Tracy Beckerman column: Indiana Beckerman and the Closet of Doom

Tracy Beckerman
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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

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It was a balmy October day; the kind that gives you hope that even though the leaves are turning and the days are shorter, it’s still summer. But while Mother Nature may have been confused, I knew that the cooler weather was coming and I needed to pull my wool sweaters out of storage.

Going through the piles, I tried on the first sweater. It was cuter than I remembered and made me excited for the cooler weather. But as I began to pull it off, I noticed a number of white spots on it. With an increasing sense of dread, I realized the white spots were actually my white t-shirt showing through thumbnail-sized holes in the sweater. The sweater was no longer a sweater. It was a net.

Being somewhat skilled in denying the awful truth when it is staring me in the face, I decided the sweater must have suffered some kind of aged-sweater illness that caused it to somehow disintegrate in spots over the summer.

Tossing it on the floor, I reached for the next sweater and tried it on. This sweater seemed to have caught the same illness as the one before it. Sweater after sweater exhibited the same symptoms and I realized with horror that the “Great Sweater Epidemic” had swept through my entire winter wardrobe.

I was just about to call the CDC when I noticed a flutter come from within the belly of my closet.

Prior to this disaster, I’d had a false sense of security that our home, our haven, was secure. I thought our fortress was impenetrable. But in that moment, I discovered that our inner sanction had been invaded … by moths.

As the moth flew out of the closet, the reality of what had actually transpired dawned on me. I had no idea how such a thing could have happened until it occurred to me that the cedar chips I had put in my closet 10 years ago might have actually lost their moth-repelling capabilities over time.

Another moth flew out, bigger than the one before. Bigger, fatter, hungrier. It wasn’t just your everyday moth. It was Mothra. I stared as it took a dinner break on the wall and knew, with certainty, that my clothes were doomed.

I picked up the phone.

“Do we have moth insurance?” I asked my husband.

“You mean like if a giant moth lands on our house and crushes it?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “I mean if a colony of moths breeds in my closet and devours my wardrobe.”

He sighed. I could practically hear him shaking his head in disbelief on the other side of the phone.

“Didn’t you have cedar chips?” he wondered.

“They appear to have eaten those, too.”

“Sorry honey,” he said.

“They ate holes through all my wool sweaters!” I groaned. “What should I do?”

“Only one thing I can think of,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“Next time, buy cotton.”

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeckerman and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.