It finally happened. This is a sad, sad day indeed.
There is something about women deep within their genetic structure that not only makes them very social creatures, but also very controlling creatures. Granted, the poets of all ages have noted this peculiar trait of the fairer sex, but when it hits home to the married male --- and he has to admit his weakness by giving in --- it is truly an humbling experience.
My wife has been overwhelmingly blessed with the genes that want to throw out immediately any piece of clothing that has the faintest flaw. A thread loop has arisen by a 1000th of a millimeter --- trash it. A perfectly good pair of tennis shoes is deemed to be a forsaken potsherd simply because there may be a small tear in the sole. What any male would consider a great pair of "grass cutting shoes" is dowsed with Lysol and unceremoniously taken to the curb.
Over the years I have noticed my bride also has another gene --- the Used T Resentment Gene --- that takes particular umbrage against the favorite T shirts so dear to me. Yes, the Doobie Brothers, Adidas, Atlanta Rhythm Section, WSB Radio, Champagne Jam, and even some old Braves T's, none of which have escaped her wrath. She seems to especially despise my old Shorter College T shirts, but I think that has more to do with the pictures of the coeds in the fraternity scrapbook who . . .well, er, uh, never mind.
These shirts may be a bit stained. Sure they are faded. Granted, they probably wouldn't survive the screening at the local Good Will either, but these are my shirts. They have meaning to me. They wear around the house just fine, yellow underarm stains and all. Moreover, those tears in the sleeves are my personal badges of honor, as I battled the evil hordes of shrubbery that had to be attacked with the pruning shearers. The blood stains from the soccer games when I was in college are considered Bronze Stars in my mind. And some of that blood is not mine either, but my kids' from their scrapes and falls and such --- progeny from my own loins!
Still, hardly a day goes by that the Carbon Based Shell for the X Chromosome doesn't want to toss out T shirts, shoes, caps, underwear, or whatever. And, invariably, I will catch a glimpse of the tattered clothing in the garbage, rescue it, and place it back in my closet for yet future battles with the world and the Woman Genes of Doom.
So, today the last of my college soccer shorts met their final rest. Oh She Who Must Be Obeyed said they were now officially "indecent" and nothing would save them from her wrath this day. Alas, she was right. The hem left about a decade ago. The draw string held out until the new millennium. But when the crotch seam unraveled and the safety pens looked more like painful body piercings, it was time to say farewell.
Today she threw the Last of the Mohican shorts away.
And I want to weep.