Wrong Shirt, Wrong Time*
So lately I've been into wearing baseball shirts. Like three-quarter length type sleeve t-shirt things. Y'know the ones that look like this:
I have two. Dark blue sleeves with white. And dark blue
sleeves with grey. I like wearing them extra because I have hairy arms like a
big gorilla and if a regular short sleeved shirt sleeves are too short (say that
three times fast) I'm all looking like chimped out. So last week I headed to Old
Navy to stock up on more baseball shirts. They had a bunch. Different colors and
stuff. And they were pretty cheap so I got three. Two normal (no logo or
nothing). And one that was umm.... different.
The different shirt...is this shirt:
I'm not sure why I thought I should branch out and get a shirt with a number on it. I guess I thought it looked kind of cool and felt like I should mix it up a little because I was buying three shirts. It went against my shirt rule (not wearing anything with the name of the store on it or something that has writing that I have no association with. Banana Republic Athletic Club Squad or stuff like that.) but a simple number seemed ok.
Anyway, over the weekend I made plans with people to go see this animation thing. Although it's completely out of character for me, I decided to sort of organize a bunch of friends together to go. I made the actual plans! Turned out a couple friends were bringing other friends so it was going to be a whole bunch of us. I was sort of proud of myself for pulling together and doing a whole social organizational thing. The animation thing was at this bar in Williamsburg and I gave people subway directions to get there and stuff. It's hard getting to Williamsburg because there's not alot of subways that make it there.
Williamsburg in Brooklyn is loaded with hipsters (even though most of the hipsters there don't think they're hipsters and claim they hate hipsters which makes them extra hipstery). Hipsters wear vintage t-shirts and wacky belts and old school puma sneakers and thick framed glasses and they smoke Lucky Strike or Kool cigarettes even though they don't like them. Anyway, I guess being in that atmosphere motivated me to wear my #42 baseball shirt. I thought maybe it was cool or something? Hip...ster... ee?
I headed out to Williamsburg with a girl friend and on the way there I started to have doubts about my shirt. Out in public... it looked sort of dopey. I asked her if my shirt was ok and she said it was fine. I asked her if she liked it and she said, 'It's a shirt! What's not to like?!' Which meant she didn't like it. I pointed at the 42 on my shirt and asked her why there was a 42 on my shirt. She said, 'I don't know! You bought it!' I didn't know why there was a 42 on my shirt. What was I? 3? Then she pointed out that it was a little weird that the collar of my shirt was grey and not blue like the sleeves. The more she looked at my shirt the more I could see she wasn't liking it. I felt completely self conscious about the 42 and the collar. And we were going to Williamsburg! Hipsterland! Why would I think my Old Navy #42 shirt would pass for 'cool' unless I was attempting to be staggeringly ironic... which I certainly could never pull off because I'm not even sure what that means!
We get to the hipster bar in Williamsburg (this place if you're curious) and I walk in to see two people playing sad strummy strumm guitar on stage and a few stragglers sitting around. I looked around and I knew something was way wrong (besides my shirt). Where was like the animation thing? The animation people? It was 8:30 and the place was like empty! I asked the bartender where the animation thing was. The bartender (who definitely shot a look at my 42 to my dismay. his shirt was from some horse farm and all faded. ladeedaa! i felt superdorked.) he said the animation was tomorrow night. Oh f**k! Wrong day! And I told people to go! They were traveling way out to Williamsburg! My friend just shook her head at me.
I got on my (new) cellphone (which I don't like as much as my lightning killed phone but I got a good deal on it because I renewed my contract) and started calling around to friends to try and keep them from heading to Williamsburg. Luckily I flagged all but one. When he showed up, I explained that I screwed up and had the wrong day and he was flat-out unsurprised as he's known me for a while. He knew something must be wrong if I was trying to organize something in the first place.
I decided to spring for a cab ride back to our neighborhood as payback for my screwup and on the way home with the three of us smushed in the the backseat-- my friend said, 'So what's with the 42?' I was like, 'I don't know!!! OK!! I made a mistake!' He was like, 'It's not even a good number... like 27 or 79 would be so much cooler or even 9... but 42?! What is that? Your age or something?' Then he continued to point out that the two toned collar made it look like the shirt was made out of factory scraps.
For the rest of the cab ride the three of us had a lengthy discuss as to what numbers are cool and what numbers are not cool and what was wrong with my shirt. I dabbled in the idea that my shirt was such a conversation piece that it was crossing over and actually becoming cool. But that wasn't true at all. Not even a little.
But I gotta admit I was secretly happy that I screwed up the dates of the animation thing-- because to stand around all night with a meaningless number on my shirt in some hipster bar would have made me mental. I'd feel like I was being stared at all night like a foreign exchange student in a 3rd grade classroom with a goat tied to his desk.
Plus being that unhip in Williamburg can get you umm... dork bashed on some blog or something.
PS. I got a bunch of emails from people reminding me that 42 is the answer to everything in Douglas Adams books which I guess I knew but didn't put it together (Man, I'm not even good at being a nerd!). I'm not sure if that really helps undorkify the shirt for me. Especially because I didn't buy it for that reason. But I guess the number being answer to everything is better than it being there for nothing-- but that depends on your philosophy.
PPS. More emails telling me it was Jackie Robinson's number. Yeah I'm a dope...
PPS. Yah, I'm going to the animation thing tonite. Wearing a normal baseball shirt ;-)