the old shirt moment

[non-sarcastic post alert]

Think you’ll never get over him? Think again. I recently learned that some boys are very much like boldly-patterned shirts.

Ever visit your childhood home and dig through bins of your old junk hoping maybe you’ll come across a fully-stocked wallet or an ounce of weed you’d forgotten about? Heaps of abandoned possessions deemed unworthy of your grown-up life, yet too important to throw out or donate. Doomed to Sterilite purgatory until your parents decide to move and you’re forced to face your hoarding habit.

Anyway, amidst the rummaging you see something that takes you back. Nostalgia hits you like a syrupy slap in the face as you tug on the flamboyant fabric, pulling out the old shirt.

You know the one. It has that bright paisley pattern interwoven with zebra stripes and colorful embroidered sunflowers, and back in the day you’d wear it at least once a week.It was so “you”. You cried when you spilled orange juice on it because you thought it’d stain forever. Your sister was never allowed to borrow it–she could borrow any of your skank-in-training Limited Too tops, but not your special shirt. This thing was irreplaceable.

You loved it and you remember that love with such clarity that for a second you almost consider trying on the old shirt, then remember what a hideous disgrace to fashion it actually is. It looks like Lisa Frank wiped her ass with it. Twice. How did you manage to wear that shirt and keep your friends? Into the attic with you, shirt.

You start to pack it away again because you can’t bear the idea of donating it to Goodwill to be hung in an abyss of other outdated apparel until some wanna-be hipster turns it into her DIY project.

Will you ever wear it again? God no. The idea actually makes you feel a little sick. But in this moment, holding it up in all its ostentatious paisley glory, you realize that this shirt isn’t you–it’s just the “you” you used to be. Almost as if time froze during an acid trip in an embroidered sunflower garden and everything stood still but you walked on through.

It doesn’t match anything you own now. The old you may have adored that shirt, but that same little girl also wore purple eyeshadow and crimped her hair. This shirt truly is irreplaceable, but there’s no reason to keep it around anymore. It’s finally time for Goodwill.

But damn, whoever wears this old piece of shit next has to really deserve it.

Helen

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