Georgia on My Mind (and On the Trash Heap)

I'm about to do something drastic. Well, drastic for someone who loves to journal, scrapbook, and otherwise preserve memories and mementos from various stages of my life. I am about to throw away my University of Georgia rugby t-shirts.

True, I haven't worn those t-shirts in years. They're too big, acquired in a time when I thought wearing long shirts to cover my big butt made me look thinner. And unlike some other XLs and XXLs that have been foisted on me more recently because the petite girls (and guys) snapped up all the Ss, Ms, and Ls, they're not soft enough to be worn as pajamas. The words "RUGGER HUGGER" and "Georgia Rugby ~ There is no substitute!" are cracked and scratchy, and both shirts have small holes.

Rugger Hugger and Georgia Rugby ~ There is no substitute! shirts

Still, I've been reluctant to part with these two shirts (and several others from the same era) because they chronicle a part of my life. The fact that that part of my life is a distant memory now makes the shirts all the harder to toss: they are the only remaining evidence of how I used to spend my Saturday afternoons in college, of friends named Nick and Sky and Fruitfoot, of rugby songs sung at the top of our lungs at parties after the games, of the verse I added to "Mobile" and made Ryan sing for me because I was too chicken to do it myself.

The body looks like that of no woman I know, but I used to have hair like that.

I've been to two rugby games since that time: USA vs. China here in San Francisco a few years back, and one in New Zealand in 1998 (I still have the t-shirt from that one, and I'm not ready to give it up yet). While I still appreciate the game, it's the people who played it at Georgia in the late 80s that I miss.

I'll be keeping my pink t-shirt from the 1989 Rugby Ball (which is soft, sturdy, the right size, and well-designed to boot), so I won't be jettisoning all of my rugby memories. In fact, as I think of that shirt now, I'm remembering the knee I skinned that weekend and that oozed for days, baked beans made with ketchup and mustard and brown sugar and cooked over the fire, of drinking too much and doing stupid things, like climbing over the fence around a nearby country club pool to go swimming in our underwear, and like trying to take pity on a virgin in the back seat of a car and ending up making it harder for him because of my obvious indifference. Er. Maybe I'll throw that shirt out too after all.

I haven't worn the Five-Eight and Violets Ts, also from the late 80s in Athens, in years (for the same reasons as the rugby shirts), but I think I'm going to hang on to those and possibly frame them for posterity. The now-disgusting Public Nuisance shirt that I helped to make in the early 90s, using spray paint and a stencil Jimmy cut from a discarded piece of cardboard using an Exacto knife, I think, is tougher to let go of. It's so gray and icky that it would resemble a punk rock Shroud of Turin if framed, and I'm not sure I want to wear it close to my body anymore, despite its extreme softness. (I wore it under sweaters and dress shirts for years, as a way of preserving my indy rock soul in corporate suit environments. At least, that's what I told myself.) I think the fact that I had a hand in making it gives it more sentimental value, even as its value as an article of clothing or a work of art has faded.

Public Nuisance! Public Nuisance! Well I like to drink, and I like to smoke, and I like to give the girls a poke...

Still, the pile of white t-shirts in my closet is now dangerously close to toppling, and I fear I must put that "if you haven't worn it in 12 months, throw it out" rule into effect. I wore my 1996 Netscape Developer's Conference shirt to the gym just the other day, so it's safe. It's really just the Georgia-era stuff that's on the chopping block, and it's certainly been more than 12 months since I last wore any of it. These shirts have been packed into boxes for the last time; they've made at least 7 moves already, and most have made at least 5 since they were last worn. It's time to say goodbye.

Posted by Lori in scrapbook at 1:07 PM on July 20, 2003

Comments (1)

It can be hard to say goodbye. I love the pulic nuisance shirt. At forty I just don't want to be the punk I once was. It's ok, there's plenty to take my place. Good luck! Thanks for sharing.


It can be hard to say goodbye. I love the pulic nuisance shirt. At forty I just don't want to be the punk I once was. It's ok, there's plenty to take my place. Good luck! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Simon at July 23, 2003 7:06 AM

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