That shirt you’re wearing — do you like it? It fits nicely, you got it at a good price, and it’s just the right kind of fit to go from day to night with ease. It’s a pretty good shirt, I have to admit. You should take it on adventures, wear it to all kinds of events, and lovingly place it on a wooden hanger that keeps the shoulders crease-free. Keep that shirt by your side and, if you want to continue living out your storybook clothing item-human love affair, don’t ever, ever lend it out to a girl.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here for a minute, ladies: We are black holes of clothing. We can own seventy pairs of shoes and only be able to find the left one for each, get a new dress that on its big debut night takes a glass full of vodka cranberry down the front, and cause a rip in the time-space continuum into which all of our earring backs inevitably fall. We’re just not super good with these things — and that’s okay! We have our prized items we can take care of if need be, and after all, it’s only clothes. But when we find ourselves short a cardigan for a night out or see a friend with a skirt just too adorable to not politely steal, we are all too quick to ask that dangerous, quicksand-filled question, “Hey, can I borrow that?”
Can you borrow that? Define “can” and “borrow.” I mean, theoretically, your friend is going to look like a huge ass if she just tells you, “No, I love this item and would like to see it some time in the near future.” That’s just not something friends do. And it’s doubtful that “borrow” is an appropriate word, given how often the clothing items we pilfer end up just worming their cottony way into our wardrobe rotation. It’s a sad, profound moment when out with a girlfriend, looking across the table and thinking to yourself, “Jesus Christ, is that my sweater?” You thought you’d lost it to the cruel winds of the lint trap or something, but no, your friend just borrowed it and never returned it.
Or if they do return it, you can guarantee that it will be months later than you would have preferred, and quite likely stained/shrunk/stretched/altered in some way that wearing it is no longer really an option. And to be fair, you can’t really expect to loan out your favorite sequined mini-dress for a birthday party at a club that plays 60 percent Flo Rida to not come back with a few battle scars, but it doesn’t soften the blow when it happens to you. The clothes we loan out to our girlfriends must look at us tearfully while being handed off, knowing that its likely the last you will ever see of each other. That blouse knows its fate, and it knows you know.
Who among us hasn’t been the friend on the receiving end of the borrow, though? I’d be hard-pressed to find a single girl in our ranks who hasn’t, at one point, absconded with a tank top under the guise of a loan, knowing full-well that this tasty morsel was all but her new adopted child. In many ways, we see our clothes as some kind of communal store room, just waiting to be browsed through and taken at our leisure. I would call us greedy, but we just have a love for a cute pair of cork wedges when we see them, and that’s not a crime, is it?
I was serious, by the way, that shirt is adorable — could I use it tonight?