I have a lot of t shirts. So many, in fact, that I have a hard time finding the particular shirt for which I am looking and then tend to veer off and pick one that matches my mood or the occasion as closely as time and my patience allows. Tomorrow, after all, is another day. I expect that I will get a chance to wear that certain shirt at some other possibly even more appropriate moment.
Or so I hope.
Considering the certainty of at least one hundred eighty days a year that I am encouraged/required to wear the "business casual" uniform of an elementary school teacher, it surprises me how easy it is to access that muscle that twitches every time I see that "free t shirt" offer. Why would I need any more t shirts than I already have stuffed in my burdened IKEA dresser. I expect the main reason my Malm has yet to endanger any of us by tipping over with all that ballast I have stuffed into those drawers. There are years of personal history stored on the front and back of shirts, some of which I have forgotten. Sporting events, movies, and lots and lots of concerts. Some of these are thirty or more years old.
Why am I holding on to these relics? The simple answer is within that question. For me, these are touchstones. They are the memories of days gone by. When I look at the back of one of those tour shirts and pick out the city where I saw this show or that, it brings that evening: find your seat, find the t shirt stand, enjoy the concert.
A whole bunch of times.
If I cared to, I could probably paint a pretty accurate picture of the last three decades of my life by laying out all those shirts on a floor somewhere. It would have to be a pretty big floor. That's just the ones I have tucked away in drawers. Years ago, I went through my collection and culled the ones that I stopped wearing because they were too worn or too small. My wife offered to make a quilt of these treasures, and I offered up a few of the less-tired shirts to my son in hopes that his shoulders could carry on the legacy. Of course, he has his own collection, documenting his journey through his life.
So many shirts. So little time.