When I got home yesterday, I threw my bags on the floor, ripped my clothes off and put on some shorts. I threw my jeans and shirt on the bed sloppily which is something I do.
So what happens is, I have an upper shelf in my closet where I store miscellaneous random clothes I either, 1) don’t wear in public, or 2) wear very rarely. A lot of obnoxious t-shirts and ill-fitting clothes go to the top shelf, in addition to shorts, sweatshirts and clothes I’ve retired. Meaning a lot of shirts I’ve tired of. I tire of shirts constantly. They seemed like a good idea when I bought them but they quickly drew my disdain. Sometimes when I shop for clothes, my frame of mind is a million miles away from reality, and reality is what sets in each morning when I’m getting ready for another day. These are the moments it occurs to me, upon beholding a hideous shirt, “Why the hell did I buy that?”
Since I’m very cheap, I rarely do not wear the clothes I spent money to own. I will make the gesture and wear them for a while. However, I tire of them very quickly and often their useful lifespan is shorter than a crack baby’s.
The lime green monstrosity in this photo was one such shirt. I bought it at Express for Men and for some reason, it seemed like a cool shirt when I held it in the store. At the time. I wore it faithfully for months but I couldn’t force the love. This shit was ugly and irksome. I never knew if peopole were laughing at me. It conjured paranoid delusions. I couldn’t do it anymore. It went to the top shelf of my closet. The shelf of forgotten shirts.
Saturday evening as I was packing for an over night stay, I dutifully planned my Sunday wardrobe. The weather reports were accurate. Highs in the 80’s and 90’s in LA yesterday. I was going to be near the beach. What better shirt to wear than the horrendous lime green thing? We had no major plans, I didn’t care, so I packed this. My old relegated shirt would breathe a new life, even if only for a day!
Yesterday morning I climbed out of the shower and slipped into the uncomfortable abrasive confines of this green shirt. Ew. The garment was rough and little too tight, but I persisted! I was about 5 miles from the beach but it was 85 degrees out. Very uncharacteristic of the southern California weather pattern this time of year, or any time. Regardless, we walked to a mini mall and into one of those strangely ubiquitous (for white people) Yogurtland stores. Yogurtland is nice but you don’t see them in East LA. The poor neighborhoods and the Latino neighborhoods get the shaft if you have SWPL sensibilities, man. Even conservative white people fall into the SWPL trap, including the ones in Orange County. It’s all so predictable. I gotta go to the white areas if I want to eat goodies like Yogurtland. We walked in but I had just eaten breakfast and was not terribly hungry for a frozen yogurt, so I just watched. After my Yogurtland guest had poured her yogurt, we moved over to the checkout line. BTW, as an aside, on the walk over, I began to feel that old self-consciousness about this shirt that caused me to retire it in the first place. Not to mention, my Yogurtland guest made the biggest face when she saw it. During our walk I was convinced people were snickering because of my shirt. In their cars, walking out of earshot, laughing at my fucking lime green shirt. I was convinced of it. So I was already feeling a bit self-conscious by the time we got to the yogurt shop. And then I noticed…wouldn’t you guess it: Yogurtland employees wear a lime green shirt. The moment I noticed my heart did a small somersault. How could this be? How cruel is fate to me! I don’t live in an area where Yogurtland markets itself, so I don’t go there often enough to know what the hell employees wear there. The only difference was that my shirt was even more “day glowish” than the employees. Their uniform shirt is lime green, but it’s more like “lima bean” green. The sharpness is diffused and it’s just a very light green. Me however…I was very lime. The line moved slow as hell and I felt as if I was in the spotlight, me and my damn shirt, for the entire 16 hours I waited in the checkout line. Could they move any slower? Not to mention the bitch in front of us was buying like 15 gift cards (I’m guessing it was youth sports BS-related). I felt like such a captive impostor.
I’ve felt like a captive impostor many times. I think once I wore an employee-themed polo shirt to a TGIF’s bar once. I hate dressing like one of the helpers. I’m above this. I’m a classy, elitist citizen and I am not to be confused with the help, even if I am Mexican. Being Mexican already places you on the deeper social rungs, but if I dress like the employees, people might think I am actually one of them. This is terrible! There is a place whose name I can’t remember, but the people wear dark purple shirts…and guess what I wore once when I visited? Yes, a purple shirt. If I wear the same shirt as a stranger, I feel very self-conscious. It’s one of my many oddities. I once wore the same shirt as someone who worked on the same lot as me and I crossed the street just to avoid crossing his path. And crossed back after we had passed each other. When I wear a shirt that is the uniform of a place I’m eating, etc…I feel like an impostor.
I’m always the grand impostor. I live a life that brings me into circles that superficially exceed my own. So I must wear the garb of the proletariat in order to distinguish myself. Yet, doing so, I still alienate myself from those I mimic.
Where am I to go with with this lime green shirt?
Back to the dusty closet it goes. I should really just donate it and get rid of it for good and I’ll never have to worry about going to Yogurtland again.