Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway - They don't make things like they used to, Part 712. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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They don't make things like they used to, Part 712. [May. 5th, 2010|10:15 pm]
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I had to discard the last of my physics department T-shirts from the 1996-97 school year tonight. The gaping hole that had opened up along the seam with the sleeve was the sort of gaping hole that happens when the fabric is just done being fabric now kthx.

I haven't been that girl in awhile now. A good while. A few of the important people in my life were not only not born then, I think their parents had not yet met. But I kept repeating to markgritter, and now I am repeating it to you, "But--but my shirt. That was my shirt." And after a mere 13 years of consistent washing and wearing and washing again, in hot water most lately to get the sweat smells out from being used as a workout shirt--after only 13 years, it is gone from me. So unfair. That was my shirt.

There was a T-shirt. When comes such another. And so on.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: txanne
2010-05-06 03:25 am (UTC)

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I'm very sorry. Perhaps someone in your life could make you a quilt? I don't know how, myself, but I've seen them and they looked cuddly.

(er, a t-shirt quilt, by rescuing the logo and sewing it to...um, some other kind of fabric.)

Edited at 2010-05-06 03:25 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-06 12:17 pm (UTC)

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Heh. I did know what you meant by that.

I've seen T-shirt quilts that turned out really well, but unfortunately I think they turn out best when you have saved multiple shirts around the same theme (even if the theme is a period of years). And I don't do that: I use them for rags or give them to the Goodwill for someone else to use for rags, or if the fabric is too bad for that I throw them away. So I don't have any backlog to join this one in the quilt, because I didn't plan ahead.
[User Picture]From: txanne
2010-05-06 12:20 pm (UTC)

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Oh, dear, I'm sorry.
[User Picture]From: buttonlass
2010-05-06 03:38 am (UTC)

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You have my sympathy. I am currently losing lots of my sleep shirts to a similar problem. It sucks.
[User Picture]From: fidelioscabinet
2010-05-06 03:50 am (UTC)

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*Salutes the remains of the deceased*

Well done, thou good and faithful servant, well done!
[User Picture]From: mamapduck
2010-05-06 04:00 am (UTC)

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I have a couple shirts tucked away that I wear sparingly to put off the sad day of goodbye.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-06 12:24 pm (UTC)

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See, I can't do that. I'm glad it works for you, but I don't think it would for me. It's what I have sort of permanently labeled as the Nana's Peaches Problem. When Nana (my aunt Kathy's mom) got too ill to can peaches any more, I knew that if I didn't eat my jar of peaches at the first snowfall, I would change them from Nana's Peaches into Nana's Peaches Which Are a Sign of Loss and Mortality. And there would be no day I was ready to say goodbye to Nana's capable days, and eventually the peaches would go bad. So I ate the peaches at the first snowfall, like ya do, and I wore the shirts no less often in the rotation.
[User Picture]From: reveritas
2010-05-07 02:41 am (UTC)

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I can't do that because they start to smell bad. T-shirts, not peaches. Musty.
[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2010-05-06 04:07 am (UTC)

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I am occasionally appalled to realize that some of my shirts are a third of my age. You can generally tell them from the fact that their collars are falling apart - which always makes me think of the necklace I made from industrial staples which used to produce the same effect, but no, that went away years ago, and these shirts are just old.

I think I need to make more of a point of buying new shirts.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-06 12:30 pm (UTC)

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I have mostly stopped wearing big baggy T-shirts With Stuff On as outdoor clothing (...and had mostly done around the time I met you, so it's been awhile), which is fine except that it doesn't give me any big T-shirts to cycle into using as sleep shirts/workout shirts as they wear out. So I've had to make a bit more of a point of buying them on their own.

I'll probably have to make even more of an effort if the huge stock of free poker promotional shirts starts to go, because for awhile there people were sending timprov and markgritter a great many T-shirts in an attempt to promote various poker sites/events, and none of us really wants to wear those out and about to be free ads for sites/events we are not all that interested in anyway. So I sleep and work out in them. They are currently abundant. I suspect I won't fathom how abundant until they go--the Big Yellow Taxi Problem, to follow the Nana's Peaches Problem in my above comment.
[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2010-05-06 10:27 pm (UTC)

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See, I guess I'm just lazy, because I usually sleep in whatever shirt I wore that day.

(Also, your expression of the Big Yellow Taxi Problem made me chuckle.)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-07 04:05 am (UTC)

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timprov does that, too. But neither of you has a bra to take off to sleep, and neither of you wears exceptionally fitted shirts most days (at least not most days I've seen you), and so on, so you can more effectively be lazy in this context.
[User Picture]From: swan_tower
2010-05-06 04:55 am (UTC)

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I am consistently annoyed at clothing wearing out after a mere decade or so of constant use. I mean, really -- shouldn't this stuff last?

