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

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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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This article has 239 comments. Post your own!

elissascano said...
Dec. 28 at 12:14 pm:
wow this was really amazing. Good for you :)
 
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Natsuho said...
Oct. 21 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.
 
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Lulu said...
Oct. 6 at 3:39 pm:
I loved this piece of writing. It's so nice!!!!!!
 
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nainamishra99This 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. said...
Oct. 3 at 6:31 am:
i love the metaphors and imagery in this peice! 
 
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PlumeThis 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. said...
Sep. 12 at 2:38 pm:
this was such a beautiful peice ! it really touched me !!! well done :) please write more !!!
 
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XOBookishXOThis 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. said...
Jul. 18 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. 
 
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Bliss007 said...
May 24 at 1:44 pm:
It's really good and true. I liked the metaphor
 
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AliMotamediThis 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. said...
May 14 at 8:48 am:
the way you write is beautiful, natural and very calm. and i want to thank you for writing something like this. 
 
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TargonTheDragonThis 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. said...
Apr. 3 at 1:15 pm:
your writing, though an article only, is so poetic! so descriptive! i loved it (and when i say that i mean it!) and i totally agree with you.
 
dragonsandthreeThis 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. replied...
Apr. 27 at 9:22 pm :
I totally agree with you.
 
BalladOfMonaLisa replied...
Aug. 3 at 12:27 pm :
Wow, two dragons in the same thread! XD Haha, anyway, I agree completely. The use of the metaphor of love being a shirt is so simple yet brilliant. I write poetry, so when I write opinion articles they tend to be a bit poetic, like this is. You have a beautiful style of writing.... And the concept makes it that much better. I delighted in reading this (:
 
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cornflower_glass This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 22 at 7:12 am:
funny and inspiring and sad at the same time. beautifully written<3
 
RarelyJadedThis 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. replied...
Mar. 30 at 11:38 pm :
You're so talented. I can relate to this, well done! :P
 
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Wallfl0wer said...
Feb. 9 at 1:14 am:
I love the metaphor in this, it's well thought out and beautifully written.
 
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KlammytThis 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...
Dec. 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm:
This was really good. Love and T-shirts work surprisingly well together! Keep writing!
 
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Swims.M.V. said...
Nov. 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm:
I really enjoyed reading this, I almost said I "loved" it but then I remembered to save that worn out four letter word for those who need it. I never would have put this comparison together in my mind. Good work! :)
 
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Bradical said...
Oct. 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm:
The way you present this idea of love and how many people think the word is overused is quite refreshing. To be able to relate two things that are seemingly unrelated really does take a lot of talent and wisdom (As well as some cleverness). I hope to see more compositions like this in the future.
 
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briana78 said...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm:
This story was so touching because there is so many people that just shout out i love you to anyone they meet.Its amazing how you used a shirt to ge through to people. This article was just amazing.
 
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Little Mizz Shorty said...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm:
Most people wouldnt think that way, and when you actually think about it, it makes sense
 
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SetiziaThis 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. said...
Jul. 15, 2012 at 10:12 am:

I never thought about that particular analogy, of love and T-shirts. But it works out terrifically, and it makes for an engaging, intriguing opinion essay.

I would also like to mention, after ridding oneself of the "T-shirt," many people don't want it back. They get caught up in their assumed "coolness" and become prejudiced. Unless something strikes them hard, it is likely they won't start looking for it again. Because of this, they end up thinking that their childhood with the posses... (more »)

 
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