Thursday, August 02, 2007


Who here hasn't been lured into some activity with the free t-shirt? It's up there with free pizza or "punch and pie." Much better than the key chain or "soda koozie." I think I have 3 credit cards due to this very ploy. You'd think the free t-shirt would lose its charm once you're old enough to legally enter the bar you've been going to for 3 years, but no. If it weren't for those t-shirts, what would you
a. work out in,
b. mow the lawn or
c. sleep in?

When I was younger, I had tons of t-shirts from high school activities. Student groups, sports, various community theater productions. I earned my t-shirts through sweat and watching 16 year olds make out in the hallway during "play practice." By the time I was ready to leave my parent's nest, I had amassed a ridiculous quantity of these pre-shrunk cotton wonders. In fact, my mother made me a queen sized quilt of my teen glory.

Ahh, college. The land of visa shirts and discover bottle openers. My high school shirts were replaced with numerous sorority shirts. Alpha Chi Omega shirts for dances and philanthropies and rush. T-shirts supporting our pledges, our football team, our intermural sports teams. (I myself was a three sport intermural player... I digress.) Then there were t-shirts of quotes when I was on the Student Funding Board (yes, I was a student government dork, too.) Or perhaps you'd like a zippered hoodie from "Guys and Dolls?" I always had something to wear when watching Dawson's Creek in the TV room or listening to Ace of Base while studying.

About a year after college, I worked on cruise ships. Alas! Another source for free shirts! I crossed the equator and kissed the fish, little kids tie-dyed ones for me, we launched a new ship, I promoted t-shirts that changed color in the sun. Slowly but surely, as my college shirts got faded, ripped, painted on or otherwise nasty, I had an MS Amsterdam shirt to take their place in my drawer.

So here I am, out of school, off ships - in the "real world." Just as my ship shirts were yellowing and I could no longer justify wearing the "AXO pledge class is GRR-RR-EAT!" shirt, another beacon of free clothing entered my life. Just when I was telling my husband, "What the hell will I do... I'm running out of t-shirts. Am I actually going to have to go to Old Navy and BUY one?" Just when I thought I would have to actually purchase said items, the t-shirt gods shined their light upon me.

I got breast cancer.

My drawer is now full of shirts from walking, racing, living. I have an abundance of pink. Shirts that tell me to "feel my boobies" or "get involved." Survivor Shirts. Remembrance shirts. In the course of a year, I think I've gotten like ten shirts.

Thank God. My Fall Fest 1999 t-shirt was getting lonely.

Sure, some of these "Free t-shirts" were actually free. Some were a "gift" for my participation. But a free survivor t-shirt? Free?

It only cost me thousands of dollars, half my boob and my dignity. Sure, I'll take two. Do you have them in extra large? What if they shrink?

Can never have enough t-shirts.


Anonymous said...

So funny you put this in your blog - I'm moving in a few weeks and just went through the whole "should i, shouldn't i" process of throwing out old crappy tshirts (e.g. formerly white pi phi and a&o shirts). I have to say...I kept a couple. Sad, but true. AJ

Anonymous said...

High school shirts were replaced with numerous sorority shirts, So let us see some more T-shirts

jsbh said...

I can tell by your fortitude and your humor that you are an AXO. Thinking of you and sending prayers your way.
Loyally in the bond,
A Theta Lambda sister