Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Requiem for a Shirt

Favorite Shirt, I discovered a rip in your sleeve today.

Actually, I didn't discover the rip. My co-worker did. Right after I pointed out a worn-out hole in her sweater. So maybe it was karma.

Shirt karma.

I don't know how it happened. Maybe it was when I demonstrating to that co-worker how I once ripped a shirt back in 1999 or so when I had the habit of fist-grabbing my cuffs and pulling my sleeves tight. I ripped a former Favorite Shirt that way, and my mother cut the sleeves off and refashioned it into a short-sleeve shirt.

But you wouldn't look good as a short-sleeve shirt, and I no longer wear short-sleeve dress shirts like Dwight Schrute, so I guess this is goodbye.

I enjoyed our time together. Really. You were orange. You were the kind of shirt I could wear and people would see it and say things like, "Wow, nice shirt." Or maybe they'd say, "That's a really cool shirt."

And they weren't complimenting me. They were complimenting you, Favorite Shirt.

I bought you while I was working at a job that didn't require dress shirts. I bought you at the Banana Republic in Rockefeller Center — at the full $59.50 price, even; I didn't wait for you to go on sale — because you looked good on the headless mannequin. I never looked as good as a headless mannequin, but fuck it, I bought you without even trying you on.

See how much fun we had!
I unveiled you at the Pokémon holiday party, and yes, I did keep the tag on in case I chickened out and decided to return the shirt afterward, but later I realized that you, Favorite Shirt, were made for me.

And when I switched jobs and joined a company that required dress shirts every day, I had to buy a bunch of additional dress shirts, but none of them could outshine you, Favorite Shirt.

You were an important part of my life during these last five years, Favorite Shirt. Some mornings, when I just couldn't bring myself to get dressed to start my day because of the existential dread that gripped me with a soul-sucking paralysis, I could put you on and feel good enough about myself to not consider ramming a fuel truck on the Long Island Expressway during my morning commute.

But now you've been ripped. Sure, I could continue to wear you with the sleeves rolled up or while wearing a sweater, but who are we kidding? You were meant to be seen, in full, and I know you wouldn't have it any other way.

Goodbye, Favorite Shirt. It was a great run.

Ah, screw it, shirts can't read tributes. It's off to the garbage can for you!