I was walking down the street the other day and I heard someone yell “Hey, Brenna!”
I turned in the direction of the shout but saw only unfamiliar faces. I nodded politely and continued on, trying to figure out how, if I didn’t know them, did they know me?
I did a quick scan and realized, it was my T-shirt.
There are some important points to make about the T-shirt I was wearing that day.
First, it was part of the uniform for my sixth grade softball team, the Bullets, making it roughly 20 years old. Although it didn’t used to, it now fits me perfectly. It has been washed into some strange combination of sea-foam green and turquoise, and written across the back in beautiful black cursive, is my name.
I love that T-shirt.
It was the first T-shirt I wore as part of a team. It was there when I fell in love with sports and started to discover the outdoors. I celebrated in it when I hit three home-runs in one game. I cried in it when I found out my cat died. It bonded me to friends I still have today. It was one of the few pieces of clothing that made the cut when I moved to South Korea and I was wearing it the day my fiancé proposed.
I have a rad collection of awesome T-shirts.
An “awesome T-shirt” is defined by one or more of the following:
The T-shirt is in my possession because it was either, a great thrift store find, or I participated in an event or was part of a team or staff. It says something ridiculous (Example: The Korean T-shirt I have that captions a cat’s face with the word “surorise.” I assume this means “surprise”, but it’s anyones guess). I have had a shirt so long that it was necessary to tie dye it in order to extend its life. Or, it reminds me of great story, friend, or adventure.
So, why keep old, worn, 20 year-old T-shirts?
Well, other than they are obviously great for making new friends (as mentioned above), I keep them because each one carries with it years of stories. Stories about the significant moments in my life, the adventures I’ve had and the person I’ve become. Put together, they are a lifetime of pictures and journal entries.
I’m thankful for my drawer of over-flowing memories and the life-time of comfort and loyalty they’ve provided.
They may be old and worn but there is no reason to replace them. They are pieces of clothing meant, simply to keep you warm, cover and protect you. As long as those requirements are met they remain functional and useful.
This holiday season, remember these old, worn friends who have traveled, bonded and sat with you. Do they really need replacing?
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: courtesy of the author