“How old is that shirt you think?” I asked my husband as he came downstairs and scooped up both our babies to sit with him on his easy chair.
“Well, you got it for me when I was fourteen or fifteen, so like 20 years,” he replied before he pointed out each hole and stain the he and the shirt picked up along the way.
Yup. I remembered when I got it for him. The first gift I ever got a boy, a gray t-shirt with a blue ring collar and a couple faded stripes across the front. I had to ask the sales clerk to retrieve it for me from the top rack. And I probably paid fifteen hard-earned dollars for it without knowing that twenty years later that boy would still be wearing that shirt, in a home we built, holding our babies, reminiscing with me about that Mary Chapin Carpenter song I used to listen to about an old shirt like that…
I looked it up on YouTube then and my little family and I broke down in an impromptu living room dance party as the TV streamed through every 90s country song I didn’t remember I remembered.
Which brings me to the fact that I turned 35 last week. And I wouldn’t be feeling so many feels about it except that when I was in Vegas a few weeks back I stepped into one of those hip and trendy (do people still say hip and trendy?) clothing stores and everything they were selling were things I wore when I was in junior high, for like triple the price.
That’s me on the far left, in 9th grade, wearing velvet and a racing stripe skirt. Found both at that store. Both back in style, just like my giant eyebrows.
So apparently I’ve become vintage.
So vintage that I found myself saying the words my parents used to say when things like bellbottoms and polyester print shirts came back in style for a hot minute.
“Oh my gawd, I should have saved everything I owned!”
Like all my scrunchies. Because scrunchies are back. Lord help us, scrunchies are back.
Me and scrunchie and dad’s hair….
And then my mom bought my little sister and I tickets to see Reba McEntire and Brooks and Dunn in concert and I sang along to every word at the top of my lungs like I was on the school bus driving down gravel roads heading to my country school.
So I guess for me, 35 is the age. Overnight I’ve become that woman who wishes there were more Reba McEntires in the world. And Mary Chapin Carpenters and Randy Travises and Bonnie Raitts. It’s the time in my life I catch myself saying, “They just don’t make (insert clothing, appliances, music) like they used to.”
And if my fashion conscious mother and sisters would let me, I would just keep this hairstyle and these boots, and these jeans and call it easy and good like the good old days that seem as warm and worn in as my husband’s 20-year-old t-shirt.
Because in the face of the hectic and unpredictable present, sometimes looking back is easier than looking forward. And then when you do have to face that uncertain future, it’s nice to realize that there are things that stand the test of time, like good true music, and good true love.
Happy Birthday to that boyfriend today. I didn’t get you a new t-shirt, because I like that old one…but get ready for an epic, toddler built cake when you get home. Love you. Always have.
Forever and ever Amen.