Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Favorite Shirt

             Here comes another lesson for all you single people out there thinking about marriage.  PROTECT YOUR CLOTHES!!!  Now, you would think you wouldn’t have to.  You would think it would be a given that the love of your life would take care of your things like you did.  You would think that your lover, your best friend would respect your clothes, your favorite pieces of clothing that you have worn for years.  Right?  Oh how wrong you are, Clorox breath.

            You see, when I was single, and even today, I have this thing about knit shirts.  I love them.  It is practically all I wear.  As a matter of fact, if I could figure out how to wear a tie with them, it would take care of weddings and funerals for me and I would be covered for everything with just knit shirts.

            They’re so comfortable.  They’re light, airy, just hang on you.  As they age, they get better.  The fabric is like the pores on your body, they open up with time and breathe.  Hence, my problem. 

            Before Lana and I were married in 1981, I had this fabulous red knit shirt.  I had had this shirt since…well, since I don’t remember when.  I had it a long time.  It was VERY comfortable.  And sure, it had some holes in it.  It may have looked like mice had nested in it, but it was my FAVORITE shirt.  I wore it A LOT when I was not working.  She said it was embarrassing to see me in it.  Nonsense. I fished in it.  I cut grass in it.  I hung out in it.  I was even known to bowl in it.  It became my FAMOUS red shirt.

            Before we were married, my soon-to-be wife asked my Grandmother Thelma on one trip over to Missouri about my red shirt.  Grandma laughed, “Don’t touch that shirt, honey.  He’s going to wear that thing until it falls off his body.”

            “But Grandma, that thing is God awful ugly.  Half of it is holes.”

            “I know, but it is his favorite shirt.  Be careful dear.”

            Months went by and we were married.  We moved into our happy home.  I had my dresser and she had hers.  My red shirt could be found buried in its place in the third drawer.  On the weekend, when I wanted it, I knew right where to find it.  As I appeared from the bedroom, a loud groan would fill the living room, usually followed with some smart, cutting comment.

            One weekend, about a year after we were married and had moved to Cuba, Missouri to live and had bought a business, I went to my dresser only to find my red shirt missing.  I searched the third drawer completely.  No red shirt.  I searched the fourth drawer, then the second.  Still no red shirt.  I even went to the closet to see if it could be on a hanger by mistake.  That shirt could not survive a hanger, but I checked anyway.  No red shirt.  Oh no, it’s gone!

            I went to the only person who would know where it went.  “Where’s my shirt?”

            “It’s gone dear.  There wasn’t enough left to wear anymore.”

            “That was my favorite shirt.  Shouldn’t I get to make the call?”

            “You’re not capable of making a rational call on that shirt.”

            “Where is it?”

            She laughed.  “Oh, no.  It’s not here, and I’m not telling you where in town it is.  It’s gone, Keith.

            Then she did this despicable thing to me.  She walked up to me and rubbed up against me.  She looked up at me with those sexy eyes and in a soft sexy voice, said, “I bought you some new shirts, honey.  Do you want to see them?  I even bought you a red one.”  Then she had the audacity to kiss me. Oh, she was good.

            On that day she did some other things to me I can’t mention here.  It wasn’t fair.  I’m much older and wiser now.  I still have old shirts, but she never lets any reach the level the old red one did.  I haven’t forgotten what she did to me.  That shirt should have been given a proper burial in our backyard.  It was a part of me for many years.  Shame on you, Lana.  That should be worth 1,000 points off my ledger total for your tragic misdeeds.

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