Happiness Replay: The Joy of Fearless Self-Inventory (from 03/11/13)

I was forced to do a fearless self-inventory on Sunday, and it was one of the best things I could have done.  The rewards are endless.  Well…not exactly endless.  They’re quite nice though.  In fact, they’re hanging on drying racks in my den right now, as I type.

Who forced me, you ask?  My friend, Dawn Alden, the wise and beautiful actress who introduced me to the concept of:  The Clothing Swap.

Yes, a girl’s first clothing swap can be as magical and memorable as her first kiss…her wedding night…getting the results she wanted from the little stick she peed on three minutes ago…

Sunday was my second clothing swap, and if possible, it was even better than the first.

This time, I did it right.  I was completely and totally honest with myself about the size of the clothes in my closet, and the size of clothes that fit on my body, and I emptied an insane number of hangers.  Of course, so did everyone else who came, and as a result, those empty drawers and hangers are all filled back up – only this time with clothes that are brand new to me, and look, feel and fit better than the old ones.  All for free! (or for the price of clothes I was going to donate anyway).

And do you know what’s most joyful about a clothing swap?  Watching someone fall in love with the sweater that fits her like a glove and never quite hung right on me and that my husband always hated.  I want to say I’m even happier for the women who got my slightly used clothes than I am for myself, but as I look around at the shirts, skirts, dresses, shorts, jeans, sweaters, bras (yes, bras!), tank tops and even an adorable sailor hat that came home with me, I must confess – I’m happier for me.

This was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with amazing women as they flowed in and out of Dawn’s home, some not knowing a single person at the party, having only heard about it through a forwarded email, all at different stages of our lives and body types.

There was the young girl looking for clothes for her first job interviews, the one who came with her mom (and refused to try on anything too “girlie”), the woman who had just lost 40 pounds, and the costume designer with a fabulous stash that had only been worn once by the occasional actress.  Then there was me – six and a half years into a happy marriage with all the extra pounds that comes with, admitting that my size now involves two digits and soooo grateful that the woman who just lost 40 pounds showed up!

Seriously, some of her bras still had their original tags.  Score!

Fun update — over the holidays this past year, I saw Dawn as she was on her way to a Christmas party and she was wearing the cutest top.  In face, I said to her, “Wow, I have that exact same shirt!” To which she replied, “I’m pretty sure you used to have it, then you brought it to a clothing swap.”  I couldn’t help but crack up.  It looked great on her!

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