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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This article has 252 comments. Post your own now!

Madpat said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 6:53 am
This is so true. 
NaiNelson said...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm
This was undescribable :)
RedStory said...
Nov. 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm
I wanted to disagree with you, about comparing love to a shirt; reducing love, something so powerful and profound, to a materialistic object. But in this day and age, that is what we tend to use the word 'love' for sadly - to describe our feelings towards an object, and im just as guilty. Your piece was inspiring. Don't ever throw your shirt away.
yaythisisavailable This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm
I love this, it was so powerful I had to read it twice!
Nicholas W. said...
Nov. 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm
Sweet! My shirt is new but I hope it will become as ragged as yours.
Soccergirl3 said...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm
This is an amazing piece. I love the metaphor of the shirt.
teresa221 said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm
This is beautifully written, and I love the connection to life it makes. It's so honest and pure, such true literary genius.
Risible said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm
Beautiful, thanks for sharing. Check my poem forever, it's trying to convey the same sweetness of real love. 
Amazing-Just-The-Way-We-Are said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm
This. Is. Amazing.
Lady-Milano said...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

amazing piece


TeamTamani said...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm
Wonderful peice. Its so true, that its not even funny, great peice and keep it up, you deserve to have it in the magazine.
Random said...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm
Amazing. I agree with so much of what you wrote, and this article was written brilliantly. No wonder this piece of writing was published for the magazine XD
Jess713 said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm
I really enjoyed this piece. And it is all so true! "love" is really a misused word for us, and we just use it to describe the most random things like movies, music, books, etc... But in all honesty, "love" is a word that we should use sparingly, and in cases where we really MEAN IT. By the way, I loved the use of a shirt as your reference.
Naby Padaniya said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 11:48 am
wonderful peice of  its writing! i loved it! m wid u! :) sm thoughts! :)
she-is-a-strange-duck said...
Sept. 17, 2011 at 10:19 am
Please understand that I really mean it when I say I LOVED this piece. Keep wearing your favorite shirt.
Ms.Brightside replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 11:02 am
I think a shirt was a bad refernce, But I understand the pieces, heck, I see people everyday say Love after a day or 2 then hate the next moment
loveshortstuff11 said...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm
Wow! That was a great piece, and a great use of metaphor! Keep it up! :)
Lizette said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm
i loved the comparison! great job!
CupcakeSaffy said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm
You are very talented; this is a wonderful, thoughtful piece. Well done!
xxtennis13xx said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm
I feel guilty for rating "I love it", but this is one of the most honest, true, well-written ideas I have read on teenink. I have always thought that love is thrown around and has lost its true vlaue, but could never put it into such beautiful words like you have here. This is beautiful, I will definitely be showing this to my friends! Wonderful!
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