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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Claireeeeeeee said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 9:04 am
Wow. this is amazing!!
Adaya said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm
This is beyond beautiful, the comparison is amazing and the words scream emotion. fantastic. keep writing, you have amazing skill. 
aivilo said...
Jun. 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm
nycbunny said...
May 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm
i REALLY like this.....
Miara said...
May 25, 2010 at 9:06 pm
I agree love is over used.  That's why in other languages there are more than one word for love.
darkvisions said...
May 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm
Fantastic. Great use of symbolism.
pig,mahlion said...
May 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

This was a great piece.  I was going to say I love it, but you're right about it being overused :)

I really liked the symbolism in it. 

starlight26:) replied...
May 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm
This was truly inspirational, beautiful and true. Amazing., incredible! This article sent the message that needs to be told to everyone. I can really relate to it. You have a great talent. I'm sure you could write wonderful books. I truly "loved" it. Keep writing. And I'll keep reading :) Check out some of my work if u can!!
starlight26:) replied...
May 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Oh, I also liked how you used love as a shirt. It was put together perfectly.
MissPiglette said...
May 15, 2010 at 11:11 am
This is true. I like the way you ended it. :)
swim4ever said...
May 15, 2010 at 8:33 am
I like this story so much it has so much meaning to me thanks for writing
babigerl1194 said...
May 13, 2010 at 8:46 am
i reaally loved the metaphore you have going here most of my works have alot of htem you hsould chec tehm out. so this especially appealed to me. LOVED IT <3
treegirl93 said...
May 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm
We will stand together when the time comes or right now against the evils of the world because pure love of humanity will overcome all! I believe it is so!
Star_In_The_Sky said...
May 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm
I want to keep my shirt too. =]
Alexis7674 said...
Apr. 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm
Oh My gosh I can so totally relate.
Thinker said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 7:44 am
I like to buy the tag sale shirts, litterly and in accordence to your beautiful metaphore.
The~crayon~in~my~heart said...
Apr. 10, 2010 at 8:43 am
wow, that story comepletely blew my mind! so intuitive!
liv4life said...
Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm
Wow, that was really interesting. You're right; the word "love" is overused. The t-shirt didn't exactly fit with love, but I like it anyway.
Dayani said...
Apr. 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm
I totally get the love is overused part but whats up with the shirt part?
Poet_in_Motion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm
Stunningly beautiful. A plethora of compliments towards you. And I think I can say with confidence, that I really do love this article. 
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