How a Thrift Store Shirt Goes Bad

9 Feb

Yesterday I bought a shirt at Goodwill; I’m wearing it right now and I haven’t even spilled coffee on it yet. (Just give me time.) If you look right below you’ll see a blurry photo (Geesh, do I need a Canon Rebel to have a decent blog?) that might give you an idea of how wonderful the shirt is. The blue on the pocket is a Pilot G-2 mini pen. The shirt tag says “American Eagle,” a store I shopped in my twenties. Normally, it takes 5 hours of digging through Goodwill’s inventory to find a shirt I like that also fits, because they don’t organize by size. A million times I have found the most beautiful shirt, looked at the tag, and sighed at another freaking “XL.” I wear a small–sometimes a medium. (THIS shirt is a medium.)

My Beautiful New Shirt

I was in Goodwill yesterday because I didn’t know where else to be. I knew that If I tried to write I would fail … like I had the previous day. At home or in the car I would have been more likely to jab that pen in my eye, so Goodwill was a nice, safe place to be.

I leafed through the long-sleeve shirts for just twenty seconds before finding this shirt. I threw it over my shoulder and did a quick run through the rest of the store. I love looking around in there, but not yesterday, for it was a day I felt wrong no matter where I was or what I did. Life was wrong. It’s a horrible feeling. I threw down my $3 and left.

Instead of paper price tags on shirts, Goodwill uses needle-thin, almost invisible, colored, plastic barbs shot through the fabric. Last night, I hung my new shirt in my closet with that “tag” shooting up from the left shoulder and this morning I put my new shirt on with that f—-ng tag still there. Can you see where this is going?

I don’t enjoy feeling embarrassed. Who does, right? But with social anxiety disorder, it’s much different. Here’s a simple definition of the disorder:

Social anxiety is anxiety (emotional discomfort, fear, apprehension, or worry) about social situations, interactions with others, and being evaluated or scrutinized by other people

I was chatting with the Borders barista as he fixed my Americano. (I don’t normally “chat,” but this little guy is, by far, the most amiable person there and will chat AT me even if I don’t participate.) He pointed to my shoulder and said something about a “blue thing on your shirt.” I thought he was talking about my pen, so I put my hand on it, then he said “Up there,” and pointed higher.

That goddamn tag. I felt the familiar lightning bolt of embarrassment, but covered it up  with a smile and a laugh. Still, I wanted to remove it quickly, so I pulled on it and heard a faint rip. He laughed (not at the rip, he didn’t hear it) and said something about an antennae.   Ha-Ha-Ha.

That Goddamn Tag

So I have a half inch rip in my new shirt, the shirt I had crowned yesterday as my new favorite shirt of all-time, but is now the stupid shirt with a hole in the shoulder that will forever remind me of wearing an embarrassing blue “antennae” to the bookstore. I may never wear it again, or I may throw it into the cardboard box at home full of shit destined for–where else?–Goodwill.

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14 Responses to “How a Thrift Store Shirt Goes Bad”

  1. Redneckprincess February 9, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Ok … first, that would be really easy to fix, you just need thread a needle and patience, you can do it.

    Second, yes…everyone needs a Canon Rebel. Really. You do. I love mine 🙂

    And third. I once went on a first date, I was really into the guy, like really, I bought a new pair of jeans, which was a stretch, cause I was a single mom with two babies and I was poor, anyways, I thought it was worth the investment. The NEXT morning, when I was throwing the jeans in the laundry, I noticed that the sticker, that is like 6 inches long…WITH THE SIZE ON IT…repeatedly…was still on the leg. Seriously, I still have anxiety over that. We were together for 10 years, so I guess he just got used to me being a total goof… 🙂 ya have to laugh about it right? 🙂

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am #

      Ha. That’s funny. I’ve sent my daughter to school with one of those size stickers.

  2. misfit120 February 9, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Ah yes….the Goodwill store…my favorite high end retailer. My other half brings things, mostly clothes there that she hasn’t worn in a gazillion years, but I swear, after donating stuff, she buys some of it back not realizing that she had originally donated it. My imagination perhaps. As for me, I usually scan the Lps for oldies, but, (suffering from brain-dead-anitius, forget to check the inside of the Lp sleeve to see if there’s an record inside…..until I get home.

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      Ha. We joke about that same thing. I once bought back a book I once donated.

  3. TripodMA February 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    It is an awesome shirt, even with the antenna lol.

    Cuz I’m a lazy mender, I’ll pass this on…
    There’s this stuff called fusible interfacing you can get at any sewing store and some craft stores called single sided fusible web or intefacing. Cut a piece the size of the tear, place it on the underside the damaged spot and press down on it with an iron…being careful not to slide the iron to keep the fabric from pulling apart at the tear.

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      Thanks! That sounds easy enough.

  4. 4eternalsunshine February 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    I remember in 4th grade something VERY embarrassing that happened to a 6th grade girl who went to my grade school…. she was wearing white pants that day too. I try to compare all my “so called” embarrassing situations (the daily ones, the ones that makes my cheeks hot and flushed) with that poor 6th grade girls embarrassing moment. If she could come to school the very next day and be all smiles, as if it never happened, I certainly could survive walking through Target with a banana sticker stuck on my a$$ or being out somewhere and someone tell me that I have baby puke running down the back of my shirt… I think your shirt looks very nice on you… so grab a needle and thread and just be thankful that your “barn door” wasn’t wide open and the only thing hanging out was your embarrassing blue “antennae”! 😉

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      Ha Ha. Yeah, worse things can happen. Did you really walk around Target with a banana sticker on your a$$?

  5. linda February 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Yea dude you can totally do this. It will only take seconds. Get in a comfortable spot, relax and do it. You will thank yourself later.

    Now go to my blog and read the latest post and you will feel better. Its about what someone did with their underwear. Much more embarrassing than your story 🙂

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:27 am #

      lol. Yep, you’re right, much more embarrassing than my story.

  6. zenmamajo February 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    these posts are so hysterical – i’m a couple weeks new to blogging and this was the first or second site (of two…) that i decided to subscribe to…it’s funny that you guys are from edwardsville because i went to siue (then siu-e)…haha thanks for the laugh – i need them!

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      Thanks for commenting. I like your blog. Keep writing like that and you WILL be “freshly pressed,” with NO help from God. Ha.

  7. troy February 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    My Goodwill has stuff sorted by size 🙂 They didn’t earlier, and Value Village was the only one that did but they got way over-priced in the last few years.

    Most of my stuff is from there, and I’m in the habit of washing everything first which helps to remind me that the tag is still there. Somewhere ….even if I don’t see it right away!

    My sympathies.

    • fightn4it February 10, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      Yes, washing used clothes before wearing is a good idea and I usually do that. Not this time…and I paid for it. Thanks for commenting!

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