Friday, March 18, 2011

The Friday Shirt

I love clothes, that's no secret. But I have one pretty major vice when it comes to fashion...tie-dye. It's not that I find it particularly fashionable, I just love it. I have more tie-dye than a person needs EVER, but there's one shirt in particular that holds a special place in my heart...

The Friday Shirt.

I don't even remember when I got this shirt, but it's a GIANT tie-dye t-shirt my mom had made one year for Holy Family Festival. Everyone in the choir wore one. I lost mine a few weeks later (no idea how), but there were some leftover XL's, so I grabbed one of those...and the Friday Shirt was born. There are so many reasons why I love the Friday shirt, but the most important is that it's hands down the most comfortable shirt in the world. It's softer than usual t-shirts, and roomy enough that I'm never hot while sleeping. Like I said, I don't even know how long I've had it, but I've been sleeping in it (...among other things, I'm not disgusting, I do laundry) for at least six years.

The Friday Shirt's name came about in a pathetic way. The first year of college was a glorious time for Shannon, a time of self discovery and realization. Meaning I could wear pajamas to class and I wasn't going to get in trouble. And for someone with morning classes and NOT a morning personality, this was good, good news. But by the end of the year, after a particularly heinous combination of purple sweatpants, a green choir t-shirt, a Michigan hoodie, and a really nerdy Broadway hat (to cover the unwashed I was disgusting) that even made my voice teacher (who basically wore skirts made of wheat) gasp in horror, I decided maybe it was time to reel in the PJ look.

So for Sophomore year, I had a new plan: Regular clothes every day except Fridays. I only had Geneds on Fridays anyway, so it was a pretty good compromise. And since tie-dye shirt was the most comfortable of all shirts, I obviously saved it for the end of the week. I thought I was being pretty inconspicuous...but after a really choice combination one Friday morning (documented below), my friends caught on:
(I obviously have no shame if I'm willing to put this picture on display...also where are my shoes?)

And since we're all about naming everything ever, my shirt got a name...they went for simplicity: The Friday Shirt.

For a while it was just a few of us that referred to it as The Friday Shirt. Like a little inside joke. Until suddenly EVERYONE knew about and frequently referred to The Friday Shirt in daily conversations. It got to the point that the following summer, my coworkers, none of whom even went to JMU, called it The Friday Shirt. Eventually Friday Shirt stopped making public appearances, a)because I stopped having Friday classes and b)Junior Year I had a fashion breakthrough and was determined to look awesome every single day.

I hope I don't come off as embarrassed about this magical shirt. I am shameless about my love for it. So the more people who knew about it, the happier I was. I was spreading Friday Shirt love to the world.

But this summer I started to notice that the Friday Shirt was looking...sickly. More faded than in the past, with a few holes here and there. I guess when you wash a shirt so many times without retiring it, erosion begins to take its toll. But I didn't think much of it. The Friday Shirt is basically a part of who I am.

Except that the next time I washed it, the few holes here and there had turned into LARGE holes here and there. Suddenly I was forced to stop wearing it out of the house (or I would have started breaking indecency laws). My heart was heavy and I knew what had to be done...I had to find a replacement for the Friday Shirt. I wondered which of my other shirts were up to the challenge. Cat shirt was almost as comfortable, but even I had to draw the line at bringing that one into public view. And all my other shirts were not offensive to the eyes, but not up to the comfort level of TFS.

So as a natural shopper, I went on the hunt. I even tie-dyed my own shirt(s). But nothing was up to par.


Three weeks ago I went to JMU for Allison and DJ's recitals, and while I was there I decided to stop at Outpost (cheaper than the bookstore for JMU apparel, for all of you non-Dukes) because I wanted an alumni sticker for my car. And then I saw it.

I guess it's like falling in love, it comes when you least expect it. Because I saw this obnoxious purple and gold tie-dye shirt that said James Madison University, and thought "Well that's fun and I'm obviously going to buy it." It was fun...but I never imagined it would be able to rise to the level of TFS. It seemed like nothing could. I even bought it in a medium because I figured I would want to wear it for real, and why waste money on an XL t-shirt I that would never replace TFS?

I didn't even wear it for at least a week...but then...when I did...I knew I had found it. It's different from TFS in its own way, of course, but just as a wonderful. It's soft the way TFS shirt is, roomy the way TFS is, TIE-DYE the way TFS is. But still different. TFS part 2. I'm sure my friends will come up with their own name for it, considering it's quickly becoming a staple of my nighttime (...and Saturday and Sunday...) wardrobe.

I will never forget The Original Friday Shirt of course. And maybe sometimes I'll wear it, for old times sake. But it's not really safe enough to wash, and sewing it to fix it would just compromise the integrity of the shirt. I'm going to have to figure out a proper way to commemorate it. It will forever remind me of the good times of showing up five minutes late for Ear Training (when I went), camping in the middle of nowhere with nothing but hot dogs and beer, late night dance parties, and the multitude of trips and vacations it accompanied me on.

Here's to you Friday Shirt, here's to you.

Here's the state the Original Friday Shirt is currently in...note the holes, frayed neck, and especially the GIANT hole on the right that I can fit my entire head through:

And here is the NEW Friday Shirt (This is apparently a medium...but I'm looks the same exact size at TFS):

I can't believe I just wrote an entire blog about a t-shirt.

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