Saturday, January 03, 2009

Don't Cry to Me When There's a Pin Shortage

Inky and I took advantage of the temporarily low gas rates and headed down to the Baltimore area so I could spend a little christmas money. I couldn't come up with a single damn thing I needed this year, so Inky told my mother in law that all I needed was some new work duds. Being the great mother in law that she is, she gave me some dough to spend on new duds.

I hit the jackpot at the first store I went to, finding a few pairs of pants, two new french cuffed shirts and a pair of ties, which Inky helped me pick out. By way of full explanation: Inky and I have been together for 12 years and married for 9 1/2 but I have never taken her shopping, nor have I ever taken any one's input on my work wardrobe other than my old man's so this was a big step in our relationship.

When we got home I wanted to try a few of the combinations out (including my black suit with the black french cuff shirt and the white tie... can you say Mob Funeral?) but before you can try a dress shirt on, you have to extract it from it's cumbersome packaging. If you've never bought a dress shirt, just know they are pinned down to within an inch of it's life. The pins go through the shirt and into one of the 3 or 4 pieces of cardboard and plastic that are used to make the shirt look "lifelike" in the package.

I guess people are more likely to buy a shirt that has a sharp looking raised collar and a stiff feel when in your hand, but the number of pins they use is preposterous. I counted 11 in the one shirt and 14 in the other. The problem is exacerbated on my french cuff shirts because they feel the need to pin one of the cuffs to the front of the shirt so you can see that you need cufflinks with it, as if the writing on the package that says "french cuff" isn't enough.

I know they are just 11 or 14 pushpins, but multiply that by every shirt sold in the world and we're talking a ton of metal, or a few hundred tons perhaps. I don't mean to be a tree hugger here, but is that really necessary? I get my shirts folded at the dry cleaner and they don't have to pin them down there. I'm just sayin'...

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