I recently mentioned the number of recurring themes in my posts. From very early, one of the most persistent ones has been Kate’s clothes. When I say “clothes”, I really mean a variety of issues that involve clothes. At first, it was simply finding clothes for Kate to wear. She didn’t hang them up after wearing them. They were scattered on the floors and furniture of three bedrooms. The problem was exacerbated by her gaining weight and not fitting into her clothes. That led to issues of buying new ones. We went to the stores where she had shopped for years. They tended to stock nicer lines of apparel than suited her needs. They were also expensive. She still wanted to be actively involved in the purchase decisions. She selected things that she wouldn’t wear every day, and she attended fewer special occasions. She was becoming less and less attentive to soiling her clothes. Over time, she started wearing her good clothes to work in the yard. At first, I would get her to put on her yard clothes, but later I gave in.
One of the big steps forward was Kate’s cleaning up the mess in the three bedrooms. We never talked about it. One day she just started picking things up. As she did, I starting discovering the ones that fit and giving the ones that didn’t to our housekeeper. Then I arranged the clothes in the closet she used most often. I put all the tops on the left side arranged by color. I put all the pants on the right side, also arranged by color. Until recently, that had kept me busy because Kate never hung them back in the places I intended.
Kate continued to gain weight. That meant I had to buy larger sizes than in the past. I finally resorted to catalog shopping. That worked very well. I have bought pants, tops, sweaters, jackets, underwear, shoes, and socks. I had to experiment a little with the sizes. That meant a few returns on some of my first orders and off and on since then. I have found several brands to choose from. I have also settled into pants that stretch at the waist. I also buy at least two and sometimes three identical pants in the same color. Online shopping has certainly made my life much easier.
She was still picking out the clothes she wore each day six to eight months. That meant that she sometimes picked out something that was not quite right for either the weather or the occasion. Neither of us liked my having to be so involved with her daily attire.
Now everything involved with clothes is easier except for keeping them clean. The problem isn’t getting her clothes soiled from working in the yard. She no longer works outside. It arises from toothpaste she gets on her tops and food and sauces she gets on tops and pants. That has me washing a lot more now than in the past. OxiClean and I have become good friends. The washing itself isn’t a big problem. In fact, I find that washing and folding clothes are almost therapeutic. That has surprised me because I resisted taking over the laundry responsibilities for a good while. Initially, I tried to prevent as much soiling as I could. Of course, that was a battle I couldn’t win. It’s still hard for me to deal with her clothes getting dirty so quickly. It is not unusual for me to get her a clean top to wear and discover it has toothpaste across the front of it before we leave the house. That’s the OCD in me coming out and is my problem, not hers.
Issues surrounding her clothes present very little problem now. She has things that fit. I know where they are. When she needs something new, I know how to get it without leaving the house. Some of this has come at a cost. The major reason some things are better is that Kate is now more dependent on me for help. I determine what she wears day and night, and I am increasingly taking more responsibility for getting her dressed. I don’t mind any of those things; however, I wish for her that she were able to do more for herself. That’s a sad thing.