On Impulse

sunshine-shirtMy new T-shirt is made of 90 percent cotton, 10 percent polyester, and questionable moral fiber. It bears a cuss word front and center. I swear, it was an impulse buy.

Under a smiley-faced sunburst, there’s a simple, snarky message (which I will censor here for reader protection): “I’m just one big, f******g ray of sunshine, aren’t I?” When I saw it that fall day at a tourist trap in far northern Wisconsin, I was mesmerized. For some reason I could not discern, the shirt appealed to me. So I bought it and left the store $10 poorer and no wiser.

Usually I am responsible. Accountable. I am the opposite of impulsive. I plan. I follow rules. But sometimes I just want to at least bend them a little. So when I asked myself why on earth I should buy the swearing T-shirt, I answered, “Why the hell not?”

Overall the T-shirt’s wearability is limited. At home? Sure. To a bar? Maybe. To church? Probably not. Actually to most places I frequent, probably not. I knew that when I bought the shirt, but I didn’t care.

I don’t care now, either. The shirt makes me smile, even when it’s just hanging in my closet. I’ve worn it at home, and maybe someday I’ll wear it in public, on impulse. I’ll just plan to hide the cuss word.

Laura Sternweis


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