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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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!
Hopelessinlove said...
Feb. 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm
Wow I never thought of love like a worn shirt, I really liked it.
HannaBanana123 said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm
Wow.... this was amazing! You'rea very talented writer and I love how you corrdinated a shirt with love... It's great!
Destiny2 said...
Feb. 6, 2012 at 9:16 am
This is literally amazing! I think you should totally continue writing!!! I love how you are clever to fit the concept "love" in overused things such as what you compared, a "shirt".
mmb77 said...
Feb. 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm
This is beautiful, and clever. I can't say my t-shirts bright and beautiful, or that anyone's ever seen it before. I think I keep my t-shirt under a sweater, so no one can see it.
indestructable1043 said...
Jan. 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm
My shirt has only been worn once and didn't last very long. But after reading this, I'll know to always keep the next one I get. Beautiful.
EmmaRae26 said...
Jan. 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm
This Almsot Made Me Cry Cause I Just Went Threw A Bad Break Up, This Is So Amazingly Good, You Have A Future In Writing!
EmmaRae26 said...
Jan. 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm
This Almsot Made Me Cry Cause I Just Went Threw A Bad Break Up, This Is So Amazingly Good, You Have A Future In Writing!
PrettyFireflies said...
Dec. 25, 2011 at 2:39 am
joseyJcampos replied...
Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:56 am
reallly good, showing the concepts of inhumanity and love, good job, should write another one.
Pink_Gumdrop replied...
Jan. 10, 2012 at 7:10 am
I second him :)
ItsGabbi_Yo replied...
Jan. 10, 2012 at 9:35 am
This piece was inspiring, and I loved the comparison of the shirt and the meaning of love. I think a lot of people can relate to it.
writersrevenge said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm
Every day i think the same thing as you. everyone screams i LOVE you but they don't mean it. thank you for sharing your amazing writing and finally sating the issue about LOVE.
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