We all have a favorite article of clothing that makes us happy. When we wear it, all is right in the world.
Today marks the last day I will forever wear my favorite shirt. My first thought when I realized its untimely demise was, “Maybe I can save it… Turn it into a piece of art, or a rag!” But no. The shirt is done. It’s run its course. Only one thing left to do: Let me tell you my story.
I was 17 or so when I bought the t-shirt. Big deal, 17 year olds buy clothes all the time, but I bought this shirt with my own hard earned cash. I’d bought stuff before with my own money, but this shirt meant something more to me. I forked over $40 plus taxes for my shirt. $40 nearly 23 years ago. THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY. Based on inflation in today’s dollar would be equal to $65 for the shirt. Last year, I had trouble spending ten bucks on a shirt. But this shirt did last two decades.
I was a mallrat in my late teens. I wandered around our local mall all the time. It was a place to go to meet with friends and kill time & brain cells. I must have passed the store that sold the t-shirt a few dozen times before finally buying it. The store was called “Distrito” and it specialized in unique clothes and junk. Stuff you’d usually only find in downtown Vancouver.
There was only one shirt and it came in one size. My size. It called out to me to buy it. So I did. It was from the 1988 anime film “Akira“. A film that made 14 year old me realize that animation isn’t limited to Disney films and Saturday Morning cartoons. GI Joe wasn’t ever this violent! My mind was blown. From the first time I saw the movie, I fell in love with anime. When I saw the t-shirt, I knew it was going to be mine.
My shirt and I have been to hell & back. I’ve bled on it, barfed on it, and got many other stains I’d rather not share with you. It was my favorite piece of clothing I have ever owned, sweat stains and all. My wife hated it, so I stopped wearing it in my regular rotation. It became a work shirt. But now, it’s done. The material had become so thin, it was practically not even there. It ripped today as I was taking it off. I’m not the Hulk, so the rip terrified me. A rip so horrifyingly loud that as soon as it happened, I knew the end was here.
So now, I say goodbye to a favorite article of clothing. It brought me years of joy.