What do you do with old T-shirts when they are no longer suitable to wear? Some people throw them out. Others turn them into rags. The possibilities are endless. T-shirts are so common that we rarely think about what happens to them at the end of their useful lives. Truth be told, the life of a typical T-shirt isn’t an easy life.
Imagine you were a T-shirt. Imagine what it would be like to come off the sewing table as a finished product, only to be washed and packaged for shipping. You might find yourself wondering where you will end up. Maybe you’ll be sold by Plurawl, as a LatinX T-shirt with a uniquely Latin message. Perhaps you’ll end up on a display table at a rock concert.
Hope for the Future
Finally being purchased marks a great day for you. You are no longer a piece of inventory on a storekeeper’s rack. Now you belong to somebody. There’s hope for your future. You can imagine long days being worn by your owner. You dream of feeling the sunshine on your fabric and snuggling under the covers with your owner at night. Life is good.
Your sunny disposition continues for the first few months. Then you suddenly realize you are not being worn as often. But that’s okay. Your owner doesn’t love you any less. She just has other clothes in need of her attention. You are convinced you will not be forgotten.
Getting to Know Your Friends
It turns out that your owner never goes back to wearing you as frequently as she did when you were new. But you’re fine with that. You have more time to get to know your friends in the dresser drawer. Every once in a while, you get a real treat when your owner hangs you in the closet. That’s where the rich clothes live. Getting hung in the closet is your opportunity to hobnob with the best of the best.
Back in the dresser drawer, some of your other friends are starting to talk. They think you are becoming snobbish because you like the closet more. You try to smooth things over by promising them you are the same T-shirt you always were. You give your word to spend more time in the drawer.
Worn, But Covered
As you face middle age, it’s clear that you are not the youthful T-shirt you once were. Your color is starting to fade. Your graphics are showing some wear as well. And now, rather than being clearly visible to the entire world, you’re often covered up by a collared shirt or hoodie. Life isn’t as glamorous as it used to be.
You comfort yourself with reminders that some of your friends in the drawer haven’t been worn in years. Still, none of the shirts in the closet ever get covered up. They are always on full display. Maybe you’ve got to cut ties with the drawer and make a play to be a full-time closet resident.
Barely Worn at All
Like every T-shirt, a few years goes by and you’re facing retirement. Your owner barely wears you at all. And in fact, the last time she did she was repainting the master bedroom. You are heartbroken to discover you have been demoted to the status of work shirt.
It will not be long now. The day is coming when you will make that journey to the great T-shirt factory in the sky. It’s been a good life, but a hard one. You only hope that your owner allows you to live your final days with dignity.