Friday, May 04, 2012

Kiss me--I'm annoyed!

Dear T-shirt manufacturers of the world:

When it comes to casual summer clothes, I don't consider myself particularly demanding. I'd like a few simple shirts I can toss on when I want to work in the garden, walk the dog, or dash to the grocery store to pick up some emergency picnic supplies, and I'd like a few basic colors so I can change quickly after I spill iced tea all down my chest.

Easy, right? So why have I spent the past month trying without success to buy a T-shirt?

1. Fabric so thin it's practically transparent. The helpful salesperson tells me this allows easy layering, but hey, it's summer! I don't want wear two shirts when it's 97 degrees and humid outside! I especially don't want to worry about color-coordinating layers when my brain is about to melt right out my ears! So quit with the chintzy fabrics already.

2. Chintzy fabrics embellished with ruffles, bows, spangles, and glitz. I'm not shopping for a prom dress, people! I want a T-shirt to wear while I'm digging in the dirt! So don't go all girly on me, okay?

3. Super-short sleeves. News flash: many of us have reached middle age without Michelle Obama's upper arms, and the last thing we need is a sleeve that stops short right at the arm's saggiest, baggiest spot. Wearing a sleeve that short is like carrying around a neon sign flashing, "Arm flab! Arm flab!" And then when you make the super-short sleeves really puffy, it looks as if I'm trying to smuggle hams in my sleeves. So please: I'll accept sleeves that stop a bit above the elbow, but don't give me sleeves two inches long.

4. Silly colors. Fuchsia is great and that sickly green must suit someone or it wouldn't be everywhere this season, but such specialized colors don't fit into my summer mix-and-match philosophy. Give me a basic T-shirt in a decent fabric with no frou-frou or super-short sleeves and I'll buy it in three or four colors as long as they can all be worn with jeans.

But I can't find those T-shirts in stores anywhere. Instead, I'm surrounded by ruffles and bows, spaghetti straps, and off-shoulder droopy things with bold horizontal stripes. Today I thought I'd finally located my dream T-shirt--plain red with the right length sleeves--but when I pulled it off the rack, I saw on the front a big pair of lips and the words "Kiss Me--I'm American!"

Seriously? You want an adult human being to walk around with her chest emblazoned with gigantic lips and "Kiss Me--I'm American!"?

I'll tell you what, T-shirt manufacturers of the world: you can kiss that sale goodbye.   

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