SEATTLE "I am so glad that those pants will be able to experience the landscape of BC this summer!" Liz says. "You are giving them back the life they once knew..."
The pants trousers to you limeys are High Northwest-Granola style, khaki with zippers that convert them to shorts. Oh yes. They scream, "I mortared-and-pestled the flour for my eight-grain pancakes. Now I will serve them with foraged jam and shade-grown, free-trade coffee deep in the wilderness, while leaving no trace, natch."
But we're on message: the pants and I are bound for Vancouver Island this summer, where I will cover hikes for Frommer's, while they cover my @ss. With any luck, I may even persuade various companions to mill ethical, artisanal pancake mix for me...
Even more importantly, I love the back-stories that derive from a clothing swap. Garments come alive, as friends old and new chatter over wine and cheese and cupcakes. Our hostess Jessica adopts the hot pink sweater I thrifted once, when geeking myself up to fall in love (didn't work). In return, I nab the poppy-print skirt she wore one Valentine's Day. We both beam, fashion phoenixes ascendent from the ashes of romances past.
"I bought that lime-green polka-dot Philly shirt in Thailand," Mia laughs. Other tales unfurl: Italian scarves, Chinese tailoring, NYC designer samples, the post-divorce size-two-of-sadness.
Clothes swaps always sounded ... you know ... all girlie. But I walk away beaming with a cleaner closet and the promise of some open-water swimming in the Sound.
I should have known: It's not like the Sex and the City crowd to trade around Manolos and glad rags...