The Dorky Tourist T-Shirt

Whenever we went on vacation when I was a kid, my mom would buy one of those tourist t-shirts they sell at beachside stores – not the “IT’S BEER O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE” ones, but rather the pastel-colored ones with the name of the place and drawing of, like, a lobster or a seashell. And I always thought those shirts were sort of dorky (sorry, mom), but then every time I stay at my parents’ place overnight – to this day – those are the shirts that I ask my mom to borrow to sleep in: they remind me of being in a hotel room at maybe ten years old, Ace Ventura on the TV, all sunburned and sandy. They make me happy.

Since this might be our last time in Ogunquit – one of my favorite towns since I was a little girl and the place where we got married – for awhile, I wanted to buy a shirt while we were here. When we were in the shop browsing around I picked up various distressed, “cool” (or at least as cool as a tourist t-shirt can get) styles…and then kept returning over and over to this sort of faded yellow shirt that said “Ogunquit” on the front and had a big drawing of a compass on the back, and couldn’t figure out why I liked it so much, until I realized: it’s the shirt my mom would have bought back in the early ’90s.

So that’s the shirt that’s coming home with us. Because maybe one day, twenty years or so from now, my little girl will come home for the weekend and need something to sleep in, too.

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