Back in February, I began a self-imposed ban on new t-shirt purchases. Spending money on new t-shirts of any kind for myself was expressly prohibited. The fact that I have nearly run out of plain white undershirts to wear below white dress shirts has severely complicated this. It has, however, made for some great conversations at wakes and funerals.
"I believe you have something on your shirt."
"No, that's just Spider-Man's face on the shirt I'm wearing underneath. See," I continue as I unbutton my dress shirt to my wife's horror, displaying the comic artwork beneath, "it's the cover from issue 40. Doesn't he look like such a bad-ass standing over the green Goblin like that?"
As I later told my wife, sometimes a close relative is reminded of the recently-deceased's love of their childhood comic superheroes due to just such a happy coincidence. My exposure of my undershirt could then make their day a little brighter as we reminisce together over their loved one's life and hobbies. That wasn't the case in the scenario above. That time the guy looked at me like I had an ear growing out of my forehead, but you never know when it might be the case.
Despite the obvious difficulty, I am proud to say that I have managed to stick with my pledge. Not a single silk-screened, torso hugging, mass produced display of my unique personality in clothing form has made its way into my wardrobe.
In fact, the t-shirts that I had long allowed to languish in the bottom of my dresser drawers or left for too long in the dirty laundry pile have received renewed attention. I had forgotten just how many awesome t-shirts I possess. The problem I face now is that I am keeping so up to date with cycling through my shirts that I sometimes feel guilty about wearing one that I particularly like again before I've worn another.
In the interest of fairness, I have caused myself stress over trying to be impartial, insisting that I treat my t-shirts as I would my children. They even get washed almost as often as my kids, which has created a premium on dresser drawer space and I can't exactly expand to another drawer now or my wife will become very upset and either leave or, possibly worse, ridicule me.
But I think I have come up with a solution. You know the saying, "Sometimes you have to spend money to make money?" Well, I have distorted that theory to my own benefit and hypothesized that if I buy a few t-shirts that are so unbelievably awesome, they could replace three older t-shirts at a time. This would leave me with fewer shirts, but higher quality ones. I would have to buy t-shirts to get rid of t-shirts.
Brilliant, right? Now let's just see if my wife buys it. For Pete's sake, it's been nine months! I'm going crazy here! I need a new shirt! Who could possibly withstand restricting such a fundamental aspect of their lifestyle for nine whole months? My wife obviously doesn't understand how difficult it is. She's never been through anything like this.
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