I Need A New Shirt
THE RAVAGES OF TIME HAVE TAKEN THEIR TOLL ON MY WARDROBE. At least on the part I care the most about – my Hawaiian shirts. The rest of my clothes are there solely to avoid public prosecution, frostbite, and scaring animals and the rest of the population. I do have jeans that have holes in them and shoes that have outlasted their laces, but I cannot allow my Hawaiian shirts to paint me with a colorful deterioration.
A number of my Hawaiian shirts are what I call my “Wal-Mart Wonders” – 10 bucks a pop, made from some petrochemical plastic substance, and virtually indestructible, except for time and exposure to the Solar Wind. Some of these shirts are approaching 15 years old and are not so much fading as they are vaporizing before my very eyes.
In the last couple of years my wardrobe of shirts has gotten a transfusion from a friend, one of the “Usual Suspects” actually. He has a ton of Hawaiian shirts, but he never wears them. He never has. His wife keeps buying them for him. I think she wants to perk up his image. On most days he is dressed in either camouflage hunting gear or in monotone tan or gray. Unless he moves I often forget that he is in the room.
His wife buys him the shirts – very nice ones – and he thanks her and then he hangs them up in a closet in their basement. She has never picked up on the fact that he never wears them.
A couple of years ago, after seeing me clad like a Don Ho impersonator, my friend asked me if I’d like some of his stash. Not being a dummy I said, “Heck, yeah.” About a week or two later he shows up with a half dozen shirts hanging in the rear window of his truck. All I can say is that his wife likes the color orange, and lots of it. I thanked him and transferred the shirts to my car.
While he never liked the shirts, he should have appreciated the gesture. She bought him some top notch, very expensive, and well made shirts – which now hang in my closet. I’ve been wearing his old/new shirts for about two seasons now and they are still in primo condition. It’s my cheapo, knock-off, made by slave labor in North Korea, shirts that are self-destructing. To be honest I will probably swing through the Wal-Mart Cheapo, Knock-off, Made by slave labor in North Korea, Menswear Section to see what they have to offer. Of course I will buy my friend with the secret stash of really good shirts a coffee and ask him about his vacation plans. I can be subtle.
Now that the crows have left Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Aloha, you wahini.”) and the hordes of Canadian Geese are stopping by on their way back to wherever they go, it is time for me to prepare for Hawaiian Shirt Weather. Wash the dusty ones, run a fact-finding mission to Wally World, and start treating my friend with more respect – or at least benign tolerance when he wants to start talking politics. Getting my wardrobe back in shape is not as simple a task as one would think, is it?