Conquering Mt. Rushmorgan

In the months preceding my daughter’s departure for New York University, I repeatedly asked her to box up the things she wanted and to get rid of the clothes she no longer wore because I was putting the house on the market.

“But I don’t have any clothes I don’t wear,” Morgan said.

“You haven’t cleaned out your closet in several years. There’s got to be stuff you don’t wear.”

She cocked her head to the side and said, “I’ve been working out. I just tried on a pair of jeans I had when I was twelve, and they still fit.”

Fair enough. But what nineteen year old wears clothes she had as a middle schooler?

Especially my girl, with her taste for Prada, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton?

I quit asking her to clean up that room and started warning her that I would do it for her after she left. Anything not in a box was subject to being given away or thrown away. I was encouraged by the fact that she took four large suitcases full of clothes when she left for school. Surely there wouldn’t be that many left at home. But I never actually entered her room to see what I would be dealing with.

So this morning, I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, and went straight upstairs to her room to begin the job. My little eight-pound dachshund, Laverne, followed me, eager to see the room she’d never been allowed to enter. That place looked like downtown Baghdad. Or, more specifically, like Abercrombie and Fitch had somehow begun reproducing at the rate of spiny water fleas. Her walk-in closet, which is, incidentally, twice the square footage of her new dorm room at NYU, was literally six inches deep in clothes. I piled them up and dubbed the pile Mount Rushmorgan.

It was as tall as I am.

Laverne, who had been rooting around in the closet, started barking. She was under that big pile of clothes, probably looking for some underwear to chew, and couldn’t get out.

I was in that room all day long. And by the time I’d finished, there were thirteen large black garbage bags full of trash in the hallway waiting to be carried to the street. Below is a random sampling what I found in her room:

1. Sixty-two empty perfume, shampoo, lotion, and self-tanner bottles.

2. Three sets of fake eyelashes

3. A soothing cucumber eye mask

4. A half of a bra (I’m not sure I want to hear the story behind that one)

5. Approximately 100 pounds’ worth of old magazines, most with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the cover

6. Four SAT preparation books that I’m pretty sure were never opened.

7. Ten boxes of contact lenses. Apparently, she hadn’t really “run out” of lenses the month before when I’d paid for a new supply. She just couldn’t find them.

8. An old diary that started with the words, “I write in this book when I am stressed out and pissed off. If you are not Morgan, quite reading about my life and go get your own.” The rest of the pages were torn out.

When I was finished cleaning her room, I went downstairs to check my messages. I had a text from her telling me I needed to Fed-Ex her passport to her because she’d lost her driver’s license.

I wonder how that could have happened.

Translate this post