The Tale of the Traveling Shirts

As I’ve said before, we are the taking the travel sages’ collective advice to travel light oh so seriously. Tom, the little kids, and I all have the beginnings of a quick-dry, 2-3 outfit wardrobe, and the big kids soon will as well. From our previous travels we know how important it is to to never check a bag (if at all possible). As a result, we bring only a few items that are wrinkle resistant and easily washable in the hotel sink. I’m small (my friends call me 90 cent because I don’t even weigh a buck) and can pack six such outfits in the space it takes Tom to pack one. Thus in our annual trip photos I can be found wearing different stylish yet practical outfits from year to year. Tom on the other hand seems to have been reduced to three shirts that make the rounds wherever he goes. This is not entirely his fault; like most good husbands, he packs what I tell him to. Year in and year out I seem to have been vulnerable to the charms of two striped Eddie Bauer short-sleeved shirts. Though they are cotton, they refuse to wrinkle, and hang well on Tom’s athletic frame, which expands and contracts from year to year based on his workout schedule and diet. He always complains when I choose the shirts (he has dozens of other eligible candidates), but his favorites always seem to rub me the wrong way.

We didn’t realize just how pervasive these two shirts had become until we began looking over old photo albums (from the pre-digital days). Look for the landmarks in the following photos:

TomSphinx TomDelphi
Red Striped Shirt at Giza…and Delphi

StinkyDurians Dad at Gb
TandAColliseum Tomtemple

in Singapore…Gibraltar… Rome…Bali

TandAtopofDuomo TomDomeoftheRock
Off white striped shirt in Florence and Jerusalem

Tom can be blamed for the ridiculous T-shirt that accompanied us at least a few years running. Check out these pictures. Can you guess what it says on the other side?

TomExclamationPoint TandAMasada
Silly T-Shirt in Bali and at Masada

We have since learned our lesson. When Tom returned home from the REI sale last month with a plaid shirt, I reminded him: “Do you want to see yourself in a million pictures with that on?” For this trip, we’ll take nothing too distinctive, nothing that will call unnecessary attention to the Clampetts, as we’ll manage that without the wardrobe (“He punched me!” “She spilled her drink on my iPod!” “Stop looking at me!” “Would you PLEASE stop tormenting your brother?”) We’re considering taking a tchotchke, like the Travelocity gnome (which they not so subtly borrowed from the movie Amelie), to photograph at various locations around the globe. And if we were to use that little guy as our example, we’d wear the same thing no matter where we went.

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3 thoughts on “The Tale of the Traveling Shirts

  1. If there is any chance that Tom will be taking either one of the striped shirts around the world, please let me know. I have a few I will donate to the cause to spare you from the repetition…

  2. Hello 90 cent!!! It’s not the landmark shirts that caught my eye. It’s the illusive, furry creature that keeps appearing atop his head without mention. Hee-hee…

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