There are precious few things in this world that small children do better than adults, but wearing t-shirts is one of them. It’s not that the kids are cute and chubby – they are, but that’s not it. No, there are a ton of adults out there who look great in tee-shirts. It’s about the messages . . .
Little kids are the only ones who get their tee-shirts right. When the shirt says ‘Cutie’ or ‘Angel face’ that’s what you get. Even ‘Holy Terror’ and ‘I’m not in my happy place’ are usually correct assessments.
On the other hand, adults almost always get it wrong.
I realized this one day in LA. I was sitting in my car at the corner of Sunset and Vine and there was a . . . well, I’m not sure. It’s not clear which gender this person started life as. But the clearly fake and over-large breasts stretched the tee-shirt to the point where it was difficult to read the one word across the front. But it was still there, in bold, curly, pink letters: Flirt.
This woman had the sourest look on her face. There was nothing flirty about her. Even with the paid-for boobs and all, no flirt whatsoever.
I find this is often the case. Another sour, lumpy and (I’m sorry to say this) quite unattractive young woman was walking down an LA street wearing a green tee that said ‘call my agent’. Ouch!
This is true in other cities, too. It’s the cheerful folks who find it funny to wear ‘Bah-humbug’ shirts at the holidays.
There are other shirts that are fine to wear. ‘Think Geek’ and other companies sell a bunch with silly messages. It’s fine to wear a red shirt with the word ‘expendable’ in Star Trek font. My brother-in-law is fond of scientific shirts (“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate”). And a copy editor friend of mine has this one: I’m the grammarian about whom your mother has warned you.
But in the end, most adults get it wrong. Even more than just not being right (‘Angel Face’ on the woman who doesn’t brush her hair) adults are always bass-ackward. If you truly are something, it will show. You don’t need to advertise it on your tee-shirt. I understand the need to be something we aren’t. Of course the dumb blonde wants to wear the shirt that says ‘Rocket Scientist’. And the old man wants to be thought of as the ‘Studmuffin’.
But let’s be honest, while a lot of these are great, there’s nothing cute or funny about a middle aged man with his beer gut peeking out from under a tee that reads ‘Cougar Bait’.
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