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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apurplechick said...
Apr. 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm
apurplechick said...
Apr. 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm
my shirt too is faded and torn. my shirt has been drug through the mud,stolen and then returned with many burns and bruises. i share my shirt with very few people...... very good poem
mayo.girlie97 said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 10:05 am
very nice, super creative metaphor!!
ashley1012 said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm
well i am one of those people that use love more than i need to but boys have used me so yeah :)
SilverDropsofLife replied...
May 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm
Boys don't force you to use that "shirt."  You're better than them.  GIRL POWER.
ashley1012 replied...
May 10, 2011 at 8:28 am
i so agree we do have girl power
MissArcher replied...
May 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm
Yes, we do have girl power. Guys can only give us the option to throw away our shirt, or give it away. Chin up girls!!!
Libra97 said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm
Great metaphor!  I feel the same way you do and feel that this article is better than I could have put it into words.  Love...a tattered t-shirt.
samiikay said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm
this is absolutley amazinggg! i loved every word of it. your soo talented!
Hammi said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm
This is probaly the best piece of writing on that i have read on this site so far, everything was perfect for me the style, grammar everything you are clearly very very talented
kaitlynnbreanne said...
Apr. 6, 2011 at 2:14 am
I truly, deeply, sincerely mean this when I say I love this article. This article has summed up almost everything I feel, and the metaphor was just stunning. I'm positive no one would have ever compared love to a tattered, worn shirt, but now that it has, it makes so much more sense. The metaphor is so fantastic, I'm sure in a couple years it will become cliche, and then you will have to create an even better one. (:
TheSkittlesAreGone said...
Apr. 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm
I love this! I feel the same way, and i think this is a great article! great job!
Allthegoodnamesaretaken said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm
whoa man. isn't that a lil too much trouble to go to for a shirt. lol jk. this is getting 5 stars from me. :)
DaydreamBeliever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm
That's so true. Even the littlest thing to you can mean a lot to someone else. :)
DaydreamBeliever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I love it! That's exactly how I feel about my place in the world. Forgotten and unimportant.

Beautifully written :)

MusicLuvsUs said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 2:50 am
After I was done reading this it made me think of the line in the song, "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, "Those three words are said too much, but not enough." It expresses the same thought and it's one of the lines that made me fall in love with that song. I really enjoyed reading this because it made me think about the fact that people flant aroung saying "hate" too much also.
BitterSweet1993 said...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 10:46 am
Amazing! <3
Lenah said...
Mar. 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm
okay, just decided to say this since we're like, on the subject. last school year i was on the bus and this kid kept telling this girl things like 'shut up no one likes you' or 'i hope you die' and stuff like that and she started crying so i went and sat by her and put my arm around her and i think that she will remember that because the next day she told me that it helped her, and i think that sometimes people need to have love shown from people they hardly know because that's the strongest ser... (more »)
jazzy16 said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm
You're story is great! Good metaphor and I never thought of it that way. It's really cool how you took such an ordinary everyday thing and related it to something that perhaps we wear out everyday.
AthenaBook said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm
WOW! Great story; I really liked how you tied it to the real world in such an obvious, yet hidden, way. Fabulous job!
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