My Favorite Shirt | Teen Ink

My Favorite Shirt MAG

January 19, 2008
By Anonymous

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.

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This article has 258 comments.

Mmbusch BRONZE said...
on Sep. 21 2010 at 11:58 pm
Mmbusch BRONZE, Fox River Grove, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not pity the dead. Pity the living. And above all pity those who live without love."

SO good! This piece is amazing and definitely my favorite on Teen Ink. How old are you?? (Rhetorical) You seem ages old with wisdom! 

:) I really really liked this. I will be going back and reading it again. 

on Sep. 11 2010 at 5:51 pm
Lostonaplanet GOLD, Santa Monica, California
11 articles 1 photo 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm the author of my own life, but unfortunatley all I could find was a pen so I can't erase my mistakes.

I love the way this is written and the metaphor! Amazing work! :)

on Sep. 5 2010 at 5:35 pm
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

Fantatstic metaphor! You really are an excellent writer!

NiaraStorm said...
on Sep. 2 2010 at 7:37 pm
NiaraStorm, Greenwood Village, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Edward Abbey

This is really great...I do (truly) love this and you are a very inspirational writer. This reminds me of one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks quotes:

"Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day." - Nicholas Sparks

amybug said...
on Aug. 26 2010 at 6:06 pm
amybug, Penrose, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Always remeber there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name." -The Avett Brothers

Wow, this really changed my whole persepective on the word. I never really thought about it, but now I will. You are an amazing writer!

br123 said...
on Aug. 15 2010 at 10:35 pm
I disagree that the word "love" is dead. Love is not gone either. People still have happy and loving relationships with boyfriends and husbands. Also, the world is not going to end because one teenager says to another that they love each other. It's all teenagers trying to figure out what love is. And once they realize that maybe what they felt in ninth grade isn't the same as what they felt when they were married. Love can mean a number of things, and sometimes kids say things they don't mean. Let people live life to the fullest and LOVE life at a young age. The world won't end because of love, it will end because of hate. 

on Aug. 11 2010 at 9:33 pm
KaChowCity SILVER, Michigan, Massachusetts
6 articles 3 photos 4 comments
This is amazing. It makes me think of the song "Mad As Rabbits" by Panic! At the Disco. At the end of it, they sing "We must reinvent love, reinvent love" and I've been wondering if anyone feels the same way that I do, that we need to reinvent love, because it doesn't mean anything anymore. 

on Aug. 11 2010 at 8:55 pm
this article was absolute genius i agree with tuffgirl it was comfortable an warming an really made me think how we throw taht word around

TuffGurl said...
on Aug. 11 2010 at 7:41 pm
this is an article that makes me feel... comfortable. this is a comfort article, i believe. it's hard to describe, but the words are round, comfortable, soft; I imagine a comfortable bed to sleep in, one that you've slept in for years and is fitted to your figure. that's what this article is to me. 

on Aug. 11 2010 at 1:07 am
AgnotTheOdd GOLD, Aptos, California
17 articles 0 photos 315 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason for your unreasonable treatment of my reason so enfeebles my reason that I have reason to complain of your reason" ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

That was good.  I read the first paragraph and then knew I would click the 5-star button.  Best article I've read on this site and actually one of the only articles I've bothered to read the entire thing.  I'm jealous

It was brilliant

on Jul. 30 2010 at 7:15 pm
CheerBabe BRONZE, Lexington, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
What is success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; That is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I really love this piece! Your insight on the word love is unique and I never realized how much we take it for granted until I read your article. You should really continue with opinionated pieces, your views are right on point and may inspire other writers to go for the same unique insight!!!! Keep up the good work!

on Jul. 20 2010 at 10:08 pm
Stefegg PLATINUM, Maysville, Missouri
21 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world."

I love the analogy you used here.  It is very creative and I don't think I would have ever thought of it.  I love your writing style! 

on Jul. 20 2010 at 2:44 pm
whateverjuliet BRONZE, Miami, Florida
3 articles 3 photos 89 comments

Favorite Quote:
true love never dies,it only gets stronger with time.

i love this its so unique and so true its one of my  favorite articles that i have read hear

keep writing ur really good!!!!!!

cara_ruegg said...
on Jul. 18 2010 at 3:23 pm
cara_ruegg, Germantown, Maryland
0 articles 7 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"live, laugh, love"

very inspiring and beautifully written. you are most def a talented writer and this was a wonderful concept. keep it up!

on Jul. 16 2010 at 4:31 pm
tianaxbiddy SILVER, Wareham, Massachusetts
9 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Plot is character revealed by action."


it depends onhow u use the word love well who you say it to and how you say it to them. i admit i use love A LOT but wen i tell my bf i love him i say it differently,im not saying it as a habit. i am saying it because i do love him.

on Jul. 13 2010 at 1:31 pm
babigerl1194 PLATINUM, Margaretville, New York
23 articles 10 photos 155 comments

Favorite Quote:
wat doesnt kill you only makes you stronger

mindblowing and inspirational. i love love loved it. for real. and and i agree completely. and now wish i knew you...

on Jul. 8 2010 at 4:51 pm
Niftygrrl BRONZE, Norfolk, Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”- dr suess

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

I think it's funny How everyone avoided say " I love this!! *screams like fan girl*" Haha This is truly my favorite piece of whatever it is!

I sent it to everybody i know!I Love it! =]

on Jul. 3 2010 at 5:34 pm
Playuca37 BRONZE, Mercedita, Other
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

on Jul. 2 2010 at 6:48 pm
ArtInBlackandWhite BRONZE, Oxford, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never start frowning, because you never know who could be falling in love with your smile."

Brilliant...really, very true...I really loved it!

on Jun. 29 2010 at 10:42 pm
Leena_ink SILVER, Dhaka, Other
7 articles 0 photos 3 comments

I love this story.

You are an amazing writer :)