Every closet reaches its existential tipping point. Mine did so yesterday, when in a fit of domestic restlessness, I counted my dresses. There were northward of 50. Okay, 65 to be exact, if we include tennis dresses and my mother-in-law’s culotted thing with the pink and orange daisies on it that brings to mind a Beatles album cover (Sgt. Pepper) during the height of the Flower Power era.
Even for a countess or a rock star, of which I am neither, 65 is an astounding number. Ridiculous. Embarrassing. Absurd. Like Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” or Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros.”
But hang on. If you, like me, are somewhere in middle age, and if you, like me, aren’t ruthless with culling and purging your wardrobe, you too might be flabbergasted by just how many frocks lurk, at this very moment, unseen, in your closet, or seen so frequently as to become invisible, like the doorknob to your bedroom, or the hooks that hold your pajamas.
This begs the existential question: Like that proverbial tree in the forest, or Bertrand Russell’s infuriating table, if a Dolce & Gabbana little black dress hangs in a closet unworn, year after passing year, with nary a dreamy soirée to attend, does it really exist? Even more dispiriting, what is the point of owning such a dress, if not to wear it?
Thus did my innocent gesture of counting my dresses lead to an existential crisis. But during one of my innumerable nocturnal hot-flash-induced moments of lying awake clarity–have you not heard, Menopause is the new Meditating?–I decided I was grown up enough to handle it. Or, at the very least, desperate enough to draw succor from some handy clichés. Crisis is the same Chinese character for Opportunity, for instance.
Or this recent Why Worry Zen Venn diagram making the rounds among my friends.
65 Dresses hanging in my closet is my admittedly champagne problem.
But I am not going to worry, because, as the diagram suggests, I Can DO Something.
A Month of Dresses.
But there are still melting snow banks outside. I am thinking May. Unless I dig out lots of tights and boots, then maybe April.
And feel free to join me.