"At times I think my coffee and tea addictions truly drive my artistic energy. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good."

Wooden Hangers

Posted: 11/19/10 | Written by Jeannie | Labels: ,

I’m twenty-seven and I have a closet full of wooden hangers. This may not amaze anyone. There are plenty of people out there with wooden hangers. Though, I never thought I’d be one of those people. The hangers which have hung so brilliantly in my closet over the years have been made from shades of plastic and metal, sometimes just plastic, sometimes metal wrapped in paper. The kind you get back from the dry cleaners. Only we never took our clothes to the dry cleaners. Our family always found ways of washing those items that were cleverly labeled “dry clean only”. It’s what families do. My family was neither rich nor poor we were careful and conscientious.

But today the world got to me. I don’t mean ‘the spirit of the world’ and all its self indulgent, narcissism but a week of work culminating into a tumbling down of emotions. My boss, his son and the shop manager have all been out of town this week. I thought it would be an easy week with room to write here and there. Didn’t happen. All week I kept fires at bay, babied employees, and managed to get through a mountain of drawings. This is normal. Work is work and I’m happy the recession never hit me hard. However, on top of this was a monumental fail and subsequent pick up of responsibility I didn’t want nor needed on such a short notice. Beer-thirty came and passed me by, not even glancing in my direction, just whooshed on down the railroad while I watched from the not so comfortable office desk chair. And at that moment I realized I needed retail therapy.

Earlier in the week, while talking with a fellow writer, I’d come across the fact that I can’t multitask nearly as much as I thought I could. Chatting and trying to get my NaNoWriMo word count up wasn’t working so I ended up chatting and shopping online. Now I don’t have a huge disposable income, let me get that out there first of all. But unlike my parents who at my age had four kids (between them both) and already had a path set for them to follow, I do not. So if you hear of me shopping more than twice a week you run the chance that I might be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. After a 14 hour workday I chatted with Lee and bought a new Kate Spade wallet. That was Tuesday. Seriously, the second day of the work week and I needed retail therapy. And as I watched that beer-thirty train passed me by today, blowing that horn to make me hate it just a bit more, I found myself at Bed Bath and Beyond with an arm full of wooden hangers.

Now, I look in my closet and see all the brilliantly arranged blouses and trousers and I have an odd sense of accomplishment. Sure the hangers were on sale and they cost less than the Kate Spade wallet I’d bought earlier in the week. But the pile of plastic hangers that sit awkwardly in trash bags is more satisfying than the actual retail part of therapy. Seeing those hangers made me realize that in a nation filled with recession and hopelessness, I’m okay. I may not own a home, have a brand new car but you know what, I have a closet filled with wooden hangers.