Saturday, November 13, 2010
Goodbye, T-Shirt From 1989
I am in the process of consolidating my dresser. Four drawers of t-shirts have to now fit into two, so things have to go. I piled up the excess next to the dresser, on top of sweaters, sweatshirts, ties and other clothes I no longer wear. Girlfriend helped me pick and choose. She held up a long sleeve blue and red striped shirt without a collar.
"Have you seen this in a store lately?" she asked.
"Not really," I said.
"That's because they don't sell this in a store anymore," she said, shaking the shirt slightly for emphasis.
"But I like that shirt," I said. "I wear that shirt."
"So did Pacey from Dawson's Creek," she said, shaking the shirt a little more forcefully. It landed in the 'no' pile.
And so it went. Goodbye, yellow sweater with a tiny hole in it. Goodbye, running shirt with a leprechaun dating from 1989. Goodbye, beige ties. Goodbye to all ten of you.
As this was all happening, I looked around at the stacks of stuff piled around me. I got a lump in my throat. Girlfriend asked if I was ok. Yes, I said. But it was a bit strange to me that shirts I had worn for years were going into the 'no' pile.
And so Girlfriend and I had The Talk. Girlfriend is fashion conscious. She buys more clothes in a month than I buy in a year. The reason I was so emotional, she said, was because I didn't get rid of stuff soon enough. When you're wearing shirts you wore in high school, you've formed an attachment to them. You have to treat them like a commodity, she said, and not like an extension of yourself. That made sense to me. Some people have kids. Some have pets. I have t-shirts.
I rolled up to Goodwill and the attendant took my folded stacks of clothing and tossed them into a bin. As he handed me a receipt, I took one last look. At least ten years of my life were in that bin. The lump in my throat came back. I turned away and started the car. They're just t-shirts, Pacey. They're just t-shirts.