My Favorite Shirt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 19, 2008
Love. It’s a simple but overused word. I love you. I love this song! I absolutely loved that movie! The word doesn’t mean much anymore, not to most. Some people scoff at it. We throw it around like a used shirt, wearing it because it’s comfortable, safe, and secure, but never truly understanding why we have it. We lend it out, forget about it, and years later, we think, “Hey, I really liked that shirt.”

But do we care? No. It’s probably gone now, thrown away because of a rip or sold for $3 at a garage sale. We forget; it doesn’t matter after that.

Then we see the world fall apart. From the safety of our living rooms we watch amateur video on the news or Internet, and sometimes we feel so helpless and alone we’re not sure what to do. We cry for the inhumanity, scream for the injustice, and wonder why the world is this way. We think we can change the world; we know we want to help those who need it most … then we remember that T-shirt we threw out years ago.

We want it back; we fight and scramble for it. We go out and buy new shirts, try them on, but none seems to fit. We’ve lost it – we’ve lost love. We are unnerved for a bit; we sit alone and beat ourselves up for letting it go. Then we just we shrug it off. We say, “I’ll do it later” or “I’m too busy.” I’m guilty of it too: “I don’t have the right resources” or “I’m too young” or “No one will care.” And it seems as if no one does. With high school students only bent on the next party or who’s dating whom, you wonder if, in the end, their shirts were ever worn.

Is my generation going to save the world? We try, a small group of us, but our shirts are faded among the bright colors of greed and the everyday and the wanting. We are pushed into the background. We try to push our way through the crowds, and we truly wonder: where has the love gone?

I don’t want my love to fade; though my shirt is tattered and worn, I wear it daily. I am honest and open, and when I say that simple, dead, four-letter word, I mean it. I know I’ve made mistakes with it in the past and I almost threw my shirt away; I carry it carefully now. It’s close to my heart, where it’s meant to be. I do lend it out every once in a while – I let those who need it try it on and feel the safety that I feel. I leave them pieces when I go, but my shirt never seems to tear. It stays just as simple as it ever was.

When the time comes, I will stand alone in this world and stare into the eyes of those with the shirts of greed and want and lust, and I will know that even though mine is not the most beautiful shirt in the crowd, it’s among the best.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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C"> said...
today at 6:12 am
Because of this story, I 'liked' it instead of hitting 'love it' I really did enjoy the story Good job! :) said...
May 5 at 2:36 am
Incredible, made me really take a look at myself... and my shirt
madvballchamp7 said...
Feb. 28 at 6:33 pm
beautifully written :)
KingTida said...
Jul. 15, 2016 at 9:01 am
I like how you start off by saying love is a "simple " word ,then begin to support your claim by giving examples as to why it is " simple ." I like the parallel structure between the word "love" and the "shirt" . I like how you gave the word "love" attributes resembling to what people do with their clothes ,more specifically " a shirt " . Like the word love , people can give meaning to their clothes . I Like how you mention loosing love . and how people pay more attention to the way their sh... (more »)
Wrg1223bnj said...
Apr. 29, 2016 at 2:59 pm
Hello guess who it is
emparente This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 26, 2016 at 10:29 am
this gave me chills, beautifully written. :)
Wrg1223bnj replied...
Apr. 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm
Stupid what ever your nameis
SarcasmSailor23 said...
Feb. 20, 2016 at 11:30 pm
Because of this story, I 'liked' it instead of hitting 'love it' I really did enjoy the story Good job! :)
Marla said...
Jan. 29, 2016 at 7:43 pm
Thank you so much for this. I truly believe that love is something so precious and rare and its not a joke. Its something few understand and the way you have explained it is completely beautiful.
LexieM said...
Jan. 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm
I love how you related the over use of love to a shirt. I agree completely about the overuse of love and think we should be more conservative with the word.
Just a dude said...
Aug. 25, 2015 at 12:41 am
Nice. I enjoyed this.
LittleRedDeliriousPrinceThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm
That was.....amazing. So honest and open and passionate. This is real writing. Great metaphor, too. :)
sassyunicorn said...
Mar. 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm
Really creative symbolism. Well done!
elissascano said...
Dec. 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm
wow this was really amazing. Good for you :)
Natsuho said...
Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:45 am
 I really enjoyed the way you expressed love and kindness through a T-shirt. I really liked the comparison amd the symbolism between the two.I thought it was very creative and I could tell how you think about thsese things everyday.  I wanted to say I 'loved' this piece of work but I should save that worn out four letter word for those who need it.
Lulu said...
Oct. 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm
I loved this piece of writing. It's so nice!!!!!!
nainamishra99 said...
Oct. 3, 2013 at 6:31 am
i love the metaphors and imagery in this peice! 
Plume said...
Sept. 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm
this was such a beautiful peice ! it really touched me !!! well done :) please write more !!!
XOBookishXO This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm
I *loved* the metaphor! I definitely agree with you. The word love has lost its meaning these days. It's so overused. 
Bliss007 said...
May 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm
It's really good and true. I liked the metaphor
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