Dear Dad T-shirt: a trilogy

I. “Hey. How’s it — oh, we’re hugging? Alright. Good to see you. I’m doing well. Can you not ruffle my hair, please? I hate static shock.

Look, Dad T-shirt, it’s been great having you around. Yeah, yeah, we’ve had some good times. Remember the first time we went out together? I’ll admit, after I brought you home with that bookstore giftcard, I wasn’t sure this would work out. You were a little uncomfortable. As soon as people saw us, though, they loved you. You were way funnier than expected. Something about the word ‘dad’ etched within the iconic orange ‘V’ really got people’s goat.

The thing is, you can’t keep crashing on my floor every night. It’s getting weird. This is supposed to be my apartment, Dad T-shirt. How am I supposed to feel like an adult with you always hanging around? Anytime I bring someone into the room, there you are, lying in a crumpled heap. Yeah, sure, doing laundry is an option, but I’m a busy guy and, no offense, I don’t want to wear you that often. The joke might get a little old, you know? It’s nothing personal.Why don’t we just pack you up and return you to the bookstore? I’m sure Mom T-shirt would love to have you back. Cool. Thanks for being so understanding. I have the bag and the receipt ready to go, so if you could just hop on in … Thanks, Dad T-shirt. We’ll stay in touch, alright?”

II. “Hey. Yeah, it’s been a few weeks. Can we talk for a minute? Is that too much to ask? Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. I see you’re doing great.

Look, I’m just gonna say it: it’s really not cool that you’re hanging out with all my friends. I see you everywhere and everyone thinks you’re hilarious now. The joke somehow hasn’t gotten old. You’re popular. I don’t get it. No, no, I get why it’s funny. Yes, it’s because the people wearing it aren’t dads. I get it.

Don’t act so smug, Dad T-shirt. You’re a gimmick! Even girls are wearing you now. That doesn’t even make sense! Oh, yeah, I’m sure you love it. Where does Mom T-shirt think you are right now?

You’re too old for this, Dad T-shirt. How do you expect to keep up with college kids? They’re active. They’re going to wear you while running and working out, and lord knows the last time you stretched your seams. Oh, people wear you to parties now? You like getting all sweaty? You like all that beer spilled on you? Get a life.

I’m sorry. Listen, you’re my dad t-shirt. Why don’t we hang out a little? You like throwing a football, right? I see you on Mad Bowl sometimes, so I was thinking … Oh. You have plans?

Alright. Well, have fun reliving the glory days with your new friends. We’ll see how long that lasts. I have other grey shirts, you know. And you know what else, Dad T-shirt? Your fabric has aged!”

III. “Oh, hey! Long time no see. I didn’t think I’d run into you here. What have you been up to these last months?

Me? Just thrifting. You can find some good deals on old clothes no one wants any — oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.

Hey, don’t cry. You don’t want pit stains. Come here. When’s the last time you washed yourself? Sorry. Forget it. You want to catch up? I’m not really doing anything.

That’s how you got that stain? Who uses a t-shirt for that?

That’s rough. You had a good run, though, you know? The joke couldn’t last forever. People move on.

Look at me. You’re more than an ironic statement, alright? You’re my dad t-shirt, and no seasonal trend can change that.

You always had my back, but I just wanted to be independent. I guess I thought I had outgrown you. I was wrong, Dad-T-shirt. Turns out one size does fit all.

Let’s get you out of here. No, no — well, yeah, you’re a little wrinkly, but nothing a nice, warm iron can’t take care of. C’mon, let’s go to the checkout. I have a place on my floor with your name on it.

Ruffle my hair? Ah, hell, why not. For old time’s sake. Go right ahea — ouch! Damn it, Dad T-shirt!”

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