The Tale Of A Shirt

There’s a shirt missing. It’s been hanging in front of the mirror here in our living room for a year now…and tonight, it’s gone. My Lady Wonder Wench probably tossed it into the laundry. I got used to looking at for a whole year while I was sitting in my big, comfortable, black leather Pappa Chair.  It was part of the living room decoration…like the pictures of my mom and dad when they were very young and very much in love, and the beautiful needlepoint Lady Wonder Wench made of the lady and her cat… and my late brother in law Bob’s Military flag in the wooden triangle on the wall.


Shirts say things about us. When you want somebody to have patience, you say, “Hey…keep your shirt on.” I found out that expression started because it was the custom a long time ago, that when somebody got involved in a fight, he took off his shirt to keep it from getting torn. So…”Hey…keep your shirt on makes sense.” Then there’s the kind of guy who lights up the room when he leaves…he’s a “Stuffed shirt.” Not to be confused with a lady with a dangerously low IQ, but exceptionally generous curves, who is sometimes said to be a “Nicely stuffed shirt.” I just made that up. But I like it so I think I’ll leave it in.


A very generous person would give you the shirt off his back. And when you’re getting ready for some heavy duty work, you roll your shirt sleeves up.


There’s a sport shirt, and a dress shirt. And for some reason, a dress shirt is mostly worn by guys…many of whom are seldom if ever seen wearing a dress. There’s a uniform shirt, with four stripes on the shoulders if you’re an airline captain, or four stars if you’re a general who’s been around so long he can’t remember being a captain. Lots of times a uniform shirt has a name tag on it, in case the person wearing it needs a hint when he’s signing a check. No kidding…I actually saw a guy at the airport taking a glance down at the name tag on his shirt. What was that all about ? I was wondering where he stashed the body of the guy who was wearing it just before him.


Then there’s the shirt they call a Jersey. It’s really usually a fake uniform shirt with the name of a favorite major league sports team on the front, and the name of some recently traded ball player on the back. I have one that says Mets on the front. And on the back it has the number one, and it says Summer right under it. I didn’t really play for the Mets, although the way they’re playing right now, I sometimes think I should let them know I’m available. But I did wear the number one while I pitched for my softball team which was called the Cheaters. It was called that because cheating was our secret weapon for winning games.


I never have figured out the difference between a shirt and a blouse…except I think one is masculine and one is feminine. Although I don’t think I’ve ever known a guy who wears a blouse, and lots of times ladies are wearing shirts. And often those ladies are wearing shirts that button up the back. What’s that all about ?


Most people have under shirts, but I don’t know anybody with an over shirt. There are long sleeve shirts and short sleeve shirts. I saw a guy once wearing a shirt that had one long sleeve and one short sleeve. I figured he must have been a trombone player.


I once had a shirt that had a little tag in the back of the neck, that said, Wrinkle resistant. I never did figure that out. It obviously didn’t mean the shirt didn’t wrinkle. Maybe it meant that the shirt wrinkled but only…after it put up a real fight.


Then there’s the T shirt. They usually have clever sayings on them. I saw one that said, Welcome to New York City, the attitude capitol of the world. Now go home. I have one that says, I love the smell of aviation gas first thing in the morning. My Lady Wonder Wench has one that has the smiling faces of the three New York Mets tv announcers stretched across the front…Gary Cohn, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling. When she puts it on, I swear Gary and Ron’s pictures look like they’re smiling a little wider. And speaking of T shirts, what are you supposed to wear if you’re drinking coffee instead? And what happened to the rest of the alphabet. Where are the A bcdefg shirts ?


When a new pilot flies solo for the first time, his instructor traditionally tears the shirt off the guy’s back, and signs it, and tacks it up on the wall of the hanger. That may be why there are so few female pilots. 


Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation quite often wears a t shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the left sleeve…although he doesn’t smoke…so it’s just for show. But we shouldn’t be surprised. He always carries a condom around in his wallet too. 


Dick’s Details Quiz…all answers are in the current podcast.


1- How do the smart guys say we can tell when somebody is really…hot ?

2- What is it that 91% of American men claim has, “changed my life significantly?”

3- What should our politicians learn from frogs.


Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.


There’s a pretty lady in a pretty shirt in a story called the Quick Change Artist. It’s in the Night Connections personal audio album. And it’s also in the current podcast.


Well…she was wearing the shirt in the beginning of the story anyway. If you like the story, you can just keep the podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Night Connections icon on the opening page.


That shirt that’s missing from the mirror in our living room now…the one that was hanging right next to the pictures of my mom and dad when they were so young…and that beautiful needlepoint Lady Wonder Wench made…and Bob’s military flag…folded neatly into that triangular wooden frame…that shirt was the shirt my Lady Wonder Wench was going to wear when she came home from riding her horse exactly one year ago this week. It’s a pretty shirt. Sleeveless…and kinda sexy. We planned on going out for dinner that night.


But of course…she didn’t come home. She spent five months in the hospital instead. I almost lost her. When I came home from the hospital that first night of those terrible five months…I took that shirt, and put it on a hanger…and hooked it onto that mirror in our living room…to keep me absolutely focused on getting her back…whole… complete…and beautiful like she was when she left to go riding that awful morning.


This morning…exactly one year after she originally intended to wear it… she took it down from the hanger…gave me one of those Lady Wonder Wenchy smiles…and put it on…and put the longest, hardest, and most frightening year of our lives behind us for good. She looked like her molecules must have been banging together pretty good.  


2 Responses to “The Tale Of A Shirt”

  1. andrea d. wiener says:

    Nice to see that a shirt can be part of a miracle…here’s to many MORE miracles…

  2. Bob Conklin says:

    As only you could write it, You and LWW are truely blessed and more importantly still very much in love……