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.

Similar Articles


This article has 258 comments.

on Apr. 23 2010 at 8:18 pm
writergirl13 GOLD, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
11 articles 8 photos 261 comments

Favorite Quote:
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

Oh my gosh! Yes!! I just read that book, but I didn't think of it until I read your comment, but that's so true!! I really like that line in the book. Great piece!! I really felt like this has opened my eyes to something, and I'm a pretty open-minded person, so that's a challenge to do sometimes!! :)

on Apr. 23 2010 at 5:28 pm
Alexis7674 BRONZE, Willamsburg, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Oh My gosh I can so totally relate.

on Apr. 22 2010 at 7:44 am
Thinker PLATINUM, Na, Connecticut
47 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
A wise word does not make the speaker wise.

I like to buy the tag sale shirts, litterly and in accordence to your beautiful metaphore.

on Apr. 10 2010 at 8:43 am
biggerinfinities SILVER, Superior, Colorado
7 articles 0 photos 353 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

wow, that story comepletely blew my mind! so intuitive!

liv4life said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 11:01 pm
Wow, that was really interesting. You're right; the word "love" is overused. The t-shirt didn't exactly fit with love, but I like it anyway.

Dayani BRONZE said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:55 pm
Dayani BRONZE, Las Vegas, Nevada
2 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you cant trust a homie, you cant trust no one.....
If you try and dont success try again and if you still dont succeed maybe you aren't trying hard enough
Its hard work that gets you stuff but its inspiration that pushes you

I totally get the love is overused part but whats up with the shirt part?

on Apr. 1 2010 at 8:07 pm
Poet_in_Motion PLATINUM, Sharon, Massachusetts
24 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love one another." –George Harrison (his last words)

"and down they forgot as up they grew" –e.e. cummings

"The sea is just a wetter version of the sky..." –Regina Spektor

Stunningly beautiful. A plethora of compliments towards you. And I think I can say with confidence, that I really do love this article. 

on Apr. 1 2010 at 7:34 pm
Dandelion PLATINUM, Franklin, Massachusetts
20 articles 8 photos 173 comments
Amazing arcticle. Beautiful metaphor.

on Apr. 1 2010 at 7:32 pm
toiwhitney011 BRONZE, Houma, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
For we walk by faith,not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7

This is absolutley amazing.

on Mar. 24 2010 at 12:40 pm
bookworm95 BRONZE, Del Rio, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life's a rollar coaster... hold on tight!"

I loved this article! It really made me think about how many times a day I say "I love you" but don't really mean it. And I really loved how BillyJoe said its a word that is said so much but not said enough. Somehow that makes complete sense lol:)

on Mar. 23 2010 at 1:31 pm
StarlingChild PLATINUM, El Cajon, California
23 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Very well written. I love the unique twist you gave the topic; it really brings about a hidden message. It gave me a lot to think about.

on Mar. 8 2010 at 4:50 pm
HPGGMRAR GOLD, Kennesaw, Georgia
14 articles 6 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I musn't forget I'm alive."
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)

This such a cool, fresh perspective. The second I read the first few lines I thought of the line August says in Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, "Did you know there are thrity-two names for love in one of the Eskimo languages and we just have this one. We are so limited, you have to use the same word for loving Rosaleen as you do for loving a coke with peanuts. Isn't that a shame we don't have more ways to say it?"

on Mar. 8 2010 at 4:25 pm
naturelover123 BRONZE, San Francisco, California
2 articles 0 photos 50 comments
This is a cool article...gave me a sense of unity of all the good people in the world overcoming obstacles and spreading love.

on Mar. 4 2010 at 6:02 pm
lilyxfiore GOLD, Smithville, Ohio
11 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
The greatest truth in life is that those you love, cherish or simply trust the most are irrevocably destined to break you the most.

I love the shirt metaphor in this! Fantastic job. This is so true and so eye-catching; like a best-seller, I couldn't stop reading it. Very well done.

OneChance GOLD said...
on Feb. 28 2010 at 4:27 pm
OneChance GOLD, Westland, Michigan
18 articles 8 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥be who YOU want to be, not what OTHERS want to see. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

this is great, i love the meaning and how you made it make sense

on Feb. 21 2010 at 11:55 am
sharadyn PLATINUM, Creve Coeur, Illinois
25 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When the power of love over comes the love of power, then the world will know peace"

very well thought out. good job

on Feb. 16 2010 at 4:40 pm
Toe_The_Line SILVER, Muscoda, Wisconsin
5 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"In a field, I am the abscence of field. It's always been like that. Wherever I am, I am what is missing." - Mark Strand
"We are reading the story of our lives... we keep turning the pages, hoping for something." - Mark Strand

This blew my mind. Amazing.

on Feb. 16 2010 at 11:59 am
Karma_Chameleon SILVER, English, Indiana
8 articles 0 photos 236 comments

Favorite Quote:
To be able to say "I love you" one must first be able to say "I" - Ayn Rand

Bravo!!! I love it!

on Jan. 30 2010 at 6:20 pm
robrobrobin11 BRONZE, Concord, New Hampshire
4 articles 2 photos 25 comments
Really moving; so true. Beautiful writing. Bravo.

on Jan. 25 2010 at 9:24 pm
dragonbiscuits SILVER, Near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
7 articles 1 photo 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You cannot acheive peace with violence" -several people

This was marvelous! And very true, great job!