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Dry Clean Only

We were walking to a bar one night last summer, and Becca said she liked my shirt; a black, knit Banana Republic (outlet) number. "Thanks," I said, "but you know, it's driving me crazy because after I washed it the seams went totally askew, and I can't get them to go back. See?" I showed her how the seams started out fine under my arms, but by the bottom the right one was somewhere near my belly button while the left hovered around the small of my back. "Oh," she said. "You know, I think you've told me that before." "Really?" I said. "God, how embarassing." What a pointless story to make someone listen to twice. Sheesh, I thought, now I look like some kind of type A, seam-obsessed, one-shirt-wearing dork. In my defense, I think I had recently been particularly frustrated after wrestling with the thing wet and trying to get it to go back to some semblance of a normal shape on the drying rack. It couldn't be done; the, whatsit - warp? weave? woofer? of the fabric was permanently distorted. Its very DNA had mutated. I had a mutant shirt! But wait, the beads. The oh so pretty beadwork around the arms...the seams didn't show that much. I continued to wear it.

The next time I saw Becca - "Hey, there's that shirt again! The one with the seams, right?" "Umm, oh yeah, haha. Same shirt, yup." After the third or fourth time we had this same conversation, I started to think. Every time I see Becca I'm wearing this shirt...and every time I see Becca we're going out. This is my "going out shirt." This is the best article of clothing I own...and it's a piece of shit!!!

I started to wonder if there was some sort of lesson about myself to be gleaned from this. But what? That I'm cheap? Boring? That I don't get out very often? Aha, I know what it is. This tale is one more in the annals of Times When Rachel Is Right and James is Wrong, Chapter XLVI.iii, entitled "I have nothing to wear!!!!" At which he scoffs. Scoffs! Look at all those clothes, he'll say. How can you say you have nothing to wear? You're ridiculous. I know. I know! I'll say. Clothes I have, yes, but nonetheless... I have nothing to wear!!!! Well, after this tale of black-shirted woe, I think even the most hardened of hearts would have to agree that when a girl's best and only option is to reach for the same, disfigured shirt not merely on one or two occasions, but every single time, then truly, that girl has nothing to wear.

The black shirt has been in hibernation this last winter, but was brought back to mind with a conversation about what we would wear to an upcoming harbor cruise that weekend. "Maybe I'll wear my black shirt, heh. Heh, heh...." Hrm.

Well look out world, 'cause there's a new black shirt in town, and it's called Victoria's Secret short-sleeved cropped wrap sweater!