catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 12, Num 2 :: 2013.01.18 — 2013.01.31



I rarely buy clothes. Perhaps this is rooted in my adolescent days when, as the youngest of five, I frequently “borrowed” (often without their permission — don’t tell) my older siblings’ very classy clothes purchased from Anne Taylor or The Gap. Their blouses, jackets, and scarves were always more stylish than anything I could call my own.

These days, my mother-in-law is my biggest closet-filler. She frequently offers me hand-me-downs, and I love it. She will take a big bag of clothes on the five-hour drive over the Continental Divide to our house and say, “Take what you want, and we’ll give away the rest!”

Some items, never used, still have the tag hanging off the sleeve. Here is a blue suede dress Mom got at a consignment store (“just in case it would come in handy”). One is a gorgeous cotton “muumuu” her daughter wore once, when she had to be Marilyn Monroe for something. There is a suede blazer that, mysteriously, she got for “a good deal.” This pair of boots (how much would those cost?!) have made this the warmest winter my feet and legs have ever known.

These items — brand-name suede, silk, linen, leather — are all somebody’s rejects. Somebody did not want each of these items, and now they are so useful and valuable to me.

I have a closetful of hand-me-downs, reminders of my own rejection experiences: a friend who abruptly quit returning my phone calls; a party to which 10% of those invited came; a job I was sure was a perfect fit. I remember the heartbreaks of being rejected, but my (beautiful! high-quality!) hand-me-downs help me realize that being rejected does not make me a “reject.” Rejection could (and often does) mean that God simply has something else for me — something even better than what I ever would have imagined on my own.

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