A Woman and Her Clothes



My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

A young woman is coming from Africa and arriving in San Antonio, Texas, tomorrow.  She is lucky.  A group of  students in the Hill Country of Texas raised enough money to pay tuition for her schooling in Africa  over the last two years.  Not only will she be arriving in Texas, but will leave the next day for a college in Missouri.  So much change and so fast with the support of a collection of people.

This takes me to my clothing dilemma.  A professional organization I belong to is connected to the students who paid for the young woman’s schooling in Africa.  We have been asked to donate used clothing. Once she gets off the plane she will have a “trunk show” to pick clothes before she heads to college.  Think about it for a minute.  This young woman doesn’t have the usual going off to college shopping trips.  Whatever clothes she has are probably limited and not what the “normal” college students wear.  And, Missouri can be mighty cold in the winter (I know I’m from Kansas) .  Imagine facing your first snow storm in flip flops and no coat.

This brings me to my closet.  The days of nice suits and expensive blouses, skirts, jackets, and anything really trendy are gone.  But, I have some things which might keep a young woman warm, look stylish enough, fit (or be too big), and are comfortable.  Those qualities also make me wonder if I really want to part with the 3/4 cream colored sweater, those knee high boots I have never worn, the comfy sweatshirt which fits just right, those leggings I bought and which look better just sitting on the shelf than they ever will on me, and my favorite striped top which is perfect for sleeping.  I ask myself, what if it doesn’t fit?  What if it’s a little long or the color isn’t right?  Will she like my favorite flirty black and red shirt?  Then reality sets in.

Whatever I put in the giveaway bag will cover her body.  Pants that are too big can still be worn, but they can’t be worn if they are still in my closet.  That sweater that I have good intentions of wearing in the winter can be replaced if I really need another.  I can do that.  She can’t.  A jacket that is soft and colorful can be layered if it is too big.  Those boots I like so much, can be stuffed with feet covered in layers of socks.  I don’t need them in Texas, but somebody will need them in Missouri.

Middle class values require some re-working when thinking about the needs of others who are from poverty or countries with different lifestyles.  It took constant internal conversations to remind me that something is better than nothing and things can be bartered or sold if needed.  My criteria for clothing is not going represent what is important for this young woman. So off they go, some of my favorite things to a better owner for a better use.  They are are going to college in a city  about 90 miles from my hometown!!!!













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