alert I've set on my phone goes off and screams at me "you need a crew neck t-shirt, you dope!".  At that point, I blindly run in the direction of the women's section, guided only by the scent of mingling perfumes, and I grab a muu muu, throw a $20 in the direction of the cash registers, and sprint for the exits.  Then I sit in the car breathing heavily until a mall security guard ambles over and what-seems-to-be-the-problems me.

Needless to say, I have plenty of dishrags thanks to all the muu muus I've purchased over the years, but I don't have a single damned crew neck t-shirt.

I also know why the colors are what designers like to refer to as "Depressive" or "Friendless."  I like to bring as little attention to myself as absolutely possible.  I know that's bizarre, given that I have a blog and get really excited on days when "readership" ticks up.  But it's so much easier to "be" out in the world when it's over a computer screen.  Words are so much easier to package up than I personally am.  When I find myself in the middle of a social interaction, all I hear are fire alarms and a blaring voice (I always assume it's God) telling me to abort.  Dark clothes help me hide.  And probably help scare people away.  So everyone wins.

There's a part B to the color conundrum.  Raise your hand if you're sick of the phrase "pop of color."  SPOILER ALERT: I AM RAISING BOTH HANDS.  If I read or hear one more person trumpet the awesomeness of a "pop of color," I am going to pop the writer or the speaker in the head.  Target's logo has a big "pop" of red and I don't see anyone wearing a bulls-eye down the red carpet.  Explosions are pretty big "pops" of flame-related colors, and no one is going around torching living rooms to impress their dinner guests.  Let's just start taking it easy on the "pop of color" frenzy, is what I am trying not to insinuate but to profoundly beg.  I will lead the way with my monochromatic monasticism. 

I will admit, though, that I am getting a little tired of the same, nearly threadbare clothes.  I know I need an intervention.  I just didn't expect it from Closet.

And I apologize in advance to my daughter and her classmates.  Tomorrow they are hosting a "Mother's Day Tea," and we've all been encouraged to come dressed in bright springy colors, as well as spring hats and even gloves.  I will be dressed, of course, as Death.


  1. So are you saying you want to go to lilly pulitzer this weekend and stock up on some loud prints?

    1. That is EXACTLY what I am saying. Thank you.

      Wow. Could have been a much shorter post.

  2. is it weird that I just read this entire post? and kinda liked it?

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I'm not sure whether your questions are rhetorical, are directed to me, or are directed to my future chickens. But I'm gonna go ahead and field them.

      I have no basis to evaluate whether anything you do is weird for you or not. You've provided no identifying information about yourself. Not even a name. But I can tell you the following about your having read this "entire" post:

      1. If your native language is not English, and you've never even studied the English language, then yes, it's kind of weird. Weirder still that you commented on this post in English as well. Freaking bizarro if you're also understanding all of this response. You should call someone and report yourself. Because you are a genius.

      2. If you read this post from a plane falling from the sky and hurtling towards a large body of water, then yes, it's kind of weird. There were better things you could have done with your time. And your Internet connection.

      3. If you have a deap-seated fear of talking closets, then yes, it's kind of weird. But you should call your therapist. Because that's what they in the biz call "progress."

      Other than those three options, I am plum out of ideas as to why it would have been weird for you to read this entire post.

      Which means the only other weird thing here is that when you finished it, you only "kinda liked it."

      Anyways, keep reading, dear Anonymous. When you find a post that really blows your hair back, I'll let you know where to send the singing candy-gram.

  3. Abs, you don't live in NYC anymore! You can wear any color and not stand out among all the L.L. Bean fleece! Also, I love your blog and I miss you guys. Happy Impending Larry Birdthday!! -Josh