I’ve got a shirt story. It’s nothing like my other clothing posts.
It’s not about how l’il Abigail preferred to play farmer girl over princess and how it still feels more fake than fun to dress up up all fancy like. It’s not bittersweet like the day I gave the dress away or a smug take on my husband’s none too GQ sense of style .
Then last Thursday, I landed at Goodwill on the hunt for polos and khakis for sprouting up boys. It didn’t take long to find those. Which left time me some time in the ladies’ tips. So I rifled through the color lines. Through purple, cream, black, blue and green- and came up dry.
But then I saw it. Across a crowded aisle, on a rack jammed with a hundred styles, one alone caught my eye. It was a peachy-pink floral print with undertones of goldenrod and hints of forest green, with the delicate cut neckline and flouncy cap sleeves.
Not quite princess, I thought, but still feminine and pretty and casual enough to wear with my jean capris.
And so I did. I wore it to work the very next day- my new floral shirt with the just right neckline and the flouncy cap sleeves. And, wouldn’t you know, my new shirt garnered some praise. So I donned it again for church that Sunday.
I like your top, Hon, Jim said at breakfast. I smiled, demure. And that pretty little shirt got more shout-outs at church. I don’t think I owned a more fetching garment than that frilly floral find acquired from the pink shirt rack for just $1.99.
Then I washed my new shirt Sunday night. I paused before tossing it into the dryer long enough to locate the special shirt’s brand name: Gilligan and O’Malley.
But there was another word too, in fine print on the far side of the tag. What was it? I scrunched up my eyes to read it:
Yes. It was. My fine new shirt was a Target brand pajama top. And I’d felt so smart at work and at church in that pretty pink shirt.
Soon my face matched my shirt and I laughed and laughed. And I shook my head and I laughed.
That could- maybe should- be the end. But I’m an inveterate meaning seeker; I’m ever on the hunt for a moral to the story and lesson in the mess.
So what do you think of these three?
- Laughter is good medicine. It just is. Replaying my days in the delicate floral garment and the unwitting compliments on it was just what the doctor ordered in the midst of some extra stressful days. It was exactly the “don’t take yourself so seriously” tonic I needed. “A joyful heart is good for the soul,” (Psalm 17:22). It just is.
- Associations matter. I bought my flouncy, cap sleeved, pretty floral top because it was hanging with the real shirt, on the pink shirt rack. I wasn’t shopping for jammies. But associations are powerful. “He who walks with wise will be wise,” (Proverbs 13:20a). And so my PJ top was sanctified.
- Never say never. Poetic justice. You see, I’m the Grinch on every school spirit “PJ Day.” I don’t participate. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it ten times: I never wear PJ’s out of bed. Never. Wearing pajamas during the day makes me feel lazy. I like to get up and go and I don’t like to feel lazy. No PJ’s in the day. Truly, “with God all things are possible,” (Matthew 19:25). His ways are higher.
Oh, yeah- and a fourth.
Read the fine print.