Everyone has that ONE  tee shirt. That shirt that you’ve had forever… That you got on a cruise when you were 10 and says “Cabo Wabo” … It’s a crappy shirt really. One that you’d never wear out in public, but you probably sleep in 5 nights out of the week and ignore the massive hole in the armpit and the who-knows-when-you-got-that-stain on the collar.  It’s soft, it’s old, and no matter what, you will wear it until it dies.

I have that shirt. I actually have three like that and I’m sad to announce, one of them must officially be put to sleep. The first of my beloved shirt dates back to 1988(ish). My great aunt and uncle owned a hot dog shop in Chicago called Abe’s on Lincoln (best french fries ever). The tee shirt is red with a “Coke is It” logo on the front and a cartoon of Abe’s on Lincoln on the back. Though it is incredibly worn in and should probably be washed on a delicate cycle, as far as I’m concerned , this shirt is no where near dying and will continue to be a part of the J-Ko night time ensemble (so sexy, I know) as long as I can help it.  
The second shirt, well, the second shirt is a classic. I stole it from my BF Lo in 8th grade at a sleepover. It’s a U2 Joshua Tree shirt– black, super soft, and writing totally faded. Honestly, it’s kind of trendy and would probably sell for 80 plus bucks at Kitson or some place like that. Lo still asks me about this shirt and I still pretend I don’t even have it. (Sorry, Lo). This is a shirt I debate on whether to retire at will; it’s still holding up, though kind of see-thru (like if the cable guy showed up, I’d definitely need to put a bra on underneath). But the thing is, because it is “so cool” and has somewhat of vintage potensh, I’m thinking I should put it away and save it for my daughter (should I have a daughter one day).  Like one day, when she’s in high school and vintage tees and doc martens have made a comeback, I can let her go through old boxes and show her that I am cooler than she thinks. 
The third shirt, well, it’s a remnant of the days/nights of boyfriends past. I acquired it back in my college days. I remember sleeping in it then, knowing what kind of gem I was getting my hands on. It was a grey, old school NY Yankees shirt. It was faded and as soft as a Splendid tee then— NOW??? Omg. NOW it’s pretty much sheer, maybe a faint outline of an N or a Y… The shoulder is shredded and if I answered the door wearing this when the cable guy came, I’d get more than an HD/DVR hook up….
The point is though, it’s time to put this shirt to rest… Baby-Ko likes to play with the tattered ends and the thought that this beloved shirt could be ripped to shreds voluntarily breaks my heart. So it’s time to put it to sleep. Time to say good bye. Time to incorporate another shirt in to the line up….. I could easily rotate the U of A Wildcats tee in to my repertoire, but the Cher Concert Tee from 1999 seems to be the obvious pick…. pair that shirt with doc martens and my “vintage” True Religion jeans, and my someday “teenage daughter” will be one cool chick…. At least in the privacy of our own home….
FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Lo
    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
    I can't believe you admitted to the world that you have my coveted tee! Take care of it - i trust you with it! If you ever plan to retire it I will make it a pillow case......
  2. Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
    My version of That tee, is a competition shirt from 1987 - startlingly hole free despite being worn constantly for various vigorous activites (like walking slowly to the kitchen). The moment I realized it was one of these treasured gems, however, is what makes it so special. I was performing in a dance concert, and one of the high school girls at a rehearsal came over to me, pointed at the date and said (in a bright, chipper little voice) "I wasn't even born then!" yeah. thanks so much for that. RIP your latest casualty, long live the survivors!