2012-06-21 / Lifestyles

The changing of the garb

Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran My Better Half owns a T-shirt with more holes than a golf course. I can shove my fist through one of them, and a new tear appears whenever he yanks it off.

So it’s high time to toss it out, but he balks at the mere suggestion.

“I wear it for mowing the lawn,” he says, “and the holes provide air conditioning.”

I suppose that makes sense. Still, I can’t help but wonder what the neighbors think.

Not to sound biased or anything, but this seems to be largely a “male” quirk. Though plenty of men dress impeccably, a good share choose comfort over presentability.

Like the guy who kept his favorite shirt for 22 years. All those washings made it so thin, his chest hair poked through. “One day I leaned back and stretched,” he said, “and it shredded like the Incredible Hulk’s shirt.”

With some guys, it’s cherished clothing from a rock concert. Said one groupie passionately, “I’ll never throw that T-shirt out. Ever.”

Another dude feels the same about his lucky boxer shorts. “I plan to be buried in them,” he said. His wife would beg to differ. “They look like they went through an acid wash,” she said. She tried pitching them out once, but her husband fished them out of the trash.

Lots of people are sentimental about military gear. One guy has retained some black socks issued to him in the early 70s. Although he’s long since retired, his socks are still on the job. “Both he and the Government got their money’s worth,” says his wife. “I fear they may outlast us.”

And an acquaintance still owns the BDU shorts he received in basic training. The last word in comfort, he says he intends to wear them “for the rest of forever.”

But a lot can happen in “forever,” as anyone sentimental about clothing will learn. A guy suffered deep disappointment when the zipper on his favorite jacket broke. “I refuse to throw it out,” he said, so after failed attempts to repair it, he recruited some giant safety pins.

With my teenage son, it’s tennis shoes. No matter how beat up they get, he’s hard pressed to give them the boot. So when it’s time to replace them, we buy an identical pair.

Kind of like The Changing of the Guard. Only it’s garb.

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