This is the second time in the past five months that I’ve had to abandon my base layer of basic black t-shirts for medical reasons – the first time after surgery, when I couldn’t put on anything that pulled on over my head, and now, when I don’t want anything touching my scorched breast and side. I probably have at least two dozen of these camisole type t-shirts, mostly black, and normally I wear one somewhere above 90% of my waking hours. They’re a perfect base layer for colder months, and a perfect top layer in warmer weather – and black goes with everything.
It’s been like this for over ten years – look, here I am in Armenia, being a happy little Peace Corps Volunteer:
And here I am last year, on the last leg of my return trip from Scotland:
Yes, I’m really that boring. Possibly more so.
Putting away the little black tops has been a serious blow to my timeless wardrobe.
Luckily enough, I live in America, where we’ve cheap consumer goods, the likes of which I challenge you to find anywhere else on this God’s good earth – along with a voracious consumer culture which leads to the Very Best thrift shop finds this side of the grave*. Church stores are the best for great stuff at great prices – an April Cornell beaded sweater for $4.00; a J Peterman linen dress for $1.00; a Sonoma cotton shirt for $2.00; and on it goes. L.L.Bean fleece jackets, Red Wing boots, silk shirts – if you’ve got the time, there are great deals to be had. Thanks to thrift shops, I now own a wide variety of wearable tops – nice ones, too! – to substitute out for my ubiquitous black t-shirts, and all for well under $50.
Sure, we don’t have universal health care – but let’s look on the bright side, shall we?
And let us now praise cheap consumer goods.
* no, I don’t know that there are thrift shops in Heaven, or Valhalla, or Purgatory, or Hades – but I don’t know that there *aren’t*, either. And neither do you.