Friday, August 10, 2012

How to keep a white shirt white (other than leaving it on the rack at the store)

Actually.... how to keep any shirt clean and stain-free for longer than 10 minutes.  Doesn't matter the color, fabric or style.  I am hard pressed at this moment to think of more than three shirts in my wardrobe that are not polka-dotted with an historical record of my past meals and professions.
As a teacher I quickly learned not to buy expensive blouses/sweaters/tops.  There isn't much point in paying good money for something that is going to soon become covered in any or all of the following:
1) permanent marker (any color....and they have MANY colors)
2) chalk  (yes, I still used chalk on occasion)
3) dry-erase marker
4) dry-erase eraser dust
5) pen (again...many colors)
6) coffee
7) coffee
8) coffee

 As the mother of young children (read infant/toddler stage) I also realized that anything that I bought to wear was going to be frequently baptized in any or all of the following:
1) bodily fluids (any type, from any orifice)
2) pureed veggies
3) pureed fruit
4) soggy cereal
5) dirt
6) tears (theirs AND mine)
7) coffee
8) coffee
9) coffee

As the mother of children who are now more self-sufficient you would think the clothing situation would have stabilized somewhat.

Now it just means that since I am not the one who made the pb&j, I am also not aware of the globs of pb&j that have been left on various surfaces around the house, including, but not limited to:
1) counters
2) cabinets
3) tables
4) chairs
5) I kid you not....bathroom doors
Thus leaving me with slightly perceptible remembrances of my children's lunches on my favorite shirts and sweaters....sigh......

I tried a few months ago to see if it could be done....this wearing of light colored tops for a whole day without disasters.   I made it exactly 32.4 minutes before I spilled my dark cream colored coffee on my new LIGHT cream colored sweater.  Good thing I got it on sale for 80% off, since I only got 2% use of it.

I did manage to keep my wedding dress clean for TWO receptions, but I think that was due more to the fact that I didn't have time to eat much, and went nowhere near a cup of coffee.

I found out this week though that I might actually have very little control over the situation.   Seems this problem is genetic, not academic.
 The children and I went to our state fair yesterday with my dad  A.K.A.  Grampy.
The kids were dressed in bright neon t-shirts and I had a white t-shirt with a 5k logo on the front. (You can already see where this is going, right?)
As my daughter takes her first bite of corn-dog, the copious amounts of mustard and catsup she had applied began to  slide off the corn-dog and onto her lime-green shirt.  She also decided to take a quick bath in her strawberry smoothie.   Her mother  (A.K.A. me) proceeded to dribble bits and pieces of the chili from her chili fries down the front of the (formerly) white t-shirt.   Grampy just laughed and shook his head.  Seems that he also has a wardrobe full of shirts that have been inaugurated in the same manner.

Our solution?
Pay more attention when we eat?  No
Don't eat or write during business hours? No
Don't have children?  Too late
Quit drinking coffee?   (excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from laughing so hard.)

It is fairly simple.....
Never pay retail for shirts. Always keep a Tide with bleach pen handy. 

'Cause apparently most of my family has missed the class on this!

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