Monday, February 23, 2009

The Phish Shirts

I want to tell you a story. I’m sad to say that for this tale, the normally amazing and aptly named woman I call WonderWife™ has been downgraded to just “Wife”. No “Wonder.” No “™.” You’ll see why in a bit.

The year was 1993 and a fresh-faced collegiate Geekboy attended his first Phish concert. It was love at first note and the band would soon become one of his favorites. He went to two shows that year and bought a t-shirt at each one. He loved those t-shirts and wore them often. In fact, the shirts were still in heavy rotation when he met and married Wife. Sure they were starting to get frayed, but to him that only added to their romantic appeal.

Wife hated these shirts. She made no effort to disguise her disdain for the aging articles of clothing, and when holes started appearing in the seams of the armpits, her contempt for them voraciously grew. Evilly, she threatened to dispose of them when the Geekboy was out of the house. But common sense and decency prevented her from committing this breech of trust. She knew that these tattered shirts held great sentimental value to the man she loved.

Wife lived along side these shirts for the next few years, her dislike for the band and the garments never yielding. One day, she had an idea. Wife told Geekboy that she would make the t-shirts into throw pillows, so he could keep the sentimental objects but not have to wear them in public, which made him look like a vagabond and scared the neighborhood children. He could keep them safely contained in his study, where, she imagined, he could gaze upon them lovingly and she would never have to see them again. Wife’s prowess with a sewing machine was well known across the land, and the Geekboy knew that this offer would make them both happy. So he agreed and handed over the t-shirts to Wife.

A fortnight passed before he asked her about the shirts. She said that she had not forgotten about the project and would get to it soon. Two years went by. From time to time, he would ask her about the shirts only to receive different answers. Sometimes Wife would say that she’s working on it. Other times, she would laugh and say she disposed of the shirts. And there are times when she would deny ever having been given the shirts in the first place. No matter what the story, Wife never gave the Geekboy any hope that the project would be done. But she was careful to phrase her answers in such a way that she was not breaking her promise to her husband. She just left him wallowing in melancholy, not knowing where the t-shirts were or if they would ever re-appear as the pillows.

He often wonders what he may have done to her to be treated so shabbily. Why does she have such derision for what he loves? What do these missing shirts say about the notion of trust in their relationship? Tragically, as long as the shirts are gone and the pillows unfinished, the Geekboy may never know.

Has your partner ever held something of yours in contempt? Or hostage? And if you feel sympatric to my plight, feel free to heap some guilt on Wife in the comments section. Who knows, maybe I’ll see those pillows one day.


Your escalator operator said...

Maybe those pillows were meant to be hypothetical?

Lea said...

I'm sorry...I think I need to see photographic evidence of the shirts in question before I choose a side.

That being said, I had to cleverly get rid of one of AlphaGeek's old shirts. But come wasn't like it was from a cool concert or anything. It was an old Hypercolor shirt fer crissakes! And since he had long since ceded control of laundry duty to ME, well he was basically giving me permission to do as I pleased with it.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Photographic evidence? What evidence do you need?

I agreed to stop wearing the shirts. The pillows would preserve the front and back of the shirts (the cool graphic designs and concert info) and they would reside in my study, out of the view of the general public of the house.

I think there's only one side to choose here. She made a promise, which she has yet to fulfil. I've seen what she does with a sewing machine. She could whip out those pillows in an hour.

Super Mega Dad said...

That WAS pretty clever of her. In my house, stuff just goes missing. I ask about it and all knowledge of items is denied. I don't think there is ONE item in the house left over from my "previous life". Interestingly enough, however, our house is filled with all of HER old knicknacks and other junk...I MEAN priceless treasures that I should NEVER EVER touch if I want to see the light of day again.

Lea said...

Well by photographic evidence I meant just a picture of the shirts. I'm sorry but there are *some* articles of clothing that really need to be retired.

I don't necessarily think that this is a husband vs. wife thing so much as a hoarders vs. non-hoarders. Sadly for AG he is a hoarder, and I am not.

Vancetastic said...


You should just buy new Phish shirts at the next round of concerts. They will eventually be old. And then you will have your revenge.

I have trouble parting with any old t-shirts -- yes, I still want evidence that I went to see Billy Joel and Living Colour in 1989/1990 -- but I've found that you can actually cut out the design and store them together for potential future gazing. Then just throw away the rest of the personality-free shirt material. They actually pack down really well that way. And then maybe one day YOU could actually make them into a throw pillow ... or a blanket, or a giant wall hanging ...

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Lea...If I had the shirts, I'd be happy to send a pic. But I don't know where they are.

Vance...come on man, you know the band is reuiniting but teasing me by only playing on the east coast.

Your escalator operator said...

Nor related to the shirt pillows, but: Did you know about this?