Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Clothes Drive

I've been shopping for the kids' fall and winter clothes. It gives me a quick, superficial rush to restock their wardrobes each season -- hey, at least the two people in this family who outgrow their clothes at the speed of light can justifiably get a fashion infusion. (Cue weepy violin music) Meanwhile, I slap on whatever tee-shirt isn't too wrinkled or stained, along with jeans that somehow shrunk (!) over the summer.

Although the shopping process pushes my stress-o-meter all the way up to 11, what with my kids' complete inability to stay in one spot for more than a few seconds at a time, I like leaving the store with an armful of new duds. Then I get home. And then the guilt sets in. Yay, inexpensive clothes, big bargains! Boo, made possible by sweatshop labor!

That's why my other form of shopping is so satisfying. I call it "shopping in the garage." In my garage are boxes and boxes of hand-me-downs from my sister Beth (her kids are 9 and 12, and they have very nice clothes) and a friend of mine. With each season, with each new growth spurt, I rifle through the boxes to see what treasures they contain. This time I found a winter coat, snowpants, one pair of pants, and three shirts for Allie, and a windbreaker, four pairs of pants, four shirts, and a sweater for Sean.

So there's my tonic for this particular guilt issue. Next up in the "Bucket, drop in the" file, I guess, will be fluorescent bulbs to fight global warming.