Calder’s Scandalous Shirt

September 8th, 2012

My eldest has amassed quite the collection of quirky t-shirts.

Sometime during his Freshman year (as seen above) he started getting interested in oddball shirts.

The one he is wearing above always confuses me,.  I believe the drawings are supposed to look like a rock, paper and scissors, but I always think the drawings look more like poorly drawn underwear, a crushed tin can and scissors which doesn’t seem to correspond to the caption “Choose Wisely” unless one is in extremely unusual circumstances.

Some of you may remember that Roy, from “The IT Crowd” also loves to sport the quirky t-shirt.

I told Calder about Roy’s shirts thinking this might be a super fun way for my son and I to bond.

“Hey Calder”, I said, “Did you know that Roy from The IT Crowd also wears funny t-shirts?”

“Who?” he said.

“Roy… from The IT Crowd.  Remember?  We watched it together once…. I think… or maybe I just dreamed that…”

“Whatever mom.  Do we have any food in this house?”

But I did not answer my son because I had already plunged myself deeply into the midst of a beautiful fantasy wherein my eldest son and I were sitting in front of the computer, watching The IT Crowd, laughing and slapping each other on the back and giving each other high fives and singing songs, and roasting marshmallows and catching fish and hiking through the woods and gathering nuts and berries and reading stories to each other and doing shadow puppets and making daisy chains and playing Frisbee and tag and hide and seek all while the filtered forest sunlight bounced off our shoulders and backs and warmed us through as we plopped down on the bank of a shimmering stream to eat a picnic lunch while communing with nature and each other, both fully aware that in only three point nine seconds, he would be grown and ready to launch and I would be a wrinkled, grey haired remnant of my former self holding my breath in anticipation of the piercing pain of his imminent departure.

“Mom…. mom…… Hey Mom!” the voice of my son called me back from my hazy forest dream….


“When are you going to the grocery store?”

“I…. I…. I don’t know… ”

“Will you please buy some peanut butter… and not the healthy kind.  And also get some bagels… not the healthy kind also.”

Here ends a mother’s exquisite anguish over the rapidly approaching departure date of her eldest child.

Now where was I???

Oh yeah… Calder’s shirts…

One of his friends made this one for him.

You can’t really see this one can you?

Too bad.

It’s really cool.

And then we arrive at the scandalous shirt.

My son purchased this shirt sometime over the summer with his own funds.  The first time I saw him wearing it, I asked him if he planned to wear it to school.

“Yes,” he said.

“You might get kicked out,” I responded.

He said, “Why?”

“Because it’s scandalous!” I bleated.

But my son just shrugged and got the same vacant look in his eyes that he always gets when he talks to his mother more than sixty seconds in a row.

But he did wear it to school a few days ago.

And he did not get kicked out.

“What did people think of that shirt Calder?” I asked when he got home.

“They didn’t really think anything.” he said.

“Oh C’mon Calder!!” I insisted, “Surely they said something!” As usual, I was starting to get desperate for just a tiny TIDBIT of information from my extremely laconic son. “TELL ME WHAT THEY SAID!!!!” I screeched.

“Why would they say anything mom?”

“Because your shirt has a picture of girl wearing teensy shorts squirting a can of whipped cream into her mouth!!!”

“Oh that…” he sighed, “Well a few people asked me who the girl was.”

“AND WHAT DID YOU SAY???!!!” I asked feeling like I was lugging a tractor trailer up from the bottom of a well.

“I told them she was my girlfriend from California… and her name was Ashley.”

And then we laughed and his entire childhood flashed in front of my eyes and I started to get weepy and then he told me to go the store and buy some Pop Tarts and some frozen waffles (not the healthy kind) and I snapped out of it.

The end.


  • Pam:

    Yep. That’s boys for you. When my daughter was in high school she’d come home with all the good gossip. When my son hit high school we had the same conversation every day for four years. Me: How was school? Him: Boring. Me: What did you do? Him: Nothing. The school could have been wiped off the face of the earth by an asteroid, or visited by aliens and the answers would be the same.

  • Mary is full of info from school. Luke gives me nothing. It would be a miracle if he said something about, well anything, except sport statistics. Drives me bonkers, and I see I have no hope for an upturn in events. I do have my theories though. Because, for me, it’s not so much that Mary’s a girl, but that she’s so much like Rob. We just click. Now Luke, just like me. Tough nut to crack.

  • I only have one son – starting college in two weeks (only an hour away!). Anyhow, when he was little I’d ask him how school was and get the typical “fine” answer. Then I’d ask him if anybody got in trouble – jackpot! By the time he was older he was pretty open about discussing things.

  • AmeliaJake:

    Thank you. I was worried when I thought,”That first drawing looks like underwear.” Then, again, maybe we both should worry.”

  • I know that lugging the tractor trailer from the bottom of the well feeling! That’s how I feel when I talk to my brothers (18 and 22). Also, I thought the “Choose Wisely” t-shirt depicted (left to right): a crumpled up piece of paper, a typewriter, and 2 spoons!

  • Spinny:

    I’m so glad it’s not only my boy who won’t tell me things. We had this conversation on the way home today:

    Spinny: How was school?

    Boy: fine

    S: Do anything fun?

    B: no

    S: What about science, what did you do in science?

    B: work

    S: *sigh*

  • km:

    What’s the best part about the new school?
    The food
    And what else?
    The new lockers.
    Anything else?
    It’s a shorter day.

    The future of America right there in my car seat. Marvelous!

    • Rhonda F.:

      ha! This made me laugh and shudder simultaneously…..

  • MichelleG:

    Oh, my word, you are so freaking funny when you aren’t being an annoyingly arrogant atheist. I can’t help but check in now and then and love you anyway.

  • Rhonda F.:

    Yep – first two were girls. My baby’s a now-16-year-old boy. No conversation. Same blank stare. Same requests for junk food. It’s like the great spaghetti monster in the sky is prepping me for the loneliness of the empty nest.