Random thought: Pre-weathered t-shirts

Yes, yes, I know I haven’t updated in awhile. I actually have a half-finished draft for Economy and my writing (Part 2) in progress, which, in theory, we should be seeing sometime in the next few days. This is just a little rant I felt like making after a trip to Target today. I’ve been on a bit of a clothing hunt to collect my outfit for this year’s Halloween (because it’s never too early to start) and wandering through the t-shirt section started me up. Strap yourselves in, because here I go!

So I’m sick and tired of pre-beatenthehellup clothing. My last straw today was seeing the t-shirt designs where the silk-screened design is pre-worn so that the ink has already faded and flaked away even though it is, in theory, “brand new.” Here’s an example.

Listen, design people, I have a revelation for you. You know why so many people hang on to 20 year old t-shirts, even though they’re already beaten up? Yes, you’re correct, it is because there’s nostalgic value in old weathered clothing. We love those old shirts. They’re comfortable, soft from years of being worn, and a part of our identities in the same way that a morning routine becomes part of the person doing it. We’ve had these shirts for years and years and now we don’t want to throw them away because we’ve had them for years and years.

When you pre-beatthehellup our clothing, however, you’re skipping that process of falling in love with the routine, the clothing, the nostalgia and the identity. You can’t do that. You can’t skip the process of getting there, take us straight to the destination, and say it’s the same thing. We are not human cargo to be boxed and shelved in a truck for a 20 year long journey. The traveling itself has meaning. It has intrinsic value. Without that process, the object is nothing more than an object, with no memories, no affection, no nostalgia. It’s just beaten up. You’re charging us more for substandard clothing because you’re trying to game the system and sell us something we love — before we’ve fallen in love with it.

This pre-beatenthehellup shirt you’re hawking? It cheated to get here. It didn’t come along with us. It didn’t play the game fair and square, and rest assured, we can see its score. It’s zero.

This has been a PSA from the same person who despises when we’re obviously intended to obey the context cues of a video game, book or movie offering a spousal character for whom we have no reason to feel any affection toward. Protagonist + Female does not equal automatic investment in a love story or a tragedy. You have to make us feel for the characters, not hold up a placard reading “THIS IS A LOVE INTEREST YOU CARE ABOUT HER.”

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