My family has a tradition that we practice on every family vacation. We always go to the same vacation site (a cabin near a beach in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) and we always take a few hours during the week to visit the local thrift store. It’s run by volunteers, and full of interesting castoffs – everyone always finds something fun or odd or downright perplexing to take home with them. Over the years our visit has transformed into a sort of contest to see who can find the most outrageous item. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
It’s actually a matter of pride for me that I bought one of my favorite black dresses at that shop, People say “wow, cute dress!” and I say “thanks, it cost me a quarter at a thrift store”. Then I smile sort of smugly, reveling in my ability to save money. But that’s neither here nor there, nor is my purchase (though a riveting story) the point of this entry.
That same trip to the thrift store, my father found a t-shirt that is arguably the best thrift store find any of us have ever made. It was an ordinary, solid red t-shirt. But stuck haphazardly across the front of it was the phrase “I HAVE BUNK BEDS”.
And that was all.
No indication of why this person had bunk beds, what they were for, or why the world needed to know about it. The shirt was clearly homemade, the letters had been ironed on, and a few were beginning to peel. The words slanted downward, spaced unevenly. I suppose they were as confused about their purpose as we were. The shirt was like a pointless social media update that had happened way ahead of its time. Like someone in the 1980’s had decided that he needed a way to tell the world inane things about his life. Maybe this same person also had shirts that said “I LIKE TOAST” and “ON MY WAY TO WORK”. We’ll never know.
My dad bought the shirt, of course. He wears it, every now and again, just for fun. We came up with a few theories about why it had been made and who may have owned it, but none of them really made sense, because the shirt doesn’t really make sense.
But that’s the charm of the shirt, really. It doesn’t make sense, but it makes us smile.
So I named my blog after my dad’s shirt. Because I’m not entirely sure that this blog will make sense. I don’t really know what I’m going to write about. And I don’t really know why. I just want to write. There is no clear goal in mind, no social platform to push, no personal advancement to be gained.
I do hope that I will make you think, though. I hope to invite you to wonder, and question. I hope, at least, that you will come with me to see what happens on this journey that I’ve started on a whim.
And I hope that, like a old, red t-shirt, what I write will make you smile – and that, maybe, you’ll find a few treasures to take home with you.