What The Shirt Says

0829140705I’m wearing a Batman T-shirt today … and I’m very nervous about that.

I don’t like stuff on my shirts. I just want a shirt that is plain – no logos, no slogans, no jokes, no band names, no television shows, no tags, no nothin’. I own the shirt I’m wearing today and a Captain America T-shirt only because I bought them to fit in with friends who bought comic book T-shirts to wear to comic book movie premieres. Ask me what my favorite shirt is and I’m likely to respond, “The blue one.”

As with most things in my life, though, this goes beyond just personal fashion sense. Fact is, I put way too much thought into what I’m going to wear each day. You wouldn’t know that by looking at me, since my daily wardrobe generally consists of a polo shirt or T-shirt with jeans or a pair of shorts, but you’d be amazed at how much thought I put into just picking out the color of the shirt I’m going to wear each day.

A poor choice of color, however, isn’t going to cause me that much stress. There’s just something about having something on my clothes that attracts people’s attention that bothers me, which is odd because one of my big frustrations in life is that I don’t feel like people pay much attention to me. No, my problem has to do with perceptions. People are going to make fun of a comic book shirt on a 40-year-old guy. People will think I’m poor because the brand name is cheap. People won’t like the band I’m a fan of. People will think the event I went to is silly.

In other words, whatever negative connotation that could be attached to what I’m wearing, that’s what I’m thinking of, so I assume that must be the first thing everyone else is thinking of.

The more self-confident readers are probably saying “Who cares what someone else thinks about your shirt?”, and I understand that. I’m a pessimist, though, whose view is often filtered through the lens of depression, so I almost instinctively find the silliness in things. Here’s an example of how I’ve been on the other end of this…

I noticed someone on Facebook the other day mentioned how much they loved the sports teams at the high school I graduated from. I’ve written here before about how youth and high school sports basically chewed me up and spit me out, so I stopped caring about how my school fared while I was still a student there. In fact, I don’t think I attended another sporting event at my high school after my sophomore year. Anyway, my first thought when I saw this on Facebook was, “Who the heck cares? I can’t believe someone would care that much about something so stupid.”

As soon as I thought this, I felt immediate conviction. This person actually did love the local high school sports teams. They would wear their T-shirts out in public and root for them on social media. Just because I didn’t think it was worth my time didn’t mean they should think it wasn’t worth theirs. Did that mean I had to share their enthusiasm? I don’t think so (Or, at least, I hope not.). I should at least be respectful of their passion, though.

In the end, though, it didn’t matter what I thought. They loved their high school sports, and who cares what I think about it? In the same vein, shouldn’t I be able to love comic books, video games, social media, ’80s rock, etc., etc.?

So I’m wearing a Batman shirt today … and it’s still bugging me.




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