Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Golden Boy?

My Seinfeld peeps know what I'm talkin' about:

We all have that one article of clothing that we reach for first, the one that's comfortable and fits just right and just feels perfect.

Last night I pulled out a favorite t-shirt of mine that I'd pretty much retired a few years ago. It's an XL purple tie-dye that I bought at the natural food store when I was a mere pup of 15 years old. I remember that day so well; it was Springtime, and one of the first warm days of the year. My friend D and I walked down the steep hill from school into town and did a little window shopping, and that shirt just caught my eye. I bought it in the only size they had, which meant that it was far too large to wear out and about. It became my favorite sleep shirt.

About two years later, we had a house fire, and my entire house and all of our belongings burned to the ground. As we sifted through the wreckage, I came across the mangled remains of our washer and dryer, and on a whim I opened the washer to reveal a wet load of laundry still twisted up inside the machine. From that random assortment of clothing, I plucked my Golden Boy, my Purple Power tie-dye.

< insert angelic choir here >

It was the only garment of mine that survived the fire, and I quickly put it back into rotation as my go-to comfy shirt and sleep tee. When I went to college, Purple Power went with me. When I lived in the (co-ed) dorms, I specifically remember getting whistled at while wearing this t-shirt on several occasions. It hits me somewhere mid-thigh, and is baggy enough to show some clavicle up top, but otherwise was suitably modest for walking from my room to the ladies' bathroom, I thought.

Somewhere in my twenties, Purple Power started to get a little ragged. Small holes appeared here and there, and a large rip started under the right armpit. I did not let those blemishes dissuade me from wearing it, and as Jerry says in the clip above, you cannot show preferential treatment to the favorite shirt. Wash, rinse, repeat!

I wore it during hospital stays. I wore it on the night before my wedding. I wore it on those tough nights when the baby wakes you several times a night, needing something and everything and nothing.

One day, a few years ago, the hole under the arm became so gaping that I knew it was time to say goodbye. I folded it neatly and put it on the bottom of my pajama drawer. I didn't dwell on it. I moved on. Purple Power would be there when I needed it, and that was enough.

I'm not sure why, but when I needed it again was last night. As I scrounged through my drawer for something to wear to bed, my fingers brushed against the familiar and well-worn cotton, and I pulled it out and put it on without hesitation. It slipped over my shoulders and grazed my hips just so, and suddenly that gaping hole didn't seem so bad after all. Maybe I'll even stitch it up, despite my lack of enthusiasm for such tedious and domestic tasks as sewing.

Here I am at 6:30 this morning, wearing my Purple Power tee. Yeah, I wear glasses in the AM and no, I hadn't brushed my teeth or hair yet. Deal.

I don't know whether it's because of the shirt or not, but I woke up this morning with words in my head that weren't there before. I wrote them down, and I like them. I think I'll keep doing it. I think this shirt is magical.


Kate said...

Ah the warm caress of well warn cotton. Send it to me and I'll stitch it up for you!

Just so you know--I have put the first season of True Blood on my Netflix queue, I am going to give it a good honest try.

Cary said...

I like it. Bullet holes and all. I'm glad you survived the drive-by.

"...something and everything and nothing." Isn't that the truth? Well said.

Great post, B.

Mala said...

HA! I love how you said goodbye... and then put it back in the drawer! You are so my kinda chick! Throw NOTHING away!!!!!
Have a showed you my shoes?

Give it to me and I'll hot glue it.

calicobebop said...

Ah yes, the perfect tee. So glad you could rescue it from the house fire! It must have been meant to be!

MtnMama said...

I love what you look like in the morning, and even more that you took a picture and shared it with us. You wear glasses! (so do I) I knew you were the little sister I was supposed to have.

I feel all mushy this morning because that was such good writing, Bev (and because I'm sick)

Organic Meatbag said...

godspeed to you and the Purple shirt-gasm, Bev!! I had a flannel shirt like that...just like Michael Keaton in "Mr. Mom"... I finally put the old girl down a couple of years ago...but for years, old flannel girl caressed my skin, kept me warm, kept me comfy, felt nice on my chest hair, and hugged me like an angel, even as my gut got bigger *sniff* *sob*...I'm sorry, I have something in my eye!!

