Mikey’s Tee Shirt Project or Sixty Days of Cotton

During the course of the tee shirt project I was stricken with a pretty nasty case of conjunctivitis (Pink Eye, boys and girls... it's not just for grade school anymore)

During the course of the tee shirt project I was stricken with a pretty nasty case of conjunctivitis (Pink Eye, boys and girls… it’s not just for grade school anymore), hence the sunnies. Bright light of any kind made me react like a Mogwai.

I like tee shirts.  No, I don’t think you understand; I REALLY like tee shirts.  I wear them pretty much exclusively. I suppose I’m fortunate that I have a job which allows a casual dress code. Jeans and tee shirts are all any of us wear and the call center floor in the Sprint Business Wireless Technical Support department in Las Vegas looks more like the convention center at San Diego Comic Con than an actual business a lot of the time.  No, people don’t come to work dressed as super heroes or pop culture characters (all that often), but there’s never a shortage of tee shirts promoting rock bands, video games, comics, or movies.

It’s a very casual environment.

In any case, because I enjoy my tee shirts so much I often find myself buying them almost every chance I get.  Every couple of weeks or so I will usually pick a couple up at Wal Mart (they have been getting some good ones lately and they sell them cheap).  I do this so often that I’ve amassed quite a collection.

I often read articles written by Mark Rosewater, the head designer of Magic:The Gathering, Like me, Mark is a fan of tee shirts, specifically super-hero themed ones.  Mark has often boasted of his comic character tee collection, saying that he has enough to wear a different shirt every day for a year without repeating one. Braggart.

So, I'm not putting up Mark Rosewater numbers just yet, but it's a fairly impressive collection, no?

So, I’m not putting up Mark Rosewater numbers just yet, but it’s a fairly impressive collection, no?

I’m not quite there yet, myself, but I do have a ;lot of shirts. I don’t limit myself to super hero shirts either, although I do have a few of those.  If you follow my blog at all you can probably guess that my shirts primarily include Star Wars, zombies, comics, and the Beatles.  I would indeed like to one day own enough shirts to wear a different one every day for a year without repeating any.  Hey, it’s good to have goals, right?

One day when I had nothing particularly pressing on my mind I got to thinking about my ever-growing collection of tees and I realized a couple of things. I did not know exactly how many shirts I actually owned and, despite the fact that I clearly had scores of them, I was always wearing the same five or six over and over again.  I found I often favored the newer shirts too. If I picked up, say, two over the weekend, I would invariably make sure I wore them on Monday and Tuesday of the following week, presumably so I could show my fellow tech-support geeks just how flipping cool I really was and that I like Batman just as much as they do, perhaps more.

I’m sure just counting my shirts would have been easy enough, but I wanted to do something that would ensure I’d wear some of the tees that I hadn’t put on in months or even years. So I decided to embark on a little experiment.  I launched Mikey’s Tee shirt Project and vowed to wear a different shirt every day without repeating for as long as it took me to run out of shirts.  Each morning (or afternoon, whenever I decided to get dressed on days I wasn’t working) I’d snap a picture or myself (usually in my big mirror but sometimes with the front-facing camera on my phone) that I would then post to Instagram (mtriggs68), Facebook (Mike Triggs), and Twitter (@m1k3ybuddha32) withe the legend, “Mikey’s Tee Shirt Project Day __:” followed by some snarky comment about the shirt, if I had anything to say about it.

It was a rousing success. People I didn’t know would ask me questions on one of the social media outlets about my tee collection. People at work would ask me what tee shirt day it was. Some of my shirts proved quite popular, with many people saying things like, “That’s COOL! Where’d you get that!?”

The project lasted sixty days. I clearly need more shirts.

Check out how fucked up my right eye looks. Pink Eye sucks.

Check out how fucked up my right eye looks. Pink Eye sucks.

To be fair, it wasn’t a perfect experiment. As photographic evidence proves, there were a couple of times that I unwittingly doubled a shirt.  I suppose I could have gone back and double-checked every day, but who has that kind of time? I was already putting far more thought in to what i was going to wear on any given day than I probably had since I was a teenager (by the way, as a teen I mostly wore jeans and tee shirts too. I simply refuse to grow up, I suppose). I also ended the project early. I have a few more shirts than I actually wore during the experiment, but I decided that sixty was a nice round number and I was tired of obeying my own rules as to what I would wear. i certainly favor some of those shirts over others and I want to wear them, dammit!

Talking to a friend recently, I mused that a lot of my shirts have a story of some kind behind them. This is true, though when I really think about it, there’s far less interesting stories than there are shirts.  Here are a few though.

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

This yellow Star Wars tee is one of my most prized possessions, It was a gift from my son Cody for a birthday or Father’s Day or something several years ago.  I never wore it until recently. I thought it was so nice of him to give me a gift he really knew I’d love, It’s a tee shirt, it’s Star Wars, what could be better.  The only [problem when he gave it to me was that it didn’t fit.  The shirt is an XL and I typically wear 2X.  Hey, fuck you, I used to wear 3X.  I’m a fat fuck. Also, cotton often shrinks. Recently I was given another Star Wars tee that happened to be an XL and, to my surprise, it fit.  I’d hung on to the shirt Cody had given me all this time (it really had to be something like three years ago) because, well, he’s my son, and I immediately tried it on. It fits now. I guess this fat fuck has dropped a few pounds over the years. Yay me.  A quick aside, I love taking selfies at an angle like that. Makes me feel like a villain in the 1966 Bill Dozier Batman TV show.

Set phasers for geek, Captain!

Set phasers for geek, Captain!

This shirt is interesting because I happen to have two of them which are exactly the same.  One day I got a bug up my butt to look at shirts on Think Geek. They had these cool Star Trek Original Series shirts.  They offered command gold, science department blue, and holy shit I’m as good as dead red.  I felt that blue was… logical?  Anyway I got my shirt delivered, proudly showed it off to Leif, my ultimate Trekkie roommate, and wore it to work. I washed it once and the black outline around the Star Fleet logo started to peel off. I was pissed and vowed to never buy another tee from Think Geek. Fast forward a few months and I attended the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.  I’d gone to visit my ex Shannon the day before and had wound up crashing on her couch, for reasons I don’t quite recall.  I was at the convention unshowered (like a lot of the attendees, I suspect) and in the same clothes I’d worn the previous day. It didn’t take long for that to become uncomfortable.  So I went to the vendor center in search of a Trek-themed shirt.  I quickly found a vendor who was selling the exact same type of shirts I’d found on Think Geek. I considered getting one in gold or red, despite the issues with washing (I’ve decided to always hang dry that one and so far it’s been okay), but the only 2X they offered was blue. So I have two Mr. Spock style shirts. Fascinating.

Yes, I know, I've got red on me.

Yes, I know, I’ve got red on me.

I love this shirt for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s a mock up of the costume worn by Simon Pegg in one of my favorite movies, Shaun of the Dead. Also it was a birthday gift from my ex-girlfriend Tara. Have I not written here that Tara and I broke up? we did, in June. My fault. I don’t want to talk about it.

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