My husband accumulates T-shirts. Not in a way that collectors of valuable items amass art, or fine wines, or vintage baseball cards, but more like the way a scoop of ice cream dropped on the sidewalk attracts ants.
The shirts are getting to be a bit of a problem, but I can’t really blame him. He comes by most of them without making actual purchases. Sure, we might get a souvenir Been there, Done that, Got the T-shirt when traveling, or a shirt proclaiming us as Seeing Eye Puppy raisers, but most of my husband’s T-shirts come from the numerous events, formerly on bicycle, now on foot, that he participates in.
He gets shirts from his walking events, with the name of the various walking groups emblazoned on the front. There are several from Freewalkers, EverWalk, Rails to Trails Conservancy, New York- New Jersey Trail Conference, and others. He also got shirts for participating in charity rides and walks, and various fundraisers. Some of the events take place annually and so there might be several shirts from the same organization, with only the years and sponsors on the backs changing. He gets shirts from radio stations for donations and shirts from conferences.
Lately, though, he’s picking up hats from conferences instead, but I won’t go into that except to say that Slobodkina’s monkeys from Caps for Sale have nothing on the stack of caps we now own.
There is no good place to store all these shirts and hats. There is also no reason to keep them all. But so far that has been a losing battle.
I’m not saying that I’m not also guilty of saving things beyond their period of usefulness. I think many people may feel the same way about the items in their lives that bring back memories of some other time, when the keepsakes were new and held the full meaning of the moment. But memories fade and so do T-shirts.