Hart Ford
Hart Ford

Shirt decorations

Morning naps are my favorite, you seem rested from the night before, but you know there is just a bit more sleepiness to go. As I was just settling into my “Comfy Chair” to take care of any sleep deprivation left over from my 9-hour sleep the night before, my wife yelled out: “Joel, remember you have to go to town and take your good shirts into the cleaners to get the stains out.” I replied: “Yes, I remember!” Naptime will have to wait for later.

I hope I’m not the only person in the world that when he goes out to eat, on occasion, only on occasion, of course, while dining, a little bit of gravy, sauce, or greasy food, jumps off my fork and lands right on my shirt. I refer to it as a “Shirt Decoration!” I only ordered foods that would not spill or stain in the business world. I never really liked the food, but I ordered it and ate it anyway. Wearing a suit and tie was both cost-prohibitive and time prohibitive to correct a messy situation. I was usually hours or flights away from a clean shirt & tie.

But retirement free’s up more than time. You can plan your schedule or live freestyle! You can go to a restaurant and order anything you like; if you spill something on your shirt, it’s no big deal!

I now order whatever I want! With certain sugar limitations. What are the most challenging foods that may create “Shirt Decorations? Well, let’s start out with a Mexican restaurant. Every time we go for Mexican food, I love the salsa and chips! What are the chances of spilling a little red salsa on my shirt? 99.9%! As careful as I can be, the different shapes and styles of chips do me in, a little sauce ends up on my shirt. Solution? I wear a deep red shirt when we go out, and my “fiesta shirt” hides the salsa decorations! Another problem: Chinese food! There are so many sauces on everything, chop suey, Thai noodles; everything in the buffet is slathered with something to make it slide down your throat. Solution a dark brown shirt! The brown shirt hides most of the sauces. Next up: Sausage biscuits & gravy; if I have been to the place before, I will choose either a light brown or dark brown shirt to match their gravy!

I have a problem when we go to a new place to eat, which is rare in a small town. Sometimes on vacation or doing a day trip to try a new place. I have been known to carry additional shirts in a bag in the trunk just in case of an emergency accidental spill. I guess I am an “Accidental Tourist” on occasion!

When we go out to friends’ houses for dinner, it doesn’t matter; my buddies usually spill little something on their shirts to have a “Shirt Decoration” to remember the evening by. It’s not a situation of people being slobbish or not caring; it just happens. It can be beneficial at the end of the week on laundry day; as you put your shirts in the washer, you can tell what you ate every day by the little decoration on your shirts. It can be constructive when calorie counting. Some of my friends with big fluffy beards can do the same thing by tasting different sections of their beards with their tongues! Some of the “Shirt Decorations” are difficult to clean completely out of the shirt; what is often left on your shirt, I call “Ghost: Shirt Decorations,” become memories of the past. You can look at the shirt, the stain is mostly gone, but you can tell something was there; it’s ghostly and haunting. Shirts that get too many “Ghost: Shirt Memories” end up destined for the rag pile.

Except for my favorite warm & comfy sweatshirt. It is tan in color with many “Ghost: Shirt Decorations.” It looks like a “Casper The Ghost” festival is going on. I am not allowed to go out of the house with this sweatshirt on or even get the mail.

So, the next time you are out to dine. If you see someone at the next table rubbing their shirt frantically with a napkin, feel free to speak up and tell them not to worry, in some country’s it is a complement to place a little morsel on your shirt as a way of showing how totally into their food you are, and how totally into you, their food is! You can just comment: “Nice Shirt Decoration!”

Well, have a lot of napping to make up for; I have to catch up on last night’s short sleep and my missed morning nap; I’d better get to it!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – Joel
Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer”. joelmvernier@aol.com

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