The Shirt Off My Back

Itching Man 3

I really don’t know what to say.

But it is my intent to use this forum to say it anyway.  What have I got to lose?  And I’m assuming you have nothing better to do since you clicked on this post to read it.  That will be a lesson to you … that in the future when you see one of my insipid, meaningless posts pop up, you can just keep on scrolling down to the next post that is monetized and is literally selling you the shirt off their backs.

Speaking of shirts, let’s see if any of you have this same problem.

I have two shirts in my closet that are very similar.  They are both dress shirts (or “business casual” shirts).  They are both striped with thin blue stripes (standard issue corporate world pattern).  They are both button down shirts.  They both look very much the same (i.e corporate drone uniform).  The only difference is that one of them fits me really well, and the other one fits me like it had been tailored to fit someone with a third arm and two very distinctive humps just behind each shoulder.  When I wear the second shirt, I spent most of the day trying to wrangle it to lay flat against my skin to keep the front of the shirt at the neck actually facing front and not over my shoulder.

Sometimes I grab the second shirt in the morning in my early morning fog and put it on.  I usually don’t realize this until I’m at work.

At first I get mad at myself for grabbing the wrong shirt.  “Of all the rotten luck!” I say to myself later in the day as I am wrestling with the shirt for control of which direction the shirt faces.  “Leave it to me to put on the shirt that doesn’t fit.

And then it hits me.

Why do I even have the second shirt in my closet?  I knew a year ago that it fit me hideously.  I could just donate the shirt to the Salvation Army and I would never, ever again grab the wrong shirt and put it on in the morning.

But the shirt was a gift.

NOW you see the complication, don’t you?

First, there is my own guilt.  How can I possibly get rid of a shirt that someone bought for me, thinking that I would look nice in it?  It doesn’t matter that I look like Quasimodo trying to free himself from a strait jacket every time I put it on.

Secondly, there is the midnight mission to slip the shirt unobserved into pile of things that are slated to be donated to the Salvation Army.

But I am greeted the next morning with a tapping foot, an arched eyebrow, and she shirt, now retrieved from the pile.

I thought you liked this shirt.

Oh, I do!” I say enthusiastically, choosing to play the “ignorantly unaware” card.

Then why is it in the donation pile?

What?”  I asked, feigning shock and disbelief.  I pretend to examine the shirt closely.   “Oh!  This shirt!  You know what?  I think somehow the wrong shirt ended up in the donate pile.

And that is how my favorite shirt came to end up in the Salvation Army pile, while the Hideous Strait Shirt of Doom ended up in my closet in my regular rotation.



  1. I used to have things like that in my closet. I kept them because they were either slightly different than something else (oh, this red sweater has a pattern and the other one doesn’t) or because it was a different color than I typically wear, or because . . . gasp . . . it was the dreaded gift. I came to the conclusion once that there was no reason for me to continue storing (and crowding my tiny closet) all the things I routinely skipped over when deciding what to wear for the day. Keeping things because they fit, even if I think I look awful in them, is not a good reason to keep them.

    On the “sad but true favorite clothing loss” side of things, my husband once threw out fourteen pairs of my shoes by accident. We’d moved, and most of my “fun” shoes were in a large, closed box, placed in the wrong room either by us or whoever had helped us move. He thought they were garbage because of where the box was placed, and put it out for pickup. I didn’t realize until over a week later that I couldn’t find my fun-colored pumps, variety of Chucks, and happy flip-flops, and by then, they were long gone. We’re talking at least five years’ worth of collecting the right shoes for the right outfit. The look of horror on his face when I described the box & where I’d last seen it, and asked where it was moved to . . . I couldn’t get angry about it because he felt so awful already.


  2. I have a nineteen inch neck. Not bragging, just stating facts. And, I have a lot of shirts that don’t fit me well… and I keep them, just as you have. I don’t know why. My “good” shirts sit huddled over to the left not wanting to associate with the rejected shirts on the right and you KNOW the stress is getting to both groups. I should give them to my son; but, thin-necked people don’t know how to take care of shirts…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too have a wardrobe full of ill-fitting clothes that were gifts. That early morning fog is a killer! I’d love to offer you advice, but alas all I can offer is sympathy…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll send you some of my favorite shirts, or perhaps no – since I am wearing them buttoned at the collar again -without throttling myself into unconsciousness. But I’ve been there, with a gift t-shirt that I try unsuccessfully to put in the Goodwill bag…’s a jaguar motif….

    Liked by 1 person

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