I have a longtime Southern friend, a superb fashionista, who thinks that people who wear tee shirts with sayings on them look… tacky. So, when I’m around her, I wear flowery prints and don’t follow my natural instincts. Most of the time, which is when I’m not around her, I sport a tee that reads: “Sometimes I talk to myself. Then we both laugh and laugh.” When I attire myself in that shirt, folks smile. It’s a conversation starter.
In the fall of 2021, I was in Germany on an Amadeus Cruise, and the young bursar, a girl from Hungary, laughed aloud when she read my shirt. It was easy enough to translate. I’ve another one, a pale green shirt, which says: “I’m only talking to my dogs today.” Sometimes, folks will stare at that comment and then raise a questioning eyebrow. Others comment: “I have days like that” and we both chuckle. When I taught high school, I purchased a dark tee that advised in bright white letters, “If you have something to say, please RAISE YOUR HAND and place it over your mouth.” Needless to say, I never wore that shirt to school. I wanted to keep my job.
As one gets older, humor is a godsend. I no longer seek out movies that are tear-jerkers. I’d rather listen to crass comedy shows than cry at a tragedy produced in a swanky theatre on Broadway. I prefer Netflix shows like Only Murders in the Building to ones dealing with drug addiction and hopelessness set in the Ozarks.
Sometimes, I wear shirts I’ve bought on trips. Usually, an adage or funny expression is emblazoned across the chest, like the one from New Mexico that says: “Carpe Diem, Mañana” or my shirt from N’awlins that reads: “Laissez les Bontemps Rouler” or the one I wear every Fourth of July which reads: “Born in America – a long time ago.”
Luckily, my husband is a confident guy and doesn’t feel my antics in any way reflect on him. Would he wear a collarless shirt that says, “I’m with Stupid?” Never. The guy’s not stupid. Even if his wife likes stupid sayings and anything that might evoke a laugh, he does his own thing, which is to dress like the professional he is.
I took a friend to a birthday lunch and because she spends a lot of time creating masterpieces in the kitchen and spends much time visiting her in-laws, I bought her a coffee mug for a present, which in bold letters says: “Commas Save Lives.” Under that declaration, one reads: “I love cooking my family and pets.” She seemed pleased with the gift.
Humor is the lubricant that makes the gears of life run more smoothly. If you’re a naturally funny man, punster, or prankster, great. If you need help with an icebreaker, buy yourself a shirt with a funny caption and believe me, you will make an impression and cause a smile or two from passersby.
But, if they don’t appreciate your sense of humor or mode of dress, Fuhgeddaboudit. You do You! Enjoy yourself. And don’t overly worry about looking tacky. Have you ever seen a golfer?