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Wednesday, March 21, 2012



 Nothing upsets a woman quite like her man ruining a perfectly good shirt doing dirty chores.  Why do men wear a good shirt to do gardening work, change oil, or paint a room?

Sometimes, I admit, we just do not think.  If we see something that needs fixing while wearing a good clean shirt our one track minds go right to the task without even thinking of the consequences of dirt or grime.  Often, however, the fault lies at the clean freak gene that makes up every woman’s DNA.

Women do not save dirty shirts.   When a shirt gets a stain it gets thrown away.  Often it gets thrown away as a penalty to her man for soiling the garment in the first place.  Dig in the garden in a clean shirt; it will get thrown away.  Do a quick paint touchup and drip onto your new shirt; it gets thrown away.  Fix a sticky door and get grease on your shirt; it gets thrown away.  Spaghetti sauce on your new shirt?  Bye bye new shirt.

“Look what you’ve done!  Now I have to throw it away!”

The next time the man plans to do a dirty job he cannot find a dirty shirt to work in.  They have all been thrown away.

While I was married to the unstable wife, I had a beautiful pair of overalls.  They were 45 years old.  They were my Dad’s.  They were broken in and comfortable.  Paint and oil stains covered 80% of these overalls.  The overalls had multiple pockets and hooks to carry hammers and screwdrivers.  I loved those overalls.  I kept them in my smelly basement on a hook by my tools.

When I prepared to work on a dirty job, I always put on the overalls.  Even if I wore a good shirt underneath, the overalls protected everything.  If I got paint on my hands, I could just wipe it on the overalls without guilt.  They were perfect.

One day the wife assigned a painting project to me.  I bought the paint,  purchased new clean brushes and taped off all the molding.  I removed everything that could be moved and covered everything else with a tarp.  Fully prepared to start the job, I went into the basement to pull on my overalls.

They were gone.  They were not on their hook by the tools.  I went into panic mode.  The wife noticed.

“What is wrong with you?”

“I can’t find my overalls.”

“Where were they?”

“In the basement on a hook by my tools.”

“That dirty old thing?”

“Yes, that dirty old thing.”

“I threw it away; it was covered with oil, dirt and paint.  It could never be cleaned.”

“What!!  Being dirty, oily and paint covered is what made them perfect.  They could not be ruined.  Plus they were super comfortable, and they were my Dad’s.  They were covered with my Dad’s dirt, my Dad’s oil, and my Dad’s paint.  I loved that pair of overalls!”

“I’m sorry; I’ll get you a brand new pair.”

My wife did buy a brand new pair of overalls.  Crisp, clean, shiny and starchy.  They even smelled brand new.  They were about 100 washing machine cycles away from being comfortable.

I never wore those new overalls.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not bring myself to get them dirty, and they reminded me of losing my Dad.

I painted that room in a new clean shirt.  It was a shirt that my wife had bought me that I never liked.  I wiped paint drips all over it.  When I was done with the room that shirt was an unclean-able mess.

When I was through cleaning up and putting the room back together again, I tore that shirt off and threw-it-the-fuck-away.

When I divorced the unstable-one several years later, those new overalls remained in the basement.  I never wore them and refused to take them with me.

That is why I ruin good shirts doing dirty chores.      


  1. I have respect for items of clothing that, although they may be tattered and worn, hold sentimental value.

    Hubby had a ratty pair of shorts he wore in his backpacking days. I never considered getting rid of them because they were his favourite, but we stayed with his mum for a short period of time after our travels and they mysteriously disappeared. Clearly she did not feel the same about the treasured pair of shorts.

    This story made me a little sad to think about your losing your comfy overalls especially considering they were your dad's.

  2. nice post, joe. i have 9 brothers, so i understand your reasoning. i would never have thrown the overalls away. i would have assumed you kept them for some reasonable reason. p.s. i ruin nice clean shirts too. i usually don't care what i am wearing once i get going on some chore or another.

  3. You gave me those overalls and I said I didn't want them. You told,me,they were perfectly good. They were never used. I took them and put them in my basement., then I threw them out. I have some of your old clothes I do house chores in. (Jk In that last sentence)

  4. I probably have at least a dozen pairs of paint spattered, ripped seams, spotted and stained jeans and shirts. They were good clothes once, but they don't get thrown away until the fabric is so thin that it bursts when I bend over.

    Any woman who doesn't understand the value of old work clothes probably hasn't done a lick of good hard work herself.

    I would never throw away anyone else's property, even my husband's. I'm sorry your Dad's overalls were stolen from you.

  5. I stopped to comment, went away, came back ....

    Good for you for trashing the good shirt!

    Some things should be left well alone and I'm sorry that something you cared about wasn't appreciated for it's true value.

  6. I completely get this. My husband has a zip-up parker, you know the blue ones with the bright orange lining? Anyway it was his father's jacket and he once told me he never wanted to wash it, so we leave it in the garage on it's own special hook :)

  7. I've ruined plenty of clothing while cleaning the bathroom! It's the bleach that does it... and the fact that I forget to put on something old and already bleach-stained.

  8. We're the opposite at our house. So many boxes of old clothes to do chores in, or to tear up for rags. Rags for what? The dusting I never do? Who knows?!

  9. I would have divorced her just for throwing out those overalls. right then and there.

    must be a generation thing, because I would never throw out anything of my husband's. He can even continue to wear the oh so holy undies if he so wishes. He can throw out his own clothes.

    Also, if he's doing a chore - I just shut the fuck up and let him do it. I wouldn't want him to never do that chore again. I'm not stupid. haha


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