“Clothes are never a frivolity: they always mean something.” James Laver
If the above quotation is true, then when it comes to Frank, I am screwed. After realizing his closet has not been organized since he moved in, I decided to wash and reshelve all of his tee shirts. Based on these, I would challenge the most lauded cultural anthropologist to try to figure him out without their egghead exploding.
First out of the laundry basket, was his favorite White Zombie concert memento. It bears the words, “Astro-Creep 2000, Songs of love, destruction, and other synthetic delusions of the electric head.” Also on it, is a neon-green zombie with a frightening phallic tongue and matching fuchsia hair and nipples. He also has a Misfits concert shirt with toddler zombies eating each other. I may see a theme.
Second in line, we had a Kelly green number with a faux tux front replete with over-sized bow tie meant to worn on St. Patrick’s Day. During our first year together, he somehow thought St. Paddy’s was in late February and showed up to take me out to drink green beer a month too early. When I informed him that he was thirty days off, he just shrugged and wore it anyway.
After that, I fished out a like-new shirt with Matt Hoffman (Frank’s BMX hero) captured on cotton breaking the record for going 50.6 feet above the ground on his bike. I know all about this one because I have been forced to watch the documentary celebrating it, The Birth of Big Air” no fewer than 39 times.
Next, I found a tattered and torn cleaning rag with sleeves. It has Popeye emblazoned on the front flexing his muscles and gripping a can of spinach. Above him it reads “I ams what I ams.” It is stained, ripped, and stretched out. I threw it in the trash.
Fourthly, I fold his S&M logo shirt. S&M actually stands for some cycle company, not sadomasochism. However, this shirt pains me most. On it, is this super hot chick with dark curls and plush lips wearing a leather bikini and holding a whip. I am legitimately intimidated by an iron-on, and hate to stand next to her in public.
Next, came an understated brown one with “Woodward” written up the shoulder. He has another “Woodward” shirt that is still in the plastic bag. He is afraid to wear either. Woodward was the skate/bike camp he attended when he destroyed his ankle only two weeks after our nuptials and in some ways changed the course of our marriage. I blame that place for dozens of sleepless nights, several gray hairs, and 10 pounds of stress-induced belly fat.
The next three shirts were nods to movies. They're equally self-explanatory and contradictory. There’s The Big Lebowski tribute with the words “The Dude Abides” circling the floating head of Jeff Bridges. There is a black number that states “Expressions of Vader” and has twenty different emotions listed under identical depictions of the completely emotionless masked villain. He thinks this one is hysterical. I beg to differ. And, finally, we have an orange “Dukes of Hazard” tee that boasts the General Lee’s number--“01.” I admit I occasionally wear this to sleep in.
On the very bottom, I found a simple white tee with the words “Never Trust Anything that Bleeds for Seven Days and Doesn’t Die” in red Old English lettering. This one immediately joined Popeye in the trash.
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