Swan_Tower: Putting the Clothing Industry Out of Business Since 1980.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-06 12:32 pm (UTC)

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Yah. I had a pair of jeans that lasted me from the fifth grade through my junior year of college, which is less impressive than the sheer numbers on some other things, but as a "magnitude of life changes" scale it's pretty good.
[User Picture]From: moiread
2010-05-06 05:19 pm (UTC)

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............
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-06 05:30 pm (UTC)

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I said I was an early bloomer. People ought to believe me when I say things like that.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-08 01:11 am (UTC)

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I don't know that that follows. I mean, I'm not arguing that I am a large person, or that I ever was one. But I can imagine a situation where someone achieved a larger approximate adult weight than this at a similarly early age.

Actually I think this is part of why I feel larger than I am in a totally neutral way: when I look at my friends' daughters in the 10-12 age range, I have to think, "I was already this size. When I was that bitty little sprite's age, I was already this tall and swiftly approximating this shape." I knew at the time that I was an early bloomer--it was really hard to miss--but I think the magnitude of it hits very differently from the inside and from the outside.
[User Picture]From: brooksmoses
2010-05-16 04:25 am (UTC)

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To my perpetual bewilderment, tiger_spot has some t-shirts from a similar point in her life, which look only somewhat worn-out at this point.


Edited at 2010-05-16 04:28 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: auriaephiala
2010-05-06 05:21 am (UTC)

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One of my favourite nightgowns went that way, too. I got it fixed once, but it was clearly shredding everywhere after the second rent.

Very annoying. Clothes should last several decades, at least.
[User Picture]From: athenais
2010-05-06 06:01 am (UTC)

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We have recently been through that sort of loss here. I am sadder than seems consonant with logic to say goodbye to my beloved long-sleeved grey and navy Ajijic t-shirt. But it was rapidly becoming more holes than shirt.

My aunt and uncle who lived in Ajijic are dead now, and I doubt I shall ever visit that village again. I wish the t-shirt could have lasted longer than, well, thirteen years.
[User Picture]From: cathshaffer
2010-05-06 11:52 am (UTC)

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Only thirteen years? Cheap piece of crap. They don't make them like they used to. My grandmother had T-shirts handed down through ten generations of Hungarian peasants that survived thousands of washings in freezing cold water, beaten agains stones in the river, with their vinyl decals intact.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-06 12:32 pm (UTC)

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And she liked it!
[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2010-05-07 08:37 pm (UTC)

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:-D
[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2010-05-06 03:51 pm (UTC)

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I've made pillows out of a couple of them, it doesn't need quilts-- just to be sewn to a bottom layer that isn't so disintegratey, or in desperate cases applied to new cloth via a layer of iron-on transfer. You can get a decent pillow with cotton fluff and one shirt.

The pillow disintegrates eventually, but they tend to go another two to five years, even if the shirt is totally unwilling to be fabric anymore.

Of course, it's not the same as having the shirt. I am currently facing the prospect of doing this to my Jorge Luis Borges 'I always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library' shirt, which I am sure is a quote I can get on a shirt elsewhere, but probably not in this color with this tasteful screenprint of books, and almost certainly not as a present from my aunt.

Which is to say, sympathy.
[User Picture]From: rmnilsson
2010-05-07 02:51 pm (UTC)

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I have recently had to throw my REM t-shirt into the rag box as it had lost structural integrity. It was a sad day, even though I am not that girl anymore, and haven't been for some time. I know the pain.

I still have a lot of big t-shirts from high school. I was in a lot of musicals, and we used t-shirts for advertising them beforehand. When I moved to CA, my mom told me I would need them someday for something to wear around the house. She kept them and gave them back to me when we moved back to MN. When I get home from work, I change into one of them and wear it around all evening. But our neighbors have become more social and Nora loves to be outside, so I keep ending up outside talking to the neighbors in my everyday clothes. At the same time, most of the clothing I've bought in the last decade is shorter and tighter, as is the fashion. When they get retired from being "good clothes" it's usually because they're too tight or too short. So I'm finding myself in the bizarre position of considering going to a store and spending actual money to buy shirts to wear around the house and out into the yard. Probably just Old Navy clearance section, but still. My mother and grandmothers would not approve of my lack of thrift.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-07 08:13 pm (UTC)

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Do you wear different things for yard work than for wandering outside and hanging out with your kid and the neighbors? I would consider high school T-shirts plenty good for yard work, but I definitely see your point on not making them your everyday around-and-about clothes.
[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2010-05-07 08:39 pm (UTC)

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Yes. This.