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Thursday, July 12, 2007
The Great Shirt Controversy of 2007
...What's this? You've never *heard* of the Great Shirt Controversy? Gosh, this has occupied my life for months now. Well, grab something to drink and let me tell you about it!

For the last year a meeting has been planned. A rather large meeting. In Oregon. DH's parents are about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, so the whole family is getting together. First was deciding the place, which incidentally got picked by two people without really consulting the rest of the family who had other suggestions. I don't know about you, but I really would have preferred to go to Tahoe or on a cruise instead of cabin camping in Southern Oregon. But that's neither here nor there.

The next big idea was group gift, but that fell apart. Thank goodness.

Then it was the family photo. And here's where the controversy has come up. It was decided, by whom I am not sure, that each family "unit" should wear matching shirts of the same color. So one sibling and their family wears one color, and another sibling and family another color, etc. And FIL/MIL will wear white.

Here's where my initial mistake was - waiting to consult with DH. I should have just responded to that email and called something like red or blue or green. But no, I wait and the colors just keep getting picked. We end up with purple.

I like purple. Purple is good. Unfortunately purple is not good at this time of year, especially when you're trying to find polo shirts. Yes, polo shirts for a photo in Oregon in August. Hey, I didn't plan this thing - it's the so-called brilliant execution of the SIL I used to live with in college and the flaky SIL who ran off to Hawaii 20-something years ago.

So recently some email came up talking about plans and shirt colors and the like. Next to our names was the color Purple and a note saying "you said camo or purple, but the picture would look nicer if everyone was in solid colors..."

And thus controversy was born. Another SIL (DH is the oldest of 7 - 4 girls, 3 boys) chimed in and started speaking to the peachy/orange striped shirts that she bought months ago for the picture. And all hell broke loose among the family. Here I thought *I* was the anal one about things being in order for things like pictures, designs, cross stitch, distribution performance goals, but some of the folks in this family are worse than I.

Nothing like planning a family reunion to send people off the rails.

No one wanted the orange stripy shirts. Or the camo. We all agreed on solid colors, one said, and he didn't want to look at the pictures in 10 years and wonder what we were all thinking (he was rather rude in his tone). Another chimed in and said she was going to wear clown gear, replete with red nose and curly wig. Another said to just call Land's End and tell them what you need because they'll find what's not on the website or in the catalog and sell that to you. Someone else said they don't care about patterned shirts as long as they're not too distracting.

Then I chimed in. I didn't get the whole big deal. Yes, we want a nice photo but we're taking this thing in a cabin camping area in Oregon in August. And as long as each "family unit" is in the same shirt design, what does it matter if it's a solid/stripe/polka dot? Besides, I continued, if we really want a nice formal picture then we could book a studio somewhere in the near future (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) and get in suits, dresses, makeup, etc and take a formal photo.

Well, the world just about ended there because the youngest SIL agreed with me on the point about shirts, but not about a family photo. She seems to think that this is going to be the last time we're going to be able to ever do this and so we should do it right this time. I sat on my hands but DH knows - if everyone committed to it, we could do a formal portrait with everyone on hand flying in from wherever they are. It *is* possible to do it.

Well, finally at the end of the day - oh yes, all of this email fiasco pretty much took place in the course of a single day - the SIL with the stripes chimed in and said that while she's crazy, she's not that crazy. The stripes were all for fun (ha ha) and she changed her color to khaki and here's a picture of the shirts she really does have.

Here's me, commencing hating that beloved SIL for starting all of this. And then DH said no, that's the SIL saving face because he bets those shirts are a new acquisition. As in probably bought that very day new acquisition. I'm afraid I agree with him. Unfortunately that puts us in the hot seat and we're now hunting, again, for purple polo shirts. Or purple henleys. We combed the mall - Eddie Bauer, Levi's, J.Crew, Land's End (online), GAP, a few random specialty stores and the only place we found them would have us paying $75 each for the adult shirts and $45 each for the kids. Sorry, not that desperate (yet). We're trying to stay away from purple T-shirts, but if I have to get T-shirts I'll head to Michael's and buy them there....

...unless someone knows where I can get purple polo shirts in matching colors for 2 kids and 2 adults at reasonable prices?