Some years ago we moved from a fairly small house in Malden to a much larger house in Bedford. In keeping with the law of physics that stuff expands to fill the space available, my stuff did. It was like a supernova explosion, things that had previously had a very specific home scattered to vast uncharted regions of the new Donohue nebulae.
Lately, I’ve started the consolidation phase, aimed mostly at putting like things together. The premise of this is that rather than having five boxes of cycling shorts scattered in unknown parts of the house, it’s better to have one giant box, that you have to disembowel over most of the spare room to find a specific pair of shorts you are looking for.
There are still as yet undiscovered caches of stuff around the house, and there probably will be until the archeologists have had twenty years or so to sift through it.
I recently uncovered one such stash. It was actually in the top drawer of my dresser. In a previous existence, this had been designated for socks, headbands, and assorted cycling accessories. Over the years, the socks and headbands had migrated downstairs, to join all the other cycling gear. Downstairs is my staging area, where I assemble my ensemble for the morning commute, so I rarely get dressed in the bedroom any more, except on those rare occasions when I have to look like a normal human being.
So the top dresser drawer hadn’t been visited in quite some time. I found some interesting items there. First there was the powder blue pair of tights. These were actually runner’s tights, and probably designed for a lady, but as you all know I’m not picky if the price is right. Then there were the two mesh back cycling gloves. They were different brands, of course, which wouldn’t have fazed me, except that they were both right hand gloves. Got to draw the line somewhere.
Then there was the jar of chamois fat. A little history here. The shorts padding currently sold as chamois isn’t actually. Real chamois, which is also used to wash your car if you’re a fanatic, is made of animal hides, and consequently requires a bit more care than the occasional washing. All of my shorts with real chamois from the old days have converted themselves into chamois shields, and slathering ten year old grease on them would probably end up looking like chamois shields covered in Vaseline. But I just can’t bring myself to throw the stuff out.
I did find something that was actually useful. Many years ago, Performance sold replacement padding for cycling shorts (the mock chamois kind). I bought a pair, thinking that someday my chamois would wear out. And so it happened to my winter commuting shorts. My winter commuting shorts were basically summer commuting shorts that had become too threadbare to be worn in public (Mark, take heed), but were Ok concealed under several other layers. This pair had seen several seasons beyond normal obsolescence and the padding was now attached to the lycra in very few places. So I had two choices, sew the padding back or retread it, and since I had this fine padding that had been looking for a raison d’être for so many years, I decided it was time to use it. Worked pretty well except that I kind of screwed up the sewing and some bits are attached to other bits they shouldn’t be (I think the British call this “having your knickers in a twist”).
Now if only I could find a use for all the other stuff ..