What a bunch of shirt

My tiny adorable Russian grandmother, Bubby, used to love Tom Jones. Yes, Tom Jones. Welsh warbler Tom Jones. I don’t know what she liked more — his voice or his grabbable chest hair, displayed by way of a simple white shirt unbuttoned almost to the waist — but I do know that my grandfather was quite jealous, especially after they saw Tom Jones in concert and my grandmother fairly swooned at the sight and sound of all that manliness. I’m sure that had he torn off his sweaty white shirt and flung it her way, she would have cherished it forever. And I would have been very proud to have inherited it, given that I inherited not only her penchant for high heels and manicures but a love of Tom Jones as well.
It would be cool to have something that Tom Jones actually wore. Sure the shirt would be sweaty. But somehow a sweaty Tom Jones shirt wouldn’t make me grimace. And I wouldn’t want to use tongs to pick it up to quickly toss it into the wash, the way I would with a similar shirt, drenched by the sweat of a regular guy. No, I’d probably just keep it on a hanger, in a garment bag, and once in a while take it out and slip it on, if only for a second. It would be, after all, literally a part of Tom Jones.
So when I saw this in my email yesterday, I wasn’t too pleased — and not just because I thought I’d removed myself from Banana Republic’s mailing list months ago. No, my displeasure had more to do with the white shirts offered.
Who would want a shirt merely autographed by a celebrity? A pristine white shirt, never worn by the person who signed it? What’s the purpose? If I wanted the signature of my favorite celebrity, I’d rather have it on one of his old cancelled checks, because there, at least, I would know that the signature on its face was actually part of the person who wrote it.
If I wanted an autograph (and I really don’t, because I’m not a big autograph person), I’d want it on something the person had literally touched. Something that was part of his life. For instance, if I were a huge baseball fan, I’d want a baseball, signed by Hank Aaron. But not just some ordinary, clean, never-used baseball. I’d want one that he’d slammed out of the ballpark or into the stands.
But these white shirts that Banana Republic is selling for $150, untouched except for the two seconds it took Tom Cruise or Kevin Spacey (or especially my ex-husband, Nicolas Cage) to sign them? Please. You can keep ’em. There’s nothing touching about them.
As Bubby (and I) would say, with a dismissive wave of both hands, “Feh. Kaka.”