It’s great when someone hands you a shirt you instantly love and says, “I saw this and just had to get it for you.”
Many years ago, when my daughter was tiny, I’d walk around with her on my shoulder til she’d fell asleep. Usually, I had the TV on for background and usually, at that time of night, Dragon Ball Z or Samurai Jack were on while we’d walk and Laynie would slowly drift off.
That Christmas, my wife gifted me with a Samurai Jack t-shirt. You couldn’t find them in stores then. The show was very new and pretty obscure – I guess it still is.
I never asked where she got it. She never volunteered the info. It made the shirt even more mysterious.
I wore it everywhere. It had even more magic in it when fellow nerds would stop me, compliment me on the shirt and ask me where I got it. Being able to say, “My wife got it for me” made me feel proud.
Shirts like that are cool the way nicknames are cool. They are properly earned and can be worn with a certain swagger. Sure, you can call yourself Killer or Knuckles but it will always sound wrong. When your buddies call you Killer or Knuckles, well, that means something.
I wore my Samurai Jack shirt so much over the next few years that it became paper-thin and began to fall apart. I eventually tossed it but really regret that decision. I wish I had saved it.
I’m selling t-shirts now and I hope some of our creations are gifted like this.
It’s nearly Christmas. Try to find the perfect shirt for that guy or gal you love this year. If it’s not one of ours, no sweat, look at great t-shirt sites like redbubble.com or thinkgeek.com to find that special shirt.
I hope you find a shirt that resonates. And may the recipient wear it like a medal until, after a long and wonderful life, it becomes as soft as a whisper.