Our house is for sale, so I’m doing some decluttering. Over the past few weeks I’ve taken armloads of clothes, toys, books, DVDs, small furniture items, etc to the local charity shop. I walk by the shop every day, and sometimes I’m nicely surprised to see my former dress or top or whatever in their very attractive window displays. Not nicely surprised enough to want to buy it back again or anything, but I feel a little self-congratulatory ping: Well, at least I wasn’t a fool to buy that in the first place, because someone else thinks it’s nice enough to sell.
Yesterday, on my way to the post office, I brought a pine bedside table to the charity shop, and as I usually do, I had a little look around just to make sure that nobody else had got rid of a pair of the perfect shoes. The shop is arranged by colour. Imagine my shock when I saw, on the green rack, my green comfy jumper.
I knew it was my jumper because it was from Old Navy. They don’t have Old Navy in the UK. I bought it three Christmases ago in Boston, in the sale, because it looked like a perfect comfy jumper to wear around the house while I was writing. It had a hood and a v-neck and though I usually wear size small, I bought it in medium because I wanted it to be loose.
I like this jumper. I wear it quite often. I did not remember donating it to the charity shop.
I looked at the tag. They were charging £3.49. Which is relatively expensive for a jumper in this particular charity shop, and which reflected the fact that this is quite a nice jumper which I should never have given away because I like it.
This immediately led me to a dilemma. Should I go tell the nice ladies who run the shop that this was my jumper and I never meant to give it away and I’d given them lots of other things, like that lovely bright orange coat that they used to such good effect in their display, so could I please have the jumper back please? That seemed a little mean; this was a charity, after all, and it was my mistake.
So should I buy it back? This was the obvious solution, but it was sort of annoying to pay £3.49 for my own jumper. Then again, it was a just and fair fine for making a stupid mistake, and it was for charity.
Or should I just leave it? After all, I hadn’t noticed it was missing. Maybe it was time for me to let that green jumper go, to try a life without the green jumper—a life in which, perhaps, I made fashion choices for style rather than for comfort, or alternatively in which I just wore the brown jumper I bought in the Gap sale instead.
In the end, I only had enough money for the post office anyway, so I had to leave the jumper behind. I left it in the laps of the gods. I thought, Next time I walk by with money in my pocket, I’ll go in to buy the jumper, and if it’s gone, then I wasn’t meant to have it any more.
That was yesterday afternoon.
Today, I was putting some things away in the closet where I keep my clothes, in my house. And there was my green jumper, underneath two other jumpers. I pulled it out and checked.
Old Navy. Medium. With a v-neck and a hood.
What has happened?