Tag, You’re It

While getting dressed for work this morning I carefully tore away the dry cleaner tag stapled around the collar label inside my new shirt. There had been enough obnoxious tags to remove when I bought it, now back from the dry cleaner it had another.

Ughhh…one last tag.

That tiny ripping sound as I removed it reminded me of new clothes I bought back in my college years. On the first of maybe two shopping “sprees” in my life, I’d come away with several new shirts and pairs of pants.

My spree had run late by the time I got home. Not bothering to wash them before going to bed I promptly put the new clothes away – by tossing them in a lump across the back of a chair. Those were college years, after all. The next morning I dressed hurriedly, about to be late for class, and eagerly dug through my new purchases for something to wear.

I ripped tags from first one pair of pants, then another. There seemed to be tags on the waists, tags on every pocket, tags around belt loops. Plastered to one leg of each pair of pants was a foot long clear sticker with “32 waist” printed down its length. Yes, “32 waist”… those were college years after all…

I ripped tags with reckless abandon and realized I was late for class. I pulled on a new pair of pants, grabbed one of the new shirts, and rushed from my room. I was very proud of my new clothes and thought I looked spectacular. As I walked across campus it became clear that everyone seemed to agree.

My new wardrobe was a hit, especially my new shirt with a navy blue background and tiny red and green stripes. It was a handsome shirt and it caught eyes wherever I went. Other students looked at my shirt and smiled. Some even pointed me out to their friends. What a fashion plate I was. As I walked from class to class that day I enjoyed constant attention as a result of my fabulous clothes.

At the end of the school day I hurried home to change and relived how proud I’d been of my new clothes. As I took off my handsome new shirt something rough scraped and cut hard across my neck. In slow motion I finished taking the shirt off, gingerly held it in front of me, and slowly turned it around to examine it. I expected to find a scorpion, maybe a king cobra, a rabid rhinoceros, or something equally sinister that had clung to me all day before launching an attack.

And there it was.

A foot long clear sticker.

In my haste that morning to pick out what to wear I’d pulled tags off of everything – except my handsome green shirt. All day I’d paraded from class to class with a foot long clear sticker running down the front of my shirt, “L” printed down its length. Thus, the attention.

Ughhh…one last tag.

I never wore that shirt to school again.

Over the years I laughed about that sticker whenever I bought new clothes. I vowed it would never happen again, and it hasn’t. Not once have I been caught with a sticker on my clothes. But, several years ago after an all-day meeting, I realized I’d spent the entire day with a price tag attached to a long plastic line dangling from the armpit of the new jacket I’d worn. I thought I’d been careful to remove all signs of new purchase, but no.

Ughhh…one last tag.

I may have never thought about those two incidents again had it not been for the dry cleaner tag on my shirt today. No, not the one I removed from the inside of my collar…

On the way back to my desk after getting coffee this morning a coworker smiled and asked if I’d recently had my shirt laundered. I answered why yes I had, then thought how wonderful that for only $1.99 my shirt must appear remarkably clean.

As I set the coffee cup down on my desk something scraped and cut hard across my hand. I had visions of scorpions, king cobras, a rabid rhinoceros, or something equally sinister. In slow motion I looked down at my hand and there it was.

A second dry cleaner tag had been waving in the breeze all morning from a button-hole in the front of my shirt.

Ughhh…one last tag.

Stuart M. Perkins



Filed under blog, clothing, Humor

109 responses to “Tag, You’re It

  1. Before I retired, my wife and I lived apart during the workweek. She lived in our home in Southern Minnesota while I stayed in a condo in the Twin Cities. I don’t know what it is about “single” guys but we do need tending. Every day when I came to work, my workwives would look me over and straighten my collar, tear tags off my shirts or shake their heads and tell me never to wear that combination of colors again.

