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[twenty twenty-four day fifty-seven]: how do “normal” people manage?

centaur 0

So I’m confused: I know I’m a bit weird, but I stopped to think about the supposedly “weird” way that I do things and I genuinely do not understand how “normal” people manage it.

So what you see above is my collection of genre T-shirts. I love genre T-shirts and wear them most of the year – as my shirt in the summer, and as my undershirt in the winter.

I used to think this collection was excessive; most of the other people I know don’t have near as many themed shirts, just a collection of normal clothes.

But I started pulling on that thread (ha, ha) a bit and it just didn’t make sense to me.

SO what you see there is something like 300-500 shirts in my closet. I didn’t count them all, but I estimated by counting a few piles and extrapolating by the number of piles.

But if you wear a shirt every day, this is only enough shirts for roughly a year. And I know from *ahem* considerable experience now that even rarely worn old T-shirts, which are typically made from better fabric than modern T-shirts, last at most 20-30 years.

Now, between science fiction conventions, travel, and very occasional clothes shopping, I purchase maaaaybe 10 or so T-shirts per year, which I thought was an excessive habit.

But over 20-30 years, this adds up again to 300 shirts … so by the time that I’ve worn out all the shirts in my collection, I will have purchased enough shirts to fill it up again.

Now the conundrum: most of the people I know don’t buy a lot of t-shirts, and they don’t have a huge library of clothes. So how are they not wearing through all their clothes all the time?

Now, I know my wife buys a lot of clothes (mostly at Goodwill), but she’s power tool girl, and her clothes rapidly get worn out or covered with paint and later used as rags.

But the friends that I know who DON’T seem to buy that many clothes ALSO have a similar strategy. One of them called it “the circle of shirts”: First it’s a nice T-shirt, then it’s an undershirt, then it’s a gym shirt, then it’s a yard shirt, then it’s a rag.

But if people don’t have a huge library of shirts, and they’re not buying a buttload t-shirts, why aren’t they going around in tattered rags all the time?

What do “normal” people do? Go to Target and buy white T-shirts every week, as the six pairs of shirts and undies that they have rapidly disintegrate from the rotation?

I genuinely don’t get it.

-the Centaur

Pictured: my collection of T-shirts, some of which do eventually get retired from wear.

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