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

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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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! :)
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.
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.
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
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 »)

Black_Rose_Princess said...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm
Beautifully written; I really liked the comparison. I never thought about love that way. Great job!
believe@faith said...
Jun. 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm
Love has faded away..... Where is it?
believe@faith said...
Jun. 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm
Love the symbolism, comparison, and imagery you use to compare "love" with a t- shirt :) nice
Therese said...
May 10, 2012 at 10:34 am
That was amazing! I loved it!
writer@heart16 said...
May 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm
All I have to say: Wow. This was incredible. I especially liked this part: "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?" It really hit home with me. Please write more!!!
irishlass317 said...
May 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm
Oh my goodness, this is amazing!!! You did such a beautiful job writing this, and i completely agree.  <3
AcrossTheUniverse said...
Apr. 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm
Well written, meaningful, and beautiful.
TheDoubtMachine said...
Apr. 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm
Rightly said! "Love" is used very casually in today's age and by the end, it turns into a worn out fetter. Incapable of producing happiness or content in us.
3Fran said...
Apr. 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm
I totally agree! ...but know although there may be few, there are other people who do care as much about love, there are others who too share the true knowledge of love. although you may feel like you are the only one, know, you will not stand alone <3
daddysgirl98 said...
Apr. 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm
I REALLY enjoyed this article. I cant wait to read your next piece!! Write on!!
FlyByNight said...
Apr. 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm
I think this is AMAZING, but perhaps you could somehow define what real love is....
MellyBelly said...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm
This is really great!
Olliegh said...
Mar. 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm
I sent this article to my friends as soon as I was done reading it. Beautiful job, you could be a professional :) This may be the best article I have ever read on TeenInk
suzyqgirl777 said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm
this is so absolutely amazing. keep it up and write on!!
aakel said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm
Absolutely amazing writing. You took an overworn idea and made it new. Simply extravagant. keep writing!
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