Mar 5, 2008

My Life in T Shirts

I went on a Mission today. I planned to get my clothes down to three drawers: essentials (socks, etc); nice clothes and grungy clothes/pajamas. I have WAYYYY too many clothes, I think mostly because I have a tendency to hang on to them. So today I decided, I can keep ten shirts, five pairs of pants, three pairs of shorts, and a few T shirts and pajamas.

I did OK. Except when it came time to cull the T shirts. I realized, when going through these, that I cannot throw away any single one of them. Every single one of the T shirts in my pajama drawer signifies some significant event or era of my life, and having them provides me with a sense of security and continuity in the universe. So I thought, in order to justify their significance to myself, I would document their significance here on this blog. So here they are, in all their faded, chronological glory.

The hiking boot T shirt. It is actually 15 years old. This one reminds me of my favorite Young Womens' president; her loud, spiky-haired, glitzy-earringed, presence in my life at the age of thirteen and fourteen. She convinced my mom to buy me designer jeans and gave me lots of babysitting experience. She and her husband were on the rocks, financially, at this time, and so I let her pay me in candy and half T-shirts. (she and her friend started a T shirt business and promised me one for every two babysitting jobs. This was the result of my earnings.) Eventually I told her I wouldn't charge her anymore, especially for temple trips, and so the one T shirt is all I got out of it. Thank goodness, because my drawers are already straining.

My first high adventure hike. A 50 mile-er, ridgewalking the sierras. In the middle of the logo is a spoon with the word "nobikes" printed horizontally; the spoon is because of a grody story our hike leader's husband told us about his creative childhood idea in how to get more eggs from the chickens that his siblings, nobikes because we all stood in a puzzled group around a sign posted along the trail, reading it aloud ("Noh-bi-kus? Nah-bee-kes?") And then an older girl walked by and said, "oh! look, you can't ride bikes here." It was of course, a hilarious event that required documentation. I was 15.

Picked this one up at Salvation Army in my hometown, a place I frequented often for my style needs. This was my ski-team-training shirt. I was ripped in this shirt. I was in better shape that I ever have been in my life in this shirt. My heart beat 54 times per minute in this shirt. I had beautiful, beautiful legs in this shirt. I was fifteen in this shirt.

this was the shirt for our choir's trip to Italy. This T shirt brings to mind Ubi Caritas, Jeremy Freakin' Blanchard, Jahna, Aya, and Caroline, Serrento, Italian couples screaming at me for correct change, and a glittering, mosaic-covered cathedral, outside of which we ran into beatiful, utah-bred, english speaking Mormon missionaries. AFter two weeks, it was like a Miracle to me.

Another high adventure hike. I actually have five of these; I strongly suspect that the missing two have been comandeered by my little sisters. This one is the one where we circled the rest stop several times because our hike-leader's husband was confused. And yet we enjoyed the circling. And the blisters. And the backpack belt sores.

The last of my high adventure hikes. It reads; Give Blood: Hike the sierras. The mosquitoes in the Sierra Nevadas still probably carry my DNA around with them to this day; perhaps scientist in a million years will find my strands and create a blonde-haired, fake glasses-wearing, Obama supporting clone army.

My parents picked this up in Israel when they went with my Dad's family. It wore out fast, but I still love it, and thinking about all the experiences my Mom and Dad related, particularly their visit to the Garden Tomb.

From my lovely community college. I found myself that year, in a hot cup of cocoa and a biscotti every morning. And in my favorite colors. And in a new job and driver's lisence, and in my first serious dating experience, eventually culminating in marriage and my beautiful 6-year-old.

This is from the summer job I had right after my year at Ricks, the same summer I was married for the first time. This is a less happy T-shirt... I wasn't very good at this job. Or at least, not as good as I could have been. Because I was too shy, and too afraid to do what I knew was right. I was hired to be a therapeutic assistant of sorts for a boy with Cerebral Palsy in his school's summer camp. I was a very nice assistant, but I didn't make him do the stuff he needed to do. I took a lesson from this and did better in my later jobs in the helping professions at enforcing boundaries and rules, and calling people on stuff when they could do better. Not the most fun job, but an important one... and very helpful in preparing for parenthood, too.

My Coworker at the BYU bindery and I were strapped for cash, and suddenly we got the brilliant idea to join the ROTC so they could pay for our education. We immediately went down to the building on campus, (during our lunch break) and got the whole spiel. The Man who talked to us was named (no joke) 'Captain War'. And I found out I couldn't join because I was a single parent. I am now very glad I didn't join. Oh, and another ROTC funny experience: The ROTC building and the Building that my Psychology lab held meetings in was separated only by a small backyard. Well, one time we were meeting in the main room, which has windows that look out onto the field, and we saw all these ROTC kids there, huddled behind trees and such, wearing Camo. They all held rifles and other weapons, one with this little miniature rocket-launcher at his shoulder. The weapons were all pointed at us, through the windows. They were practicing their drills on us, as if we were a hostile enemy. They wanted to take over our psych lab! My professor had us all surrender. Fun times, fun times. They all giggled and ran off after we noticed them.

This is from an event that Skywalker used to attend every year. He has one exactly like mine. We are twins a lot in them. I wore this when I was pregnant with both of my last two kids, even during the most pregnant of times. It's a perfect shirt for this because the collar and neck are nice and snug and the belly is still roomy. And I love it because it's Skywalkers' and my T shirt.

This was from the family reunion two summers ago. We're a musical family and quite proud of our band. Plus, we all quite enjoy the classic thriller, "return of the crawling hand," and so it's a play on words. Hah! We're so clever.

Anyway, so now you know everything about me, just from a few dusty T shirts.


Margaret said...

You and I would BOTH be rich if there was a market for well-used t-shirts with a history. Couldn't we frame them, like they do with sports jerseys, and type of the story to go on a little silver plaque under the shirt?

merrilykaroly said...

Wow! That was so cool. I have t-shirts I never wear that I just can't throw away, too.

You need to be in the next crawling hand movie. Please???

Janell said...

You ought to either make them into a snuggly quilt or save them in a scrapbook. =)

the nice one said...

well it's good to see i'm not alone my tshirts from high school have actually been cut down to squares for a quilt but well that's as far as it has gone but it would be super cool!!

texasblu said...

lol! I need to show this to Redbeard. I don't hang onto clothes, but he does, for the same type reasons. Any plans to give them a special place rather in your normal drawers?