I found Heather’s leggings in a basket of random laundry the other day.
I remember when she brought them over to you in a little bag. Slipped the bag on the porch.
You had started wearing leggings. (And short shorts and muscle shirts, and bright colors)
You liked the way leggings hugged your legs, you said.
I tried hard to be open to your new style.
I pushed all instincts aside.
I didn’t know that changing your style was a red flag for infidelity.
“Heather had an extra pair for me,” you explained when you took the pants out of the bag.
I didn’t know her underwear was also downstairs in your office.
One day we were at Heather’s house and she was excited that she had decluttered and reorganized her closet. She took us both into her bathroom to show us. She gave us a tour of her bathroom, and her minimalist closet.
I didn’t know your t-shirt was stuffed in her bedroom, worn when her husband wouldn’t notice.
I thought it was…unusual to be taking a bathroom closet tour. But, I complimented her on her new organization.
I wondered if maybe she had a secret closet somewhere else because I didn’t see the clothes that she usually wore. But, I complimented her on the aesthetic of the clothes that were hanging there.
I didn’t know what Heather’s point was about being so proud of her recent thrift store finds. But, I complimented her new purple shirt.
A few days later you handed me a Victoria’s Secret bag. “It’s from Heather,” you said and I laughed. The thrift store shirt was folded in tissue paper. I pushed all instincts aside.
I texted Heather to thank her for the shirt. I hung the shirt up in my closet. I tried it on. It smelled like Heather’s house, her perfume, her. Eventually, I put it in my goodwill bag and donated it. But, I did not want to wear it. I pushed all instincts aside. I felt guilty about donating a gift.
I didn’t know I wasn’t the one who should be feeling guilty.
I didn’t know that my gift was part of the clothing exchange.
Leggings, underwear, t-shirts (oh my.)
Also sweatshirts, now that I think about it.
Anything to have the scent of each other close by.
So I just don’t really want to think about why I was given that shirt that smelled like Heather.
I do wonder … can you burn leggings?
In the meantime, I am listening to this song and wondering if I can sing it about leggings in my laundry.