Dear Closet –
I’m not sure where to begin.
I’d like to say it’s not you, it’s me. But that would be a lie. It’s totally you.
When we first met, I was smitten. You were everything a woman dreams of in a closet. Spacious, airy and, most importantly, well-lit. By any definition, you were the seemingly perfect partner. A place where I could entrust my most beloved items when they weren’t in use. Shoes, dresses, handbags, t-shirts, scarves. There was ample space for it all.
I recall fondly those early halcyon days of our relationship. Me standing in the middle of you, wrapped in the security of your walk-in expansiveness. Our future together brimming with possibilities. You had good bones and seemingly limitless space. So much space, in fact, that when the 3/4 of your generous closet shelving and hanging areas dedicated to me (by me) ran out, I easily appropriated a portion of the 1/4 that had been allocated for Island Boy’s meager wardrobe. I’m sure he didn’t mind.
But here we are, a few years down the road and something has changed. The trust has been broken. Irreparably, I’m afraid.
Where once there was eager anticipation about our shared morning ritual, I now find myself frustrated and hesitant to open your door when dawn breaks. Which is unfortunate, since you stand between me and the master bathroom.
Of course, faced with no alternatives, I gingerly turn the handle and step into your once-loving – and now cold – embrace. I walk slowly over to one of your many louvered doors (you know, the ones that implied good ventilation), and pry it open. What previously swung with ease, now hesitates. Apparently, following my lead, you’ve lived a bit too richly over the years and now find it difficult to fit into your allotted space.
But your growing girth is not what vexes me. After all, looks fade and we were in this for the long haul, weren’t we? Weren’t we?
No, it is not your appearance but what is lurking within that is casting a pall over my affection. It is what happens within your darkest depths that is causing me to pen this letter.
Each morning, I know what I will find once I wrench open your stubborn façade. One more t-shirt with tiny holes that seemingly appear overnight. One more pair of leather sandals that inexplicably deteriorate between wearings. One more leather handbag with a peculiar coating of mold that wasn’t there last time I used it.
You offer no explanation. No acknowledgment of the transgressions you’ve permitted under your watch. No sign of what – or who – your accomplices might be. And faced with the carnage, I can only cry out “Why?!”
You aren’t my first, so I know this sort of behavior is not normal.
I’ve had solid and loving relationships with clothing storage units in the past. From the bi-fold doors of my first apartment’s cramped closet to the walk-in, climate-controlled showroom in my dream house, there have been others before you. Many, many others.
I asked little of them. I kept them tidy and organized, occasionally treating them to a lavender sachet. And in return, they did what they were supposed to do. You know, protect my belongings.
In fact, looking back I can honestly say none of them have treated me the way you do. Which makes your belligerence so confounding. How have I wronged you?
Are you bitter at the climate you find yourself in? Do you believe my non-designer labels are not good enough to be housed within your protective confines? Did my audacity in mingling a few cheap plastic hangers amongst the curated collection of black velvet-flocked ones tip the scales of your affection out of my favor? Tell me where I went wrong. I am begging you!
But despite my pleas, you’ve remained silent about what’s bothering you, what’s causing you to lash out. And here we are. You stewing silently while ruining my belongings. Me writing this most unfortunate missive while staring at another hole in my favorite shirt.
Sadly, there’s seems no alternative but for us to break up. I’m not a quitter, but enough’s enough. Honestly, what else can I do?
I suppose we could try couple’s therapy, but what would that look like, really? You sporting mothballs in your darkened corners? Me limiting my wardrobe to only flip flops, hemp bags & black clothes? I just don’t have confidence that anything can be done to appease you and stop the damage. Damage that most definitely needs to cease.
So I think it best we part ways. Of course, I’ll need a few days to find something else and remove my things. Literally. So until then, let’s just try and make the best of it, ok? We’re both mature adults here.
I wish things could have worked out differently. But some relationships just weren’t meant to be.
I hope we can remain friends.
P.S. I know you are probably hurt and maybe even angry, but let’s proceed with dignity. No badmouthing me to your friends, please. Especially the washing machine. He already has an attitude, and my white bed sheets can’t take much more abuse.
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Also published on Medium.