I'm thinking I am not alone here. There is an item of apparel that I can't seem to get enough of. I know a lot women love shoes and a full closet doesn't lessen the urge for more. For some it is handbags while for men it might be baseball hats, cool tee shirts or sports jerseys.
For me it has always been coats. I am a coat whore. I wonder if there is a 12 step program for this. Even when I lived in Florida for 40 years, I owned a ridiculous amount of coats. I mean really, seldom is it cold enough in Florida to wear a coat more than a few hours. A closet full of coats in Florida reeks of a disorder.
I have a friend with a similar obsession. We once decided that we had a coat for every degree of cold from cool summer evening to brutal winter.
Do I ever wear each of them at least for a little while during the year? Nope, I usually go for the favorites and the rest take up a ridiculous amount of space. It takes three wardrobes in my shed to house the extras. They aren't even in sight but I know they are there and that is enough.
So I recently declared war on my obsession and went through the excess and weeded out a bunch to give to a church organization. I am now down to just a few. I feel positively naked and actually found myself cruising the web yesterday looking at coats. Just looking, I told my self---- yeah right.
How did I get this way?? Actually there is an almost valid reason and I only discovered it after about 50 years of practicing my addiction once becoming a wage earner.
While I was thinking of topics to write about the other day, I thought along the line of, “We were so poor that----”. It brought to mind an experience when I was about nine.
Our family had periods of being from about average financially to being darn poor. One year in particular, I remember that my back to school shopping was done at the Salvation Army Store. Being the baby, I grew up with hand me downs, but a stranger's hand me downs just kind of hurt. I was embarrassed.
I remember looking for a winter coat with my Mom among the racks of used clothes. I fell in love with a bright red wool coat with a fake leopard fur collar and cuffs.
|Found this picture on the Internet under vintage coats. Sure looks familiar.|
The coat was flamboyant but to me it looked almost new and expensive. Mother tried to talk me out of it but it was no use. I was thrilled with my flashy coat and couldn't wait for cold weather.
The first cold day, I put on my really red coat and strut my stuff boldly as I entered the school. My puffed up pride however was short lived.
Betty, who was my least favorite person in school, spied me and ran up to me. She felt my coat, lifted the collar then let out a loud yelp.
“You are wearing my coat.” She said loud enough to be heard clear out to the play ground. "I never liked it so we gave it to the poor. How did you get it?”
How do you spell ANNIHILATED?? I finally understood "struck dumb".
Needless to say I never wore that coat again. I told my Mom what had happened and she took me back to the Salvation Army where we traded the red disaster for a more generic looking coat like she wanted me to have in the first place. Still even with the generic looking one, I spent each day fearing some one was going to recognize it and out me.
As I thought of that occasion the other day, the light bulb went off. My obsession with coats most likely comes from that singular experience. I am still trying to prove to a long gone Betty that I really can afford a nice coat. Perhaps knowing the root cause, I won't be in a hurry to fill my closets back up with a zillion coats. Now if I can just stay away from the Internet. Obsessions don't die over night.
Do you have an obsession about owning something and have you ever thought about or even cared about “why?”