You know what made me think about the years I have remaining on this mortal coil, recently? My cold-weather shirts. I mean flannel shirts, a couple denim shirts, and so on. Also a couple heavy ones which are . . . I’m not sure what the fabric is — they’re just heavy shirts. One of them is the dark red Field & Stream shirt I have on right now.
I like wearing these, so they get a lot of use, but they last forever. I have a blue and green flannel one which was my go-to around-the-house shirt all last autumn and winter, but nonetheless I can’t see that it took on any wear. This one I am wearing now, I’ve also had for years. I bought a nice lined denim shirt used in Honduras, and I still have it. (Yes, some places in Honduras are at a bit of altitude, so heavy shirts were handy.)
Ah, the stories these shirts tell. Two of the denim shirts still have chewing damage from our old rabbit, Lola. (Who passed away seven or eight years ago.) One of them is the only item I have ever purchased in a Wal-Mart.
Anyway, it occurred to me: If these last five years each, easily, and I live to be the age of my father’s father (85) . . . then I have enough heavy shirts right now to last my entire life. There is no reason I should not die having worn only these shirts. I look at the row of shirts in the summer in our cedar closet downstairs — and that’s it. Those are the heavy shirts I will need. Period, the end.
I found it eye-opening.
I wonder: Will I feel like buying clothes at all if/when I’m 80?
Should I get a new one now and then for the heck of it? My go-to shirt from last winter, for example, is old, and a dull blue and green that will not win me any fashion admirers. But wouldn’t the money be better saved and passed along to my heirs?
(“Thanks for the $20, grandpa. What’s the occasion?” — “I went out and did not buy a new shirt.”)
Actually, one of these shirts in the closet, when I checked it a few weeks ago, had been eaten by a moth or something. (I had no idea it was wool, and it didn’t seem like it even when I examined it, post-ruination — do other creatures eat just plain cotton?) But still, between the flannels, and he corduroy one which is nice enough for casual wear at work, and the herringbone one, ditto, and the quilted blue one my parents gave me ages ago, and so on — I have enough warm shirts to take me through to The End.