Friday, June 14, 2013

What to do with all those T-shirts

And now for something different.

It's more about running than about cancer, although it's kind of about both, and it's also about different kinds of memories.

OK, it's about T-shirts, an overflowing of T-shirts, which I think you can relate to if you've done anything or been anywhere.

The other day I decided it was time to clean out my overstuffed dresser drawers. I started by dumping everything on the floor. What a mess. It was time for piles: one pile for giveaway, one for shirts I wear all the time, one for shirts worn sometimes, and – now here's the problem – shirts from races and tennis tournaments and shirts bought at memorable moments.

Most of them were fifty shades of green from the St. Patrick's Race in Holyoke, which I've run on and off since I started working at the T-T in 1979 and ran with a gang from the paper. (OK, not really 50 shades, but I couldn't resist.) I wear the light green one from last year all the time; I like the color and it marks my first race post-transplant. Many are large. What was I thinking? Maybe I was bigger then, but in any case I don't wear them because I float around in them and am really a medium. The royal blue shirt from 2003 has special meaning: That was the year that my slow time led to my early discovery that I had leukemia. The long-sleeved white T-shirts from the DH Jones ten-miler and from the Hartford half-marathon are good to sleep in. Quite sexy along with yoga pants.

Most of the race and tennis shirts went in the pile of "will never wear but can't give away."

I read about this issue once on the Internet. Someone said to cut them up and make a wall hanging out of them. That didn't sound like a good idea to me.

Others that went in this pile were the orange on black shirt from The Gates, the 2005 work of public art in which Christo and Jeanne-Claude had 7,500 gates erected on 23 miles of footpaths in Central Park on which free-hanging saffron-colored fabric panels were suspended. It was visible from our window; my mother joked that she could see her laundry, but we had an unforgettable experience walking through it.

Speaking of the park, I also have an extra large black T-shirt from the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park, not to wear around but good for the moment two years when it started to pour during a performance of "All's Well That Ends Well" and I got soaked to the bone. A better scholar than I am might know which elderly character said the following, but all that I remember is that when it started raining, he said, "Lend me a cane," and then improvised, "Or an umbrella" as the cast ran off the stage.

I bought the T-shirt at intermission, putting it on and pulling down the top of my wet dress underneath it to my waist. The perfect fashion statement for the moment. After the rain stopped, I finished watching the show in relative comfort.

More went into this pile, but I think you get the idea. Maybe you have some interesting ways of dealing with this "problem."


tami said...

Hi! My cousin had a bed quilt made out of her daughters much loved tee-shirts (from her sports teams, old Cape tees, concert tees) as a gift before leaving for college. Pinterest may have some more ideas! Good luck!

Nelle said...

I know many people who have had a quilt made also and I think that the ones with very special meaning might feel great to snuggle up under.
In your earlier post you mentioned always recovering from something. That's so how I feel right now. I would love to see a calendar month with NO doctor visits on it!!!

Anonymous said...

and you also have the Madison Avenue T-Shirt that i had made for you!


PS: i believe it was also green!