“I see that you are wearing a garment decorated with shapes that are obviously linked to a widely-appreciated cultural artifact. I assume, therefore, that you would like to have a conversation about that with me, a stranger on the street, rather than go about your business in the shops, one of which I just witnessed you leaving and another which I see you are about to enter.”
How about, instead, you just nod and smile, maybe mutter, “Cool shirt, man,” and go about your own business?
T-shirts are great for several reasons, which I shall now enumerate.
- They are easily cleaned. Throw in the washer, run through the dryer, no ironing and no hanging required.
- They provide a small amount of insulation, so that they’re comfortable to wear under a wide range of temperatures. Walking down the street, sitting in a room, walking down the refrigerated section of the grocery store — it’s all good.
- They are close-fitting, so they don’t generally flop into whatever mess one is dealing with. Sleeve in the dish water? Tail dragging along the counter? Nope. And, even when it does happen, see above re: cleaning.
However, t-shirts are also lousy, because humans are garbage. If I wear a plain white t-shirt, it feels a lot like underwear. Some folks have no problem walking around in their underwear while doing their errands; I am not one of them. I have internalized social norms from another age, one which held that there are standards of dress for going out in public, and visible underwear is Not On.
Colored t-shirts are widely available — so long as one is happy to have words and pictures on them. And honestly, the words and pictures are often attractive or interesting and therefore not a negative. But, and this is the part that sours me on living among humans, there’s a small but significant percent of the population that thinks, “Hey, I recognize those words/pictures! I Have Thoughts That I Must Express!”
You know who else thinks like that? My dog. And, just to be clear, when he’s out there expressing his thoughts, everyone within audible range is aware that my dog is an asshole.