Souveniers of a Past Life


The best thing about moving is the purging process when you take the time to let go of heaps of junk that you’ve clung to over the years for no real good reason. When you endure this process, I feel what you keep says a lot about who you are. For example, I really try to follow the 1 year rule, which is if you haven’t used, wore or looked at it for a year – But last week when I was going through all my old clothes, I absolutely could not force myself to let go of two things: my work wardrobe and my old graphic t-shirts. I feel it would be tragically symbolic if I pitched all my suits and dress pants. Like I’m doomed to stay-at-home-mommy clothes forever and I might never again find myself showing up somewhere where they expect me to look professional as I earn my paycheck. And the t-shirts, well….I can’t fit into them anymore. That’s not true. I can fit into them, they just show my midriff and mommies don’t show their midriff all willy nilly. But I can’t get rid of them, because I hope in 12 years Marlo will be thrilled that I kept these t-shirts. Maybe she’ll feel a little cool in a vintage rock n roll tee. Maybe she’ll think her mother was once cool. That’s a stretch, I know.

But how can I possibly get rid of this:


My first band t-shirt. My first love. I was 14 when I bought this t-shirt. I bought it off a two-bit fold up table at Radiohead’s OK Computer tour, and before anyone cared about them in the US, my best friend Morgan and I  sat outside the Lakeview theater outside of Cleveland, Ohio for 8 hours to get front row at the concert. General admission for Radiohead – can you imagine? The tickets cost $12. There were probably about 500 people there. I shook Thom Yorke’s hand and got his autograph. Yes, I’m bragging because this might be my only cool moment in my life. Wallow in that for a while.


And you won’t exactly find these t-shirts at the Salvation Army. Unless of course I take them there. Don’t hold your breath. I acquired these when I was 17 on my first and only European vacation to Berlin. I would cry a bitter tear if they ended up on someone’s back who doesn’t know what Ku’damm is.


Of course everyone needs sufficient proof they didn’t vote for Bush. Here’s mine. I also wore this on the second date with my husband. I’d like to think it had something to do with the subsequent proposal. And of course who can’t appreciate the irony of a travel propaganda tee for Afghanistan?


Rogue Wave is the soundtrack for my life in Chicago. At least until the night I bought this t-shirt. If you are a Rogue Wave fan, and think maybe just maybe you might want to see them in concert – well, because you’re a fan. I advise you to listen to me and just don’t do it. They were so disappointing, and it really had nothing to do with their talent, but everything to do with their image. I was expecting wimpy little hipster guys on stage, and they were closer to California surfer head shop frequenters. After a few years the devastation has worn off an I can listen to their albums again.


Speaking of wimpy little hipster guys, The Redwalls are a Chicago band. We never missed a show. However, they also disappointed us when they sold a song to AT&T. The t-shirt’s still cool. I tried to wear it the other day. I looked stupid. In fact quite exactly like a mom in a little band t-shirt. Forgive me Marlo, for making you go out in public with me that day.


Favorite live show ever. Spoon has yet to disappoint me, except with the color of this t-shirt.

I think I’ll hang on to them for another 10 years. They don’t take up much physical space and I may need them to buy back some love when Marlo’s 15 and I don’t let her go to that party. You know that party at that boy’s house. The boy whose parents are out of town.


1 Response to “Souveniers of a Past Life”

  1. 1 Ryan Libel August 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    except with the color of this t-shirt. Hee hee.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 61 other followers


Find an Old Post by Category


%d bloggers like this: