A Break Up Letter For an Old Shirt

Dear Vintage Van Heusen Shirt with Pink Floral Pattern and Epic Lapels,

We’ve come a long way. I still remember the day I met you: I was in high school, confused and awkward, but once my friend got too chubby for you I jumped in before you could find your way to anyone else. I may have not been your first man, but you were my whole world.  Those were beautiful, innocent days.

You came with me to college. I wore your lapels over a size 40 black suit jacket from Goodwill because it was “stylish” and “cool.” We went to more “CEOs and office hoes” parties than I can remember. Girls always complimented us and said “sweet shirt,” when in fact they meant “that shirt is loud enough that I feel obliged to comment on it.” You were in your element during my funk band’s concerts; I was singing Earth Wind & Fire and you were hiding my nervous pit stains from the crowd with your bold purple flowers. We were beautiful together.

Your sleeves were too short but I never noticed. Your seams were frayed but I found it endearing.

Times have changed, though. We’ve both changed. You watched your companions slowly leave – fake suede jacket, Corvallis High Cross County ‘06 sweater, the Music Man Cast t-shirt – they’re all gone. I can tell that you miss them. I do too, sometimes. You’ve outlasted them all.

And I know I’ve been neglecting you. Your new neighbors are crisper, more subtle, more expensive. They keep pushing you so far back into the closet that sometimes I forget about you entirely.

I’d love to keep pretending that we can keep going like this, but we both know it’s a lie. My closet is tiny. You take up a hanger. I’m sorry.

It’s not too late for you, though. There are so many boys out there that would love to meet you. Wide-eyed and full of wonder, they’re waiting for someone like you to come into their life and rock their world. I think they deserve that chance. It would be wrong of me to keep it from them.

Thank you for everything.