T and I had been talking about getting a new wardrobe virtually since we moved to Wales. We had brought with us a hideous cheap melamine one that my Mum and Dad had been about to throw out. It was supposed to be a stop gap measure until we got around to buying a really nice one.
It's not like we didn't know what our lovely new wardrobe was going to look like. It would be stripped, reclaimed pine, probably a triple wardrobe with 3 doors and drawers underneath for extra storage. We even went on a few serious wardrobe hunting expeditions, but somehow the nearest we ever got to actually making a purchase was when we visited a local pine furniture specialist and liked all the options so much we couldn't decide. So we bought a bookcase instead and came home.
Last weekend my brother came to visit, and did a great job of distracting me from my current woes. One day we visited Newcastle Emlyn and noticed a new antique shop had opened - so of course we had to go in and have a good look round. Towards the back of the shop was an old, Victorian stripped pine wardrobe - single. I fell in love with it immediately, but there was no price on it, and I sternly told myself that with a divorce looming this is no time to be buying antique furniture. Still, I couldn't help thinking about it. It was so perfect.
When T rang a few days later, I asked what he thought about me buying a new wardrobe. Perhaps it was guilt, but after a brief consideration, he agreed that a new wardrobe was definitely needed. By now the old melamine one had lost its doors, and the cheap hanging rails sagged so badly they needed propping up with broom handles. "How much is it?" he asked as an afterthought. I had no idea, as there had been no price label on it, but from somewhere I found myself saying, "£150".
"Oh that's not too bad," T said, relieved. "Yes, go for it."
On Friday I found myself once again in Newcastle Emlyn, making a beeline for the antique shop. My heart sunk as I entered. It had gone, I was too late. But wait - no, there it was, towards the back. As I approached, I could see a price tag had been added. My heart sunk again. It was bound to be more than £150. Why hadn't I told T a higher price when he asked?
The label read £165. With my heart in my mouth I approached the shop owner. "I love the pine wardrobe you have, but I only have a budget of £150," I tentatively began.
He put his head on one side and pursed his lips. I just knew he was going to turn down my offer.
"Yes, that's OK," he smiled. "Would it be alright if I deliver it for you on Sunday?"
Unable to believe my luck I nodded vigorously, and wrote out the cheque with shaking hands. I had my wardrobe! I virtually skipped back to the car. Somehow it seemed like a good omen.
Back at home I began putting the clothes T had left at the house into black bin-bags, ready for him to pick up on his next visit, or take to a charity shop if they were unwanted. I moved all my clothes into T's old wardrobe in the spare room, and finally the melamine monstrosity could be dismantled and moved out to make room for the new pine wardrobe. What I hadn't expected from all of this was how therapeutic it was to clear T's stuff away. How positive it felt to claim space for my own.
My sweet new little wardrobe was delivered this afternoon. I love it. It's just big enough for one person's clothes - in fact I'll have to do a bit of judicious pruning of my clothes to fit them all in comfortably. But that is a good thing. It's time for a new start, time to release that which no longer fits comfortably, and make future choices according to what pleases me, and no one else.
So you see, really it's a magical wardrobe. Through it, I've peeked into a whole new world.
* Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. I was trying to make this post positive and not dwell too much on anger and recriminations. But hey, I'm only human. ;-)