  2. bo

    Reblogged this on Bobbi's Blog and commented:

  3. But why, why is it necessary for us all to have so many tags on new clothing? It’s the tags on socks I hate- there’s a plastic tag holding the lot together (usually with a piece of card and a hanger), you cut that and the socks still won’t come apart. Then you realise there’s ANOTHER tag, buried deep in the fabric, endangering the integrity of your BRAND NEW SOCKS when you dig at it with a pair of scissors.
    Potentially a global conspiracy, I fear, in which clothes manufacturers are in league with a company who’s inherited millions of feet of thin plastic string ..

  4. haha I love it…better than having toilet paper off your shoe as you walk around. Maybe you are related to Minnie Pearl with her tag off her hat?

  5. Hilarious!! I have done the same and it can be pretty embarrassing:)

  6. laurie

    Made me laugh!

  7. Good stuff !!! I once forgot to put my belt on to go to work, but I was young and a little inexperienced…..maybe 43 years old. Felt like a 1st grader. Thanks for the laugh.

  8. Great story 🙂 I also had a moment in college when I didn’t realize there was a long sticker on the back of my pant leg. I think I removed it pretty soon in the day, but I’m sure someone noticed. Not fun to parade around my pant size :/

  9. Great post! Just today, I removed “one last tag” from a pair of slacks just back from the dry cleaners…on the zipper…after wearing them for 3 hours….sheeeeesh!

  10. Sharon Eshler

    Love your stories

    Sent from my iPad


  11. Very amusing, and we can all identify with it!

  12. sorry for your lack of luck getting all those tags off…but brought a smile to my face and a loud giggle lol.. also thank you for liking my post…have a wonderful day and hope to read more here…Suzette

  13. Ugh, I find all the tags horrible. I’m quite obsessive about having my clothes tag-less (label-less,even). Every time after I do go shopping, I spend about half an hour afterwards sitting at my desk with scissors ready inspecting my purchases.
    B x

  14. If not a tag, then an errant banner of t.p. trailing behind from a heel or worse! Seems like no matter how hard we try in life there will always be that last tag we miss.

  15. Once, I purchased a beautiful spring dressy jacket. I was already at church the following Sunday when a friend pointed it out. What, was it, you ask? It was the hard plastic thing they remove with a machine so you won’t cause the noise to go off at the door. Somehow, it didn’t go off, so we didn’t realize it hadn’t been removed. Since I know better, I did NOT try to remove it, but went back and had it done at the store. Good thing, since it would’ve released a bunch of dye all over my beautiful jacket! 🙂

  16. mgsunshine

    Tears are rolling down my eyes, this was so funny because this happened to me once. Oh my gosh, your blog is a gift from God. Years ago at a thrift store, I stumbled across a book of short stories and completely devoured that book. Ever since, I’ve been looking for stories that were written in a similar style but never found anything that came close. . . . until now. I’m thrilled.

  17. Am I the only one who has no problem in telling a person that he/she has a tag on the clothes? 😀 they may hate me in the moment, but they’ll thank me later 😀 Great post! thanks for visiting my blog!

  18. My children are 40 and 44, I have notice in you stated yours are 17 and 18 and still remember them in the sand box playing, I still see my son running to me when he was three and my daughter four hugging my leg. God Has been very kind regardless of all else and other matters to us. Powerful writing Storyshucker, Good Luck staying with your passion and I to will stay with mine.

  19. Memories stirred are memories kept. 🙂

  20. Total Quip! That is beyond phenomenal!

  21. Cute story. Had a Pastor one Sunday who forgot to remove his clear ‘L’ sticker from the front pocket of his new dress shirt. As his last name started with the letter ‘L’, we teased him about his ‘monogram’. We all got a good laugh out of that.

  22. I have a dress that I just realized a few weeks ago still had a dry clean tag in it from years ago inside the size tag. The tag looked brand new after machine washing many times and hung on like a trooper!

  23. Very funny story. It reminded my of a short piece of cloth across the back of the neck on shirts, at the time it was called a ‘fairy loop’. Supposedly, if you had one on your shirt, you were gay. Well, more than one was removed by someone by yanking it downward and off. Sometimes tearing the back of the shirt down instead of just the tag.

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