My journal entry April 5, 2012, Thousand Oaks, California.
“I don’t know why it bothers me so much that Robert has so many tee shirts. I guess it’s because I can’t stuff anymore into his drawers…(ha!).”
I’m not much of a tee shirt person, but over the past year I’ve acquired four. Soft and colorful with cheerful sayings on them, they have been a source of comfort during these trying times. While I like to dress up a bit more, Robert is just the opposite. He lives in tees. After having to wear suits for the past forty years, I can understand why he has preferred casual wear when not working.
His Tee Collection is similar to my Shoe Collection. Both fall into categories. My categories are: heels, flats and sneakers. Robert’s tees can be broken down into events attended, places visited and funny sayings. While I choose my daily foot wear based on an outfit or activity, Robert seems to choose his Tee of the Day based on reactions he gets from others.
I’ve noticed that when he works in the yard he now sports his “Carlson’s Building Materials” shirt. This may have started when a Home Depot delivery person asked him what he did for a living then commented, “You look like you work in construction.” Once he wore his “Zucchini Festival” tee to yoga and received uproarious laughter from the studio owners. From then on, he only chose tees from his humorous category for yoga. For some odd reason his “Malt Whiskey” shirt gets a lot of chuckles when he wears it hiking. We were in the Grand Canyon two summers ago. When we passed a couple of hikers on the trail we could see a wave of recognition fall over their faces. From afar his tee appears to read “Walt Disney” with the Magic Kingdom in the background. Upon closer view people see what it really says, prompting one man to say, “I could really use one of those right about now.”
Not long ago Robert bought a tee shirt and asked me take a photo of him in it. Though others laugh when they see him wear it, he was only concerned about the reaction he’d get from the two people he texted the photo to – his brothers. The tee says, “Mom’s Favorite.”
Tee shirts can be worn for their comfort or style, but they can also reflect what we are feeling. With all the upsetting pandemic and political news recently, I needed an extra boost. So I slipped on my “Good Things are Coming” tee shirt. Robert’s choice? A tee shirt he bought in Nashville from a Goo Goo candy store. It reads “What a Cluster!”