Stacie's Madness said...

awe, YAY...

I am a purger...and not of the finger in throat kind. I don't save much of anything.

Harmony said...

I love this's absolutely beautiful.

Kari said...

Awesome, Bev. You look fantastic in the Purple Power. I had a UConn t-shirt that I wore the crap out of for 20 years before I finally sent it to The Big Dryer in the Sky. Now I wish I still had it. It's amazing that mere things can mean so much.

Courtney said...

Awesome am picture.
I have a sweatshirt that I stole from my borther and I shit you not, it's 20 years old. I will totally post about it because it makes your shirt look like a million bucks.

Anonymous said...

omg, this post is so beautifully written, Bev. who knew a post about a ratty old tie-dye could evoke so much emotion?!

i love you, and i love the Purple Powah. ;)

Samsmama said...

Aw, I'm so happy for you and your shirt. Surviving the fire was a sign! I can't really think of any sentimental garments I have. Maybe at one point I did. Guess they weren't that special to me after all. And this concluded the most worthless comment ever.

Frank Irwin said...

I had a Bloom County t-shirt that I bought in '82. It didn't have holes, but it got pretty thin. I wonder if I still have it...

Kristen said...

A toast to the thigh grazing {umm...that didn't come out quite right} purple tie-dye shirt. It must be 5 years old by now... Right?

Bev said...

Kate - Careful, I might just do that! Enjoy True Blood - hope you don't think it sucks and then disregard all of my recs from now on. Ha ha... cough... ha.

Cary - Yes! Good thing I am bullet-proof when I wear Purple Power. Magic, and all.


Mala - Right? It's a New England thing. ;)

Calico - exactly! Fate & a purple tie-dye.

MtnMama - I will gladly adopt you as a 2nd big sister! Thanks so much... and feel better!

OM - aww, ya big softie! Here's a Kleenex. LOVE Mr. Mom. "My woobie!"

Stacie - Purger. Heeeeeee! I wish I was. I'm more of a hoarder. I'll be featured on Oprah some day when my basement becomes a series of mazes through ceiling-high crap.

Harmony - thank you!! oxox

Kari - "big washer in the sky!" Love that!!

Courtney - We could have Ratty Clothing Blog Wars!

Anon (if that is your real name!) - Thank you, lady! (not that I know who you are... just a guess...). You know I love you back.

Samsmama - even your "worthless" comments make my day!

Frank - put that bad boy on and take me a picture! Preferably before dawn, sans bra.

Kristen - Gosh, I love you for saying that. Yes, it must be at least 5 years old by now. Super old, yo. Ahem.

Heidi Renée said...

I had a t-shirt that I just had to retire. Like yours, mine ripped around the armpit. It was a tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirt with marching skeletons and bears (I had a phase in middle school... don't ask). It had been worn as real clothes, worn as pajamas, chewed on by my rabbit, clawed by my cats, you name it. I put it in the rag bag, but I haven't used it for cleaning yet. Maybe I can sew the sleeve part back together, too...

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

that was a FANTASITC episode! lol

Gauche said...

nothing like your favorite shirt to make the day much better. I have a fav shirt too, but its my Green Shirt of Power. *wise nod*

Kate said...

I really want to like True Blood; I have always been interested and intrigued by vampires. I think the acting is pretty bad, but I can overlook it if the story is good. I have been watching the recent episodes, so the fact that I am starting at the beginning is a good sign.

Elliott said...

Lori has one of these. Her Eddie Bauer sweatshirt that is going to fall apart like the Bluesmobile in Dealey Plaza at any moment, and I threaten to add it to my rag bin every time it emerges.

I have a red buffalo-plaid flannel shirt that is like a giant hug, and somehow I think red flannel makes me look sexy in a fat guy sort of way. It is pristine, I maintain it with care, as I have lost favorite items in the past. Of course, I don't get to wear it very often in the FLA.