It’s All About the Comfort, and the Memories

This is a photo of the shirt I wore today. I got this shirt from Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia when either our first son was born in 1982, or when our second son was born in 1985 (those early years of parenthood were a blur…)

Either way, it means that I’ve had the shirt for at least 34 years. And assuming a conservative estimate that I’ve worn it at least once a month over those 34 years, that means I’ve worn it at least 400 times. However, given that it is one of my favorite t-shirts, and one of my most comfortable, a more reasonable estimate is that I’ve worn it two to three times a month.

That works out to 1,000 times I’ve worn the shirt (and 1,000 times that it’s been washed, really).

It’s a wonderful shirt to wear not only because it’s comfortable, but because every time I put it on it brings back wonderful memories of the days when my sons were born.

I guess it’s the same reason people buy concert t-shirts, so that the next time they wear the shirt they can recall the good times they had at the show.

The Chestnut Hill Hospital shirt also brings back memories of our “Lamaze friends“, two couples that we met while preparing for the birth of our first child. We became close friends, even vacationing together multiple times. We still get together for dinner a couple of times per year.

The shirt also epitomizes my attitude towards clothes buying.

My plan when I buy a piece of clothing is that it will last a long, long, long time. For example,Β  a couple of months ago I had to buy a white dress shirt since the collar of my old one finally became an embarrassment, even to me (I think it embarrassed my wife long before). When I went out shopping for a new one, my first thought was, since retirement is only a few years away, that this would be the last white dress shirt I would ever have to buy.

As fate would have it, however, the second time I wore it, a pen exploded in the pocket of the shirt, and I could not get the stain out. So I went back to the same store (Boscov’s) and bought the same shirt. Hopefully, that will be the last one I have to buy.

So a big thank you to Chestnut Hill Hospital for providing us with a high-quality t-shirt (Hanes, the tag is still on), but most importantly for helping to deliver two baby boys who have grown into outstanding young men.

N.B. Our third son, the blogger, was born in 1990 at Bryn Mawr Hospital, and we are grateful to them for the same result…

P.S. The Chestnut Hill Hospital t-shirt isn’t even my oldest one; I’ve got a couple of shirts from my college years in my closet, but those are only worn on rare occasions…

27 thoughts on “It’s All About the Comfort, and the Memories

  1. Nobody can say you don’t get a bang for your clothing dollars, Jim! That is somewhat amazing. I rarely buy clothes and wear favorite t-shirts all the time, but I have never had them last like that. I agree they are attached to the memories they represent, at least mine do. Yours takes you all the way back to your son’s birth, and to when gas was $0.89 a gallon. It is a museum of memories by now. Great post!

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    1. thanks, Brad! sounds like you have the same attitude as me towards clothing. and while the thoughts were there about how clothing can trigger a memory, it’s not until you put such thoughts down in writing that it really hits you. This is one of the reasons I enjoy blogging so much – it forces me to think about things a bit more deeply than I probably would otherwise. And another reason is the ability to have dialogues with wonderful bloggers like you.

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  2. My favorite clothes are my flannel jammies. Just can’t wear them to go anywhere, unless it involves drive throughs. And yes I do wear them if just doing drive throughs

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  3. I have a bunch of clothes in the range of 20 – 30 years old that still fit. I know what you mean about collars becoming an embarrassment. I still wear some of the old stuff, but most gathers dust in the closet. Some goes to charity periodically. Much of it doesn’t seem fit to give away.

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    1. if I wore a dress shirt more often to work, I may have looked into it. But since I generally only wear a dress shirt two days a week, I can get by with one blue dress shirt and one white one!

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  4. Great post! Yes ir is about the memories! Makes the clothes extra warm. πŸ™‚
    I been following your son’s blog. Enjoy it! I made some comments but not sure if they are going through for I haven’t seen them on the blog. I know sometimes I have had comments from some bloggers that have accidentally gone to the spam folder. That may not be the case just thought I would mention it and tell you Thanks for letting us know about his blog.

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    1. what a great way to put it – it makes the clothes extra warm! And thanks for following my son’s blog; he has been enjoying the process so far and learning how to deal with comments. I think the issue is that the first time someone leaves a comment, he needs to approve it. I will check to see if there are other comments where he might need to do the same thing. Thanks for the heads-up!

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      1. I’m still hoping some of my old clothes become a collector’s item and I can sell them and retire early. well it wouldn’t be that early…

        glad my son was able to manage your comments – thanks again for your support!

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  5. Jim, what a lovely post. Clothes have loving energy, like anything that is treasured. It takes a while to break them in and you are living proof of that! I detest shopping, so my clothes have to last and then they suffer the indiginity of being re-made into other things. Marvellous….

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