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Me to a T

What do you mean it is not necessary to own 50 shirts?

We have a growing problem at our house, and I’m not just talking about my waistline.

The problem – well, one of the problems – is that I have too many shirts. In particular, I have too many printed tees. I have too many dress shirts, too, but they’re not the problem. In fact, they solved a problem when we had too many hangers.

My printed tees are out of control. There are too many to fit in the dresser, so the dresser drawers won’t close right. If you pull one out from the bottom, you upset the whole shebang.

It got to the point where I would just let the shirts stack up in the laundry room – on the table, on the deep freeze, on the dryer. In the bedroom, there were stacks of shirts on top of the dresser, on the desk, on the desk chair, on the floor in the closet.

My wife, after five or six years of this, finally had enough and started sorting through the shirts with the intent of throwing away some of them and donating others to charity. I always knew that woman would someday take the shirt off my back.

I told her that I would take care of donating the shirts. I know a place across town where the women are so poor, they walk around all day with no shirts at all and men give them dollars so they can buy shirts. Pennyput the kibosh on that whole shebang.

She separated the shirts into piles on the bed. These are shirts you wear most often, she pointed out on the left. These are ratty. Those are too small on you. You never wear these over here. You need to make some decisions about what you’re going to keep and what can go.

I had already made a decision in that indecision is a type of decision in of itself. I started counting. She had 50 shirts stacked on the bed and that didn’t include the ones still in the dirty laundry.

Considering that I wear a dress shirt and tie to work, I can wear my printed tees only on the weekends. Why do I need 50 shirts that can only be worn two days out of the week? Who needs that many shirts?

Aside from those poor girls across town, nobody needs 50 printed tees. I started wondering how I had acquired so many. Part of it is just time. My shirt size hasn’t changed in 30 years and I have tees that old to prove it. Of course, there’s a lot of stretch in that cotton.

A lot of the shirts were freebies. When you donate blood, sometimes you get a T-shirt. When you run in a marathon, you get a T-shirt. I don’t have any marathon T-shirts. I do have some long-distance bike ride shirts, but you don’t have to ride a bike to get one of those. If you stand on the side of the road and pass out water to the riders, you get a shirt – year after year after year.

Some of the shirts were gifts, mostly from my wife. Those were the ones that proclaim me to be a grouch, a klutz or stinky.

Some guys get shirts that tell the world that they are the best dad, the best husband, the greatest golfer. I get shirts that warn those around me to stand back lest they be contaminated by toxic waste.

There were a few shirts that I had actually bought for myself to commemorate some event in my life or to support some school function. I’m especially fond of sportswear from every college I ever got kicked out of. An education might have been a better choice but you get what you can.

Now that we’re paring down the number of shirts in my dresser, maybe we can “pair down” the 560 shoes spread throughout the house. I don’t know what to do with them, though; the poor girls across town already have shoes, I’m told.


©Copyright 2013 by David Porter who can be reached at All rights reserved. No, I didn’t really get kicked out of college. It just sounds better than “flunked out.”


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