My roommate’s sister-in-law was about to turn 15 years old, and her family was considering throwing her a quincinera. The birthday girl’s family had a nice family room where they could hold the party. However, the drywall in the room wasn’t quite finished. So, knowing that I had the skills to finish drywall, I offered to finish the work as my contribution / present to the family. The family happily agreed, and I made arrangements to do the work on my day off.
When I arrived at the family’s house to begin dry walling, Mary (the lady of the house) welcomed me and told me not to hesitate to ask for whatever I needed to complete the job. Then, as she was turning around to walk away from me, she suddenly turned back and asked me if I wanted to use an old t-shirt to work in.
Mary’s question immediately perplexed me. After all, this was “dirty work” and I had purposely worn a pair of old army fatigue pants and an old t-shirt in order to avoid ruining my good clothes. I declined her offer.
The Fake Polo Shirt
Mary then pointed out that my shirt was an expensive Polo shirt. She then asked me why I was willing to soil my expensive t-shirt. I told her that what I was wearing WAS an old t-shirt! It was obvious that Mary didn’t believe me. In fact, she wanted to take a closer look as she laughed at my reasoning.
I had to fess up that I had sewn the shirt myself. I realized that perhaps Mary didn’t believe me about hand-sewing that shirt because in Hispanic culture, men didn’t normally sew; much less sew a fake Polo shirt.
Front of Fake Polo Shirt
Although initially Mary doubted me, I then turned the shirt inside-out and showed her the sewing wasn’t machine embroidered. It was obvious viewing it from that angle that the shirt was not machine embroidered. Mary made a comment under her breath and walked away laughing.
Inside View of Shirt
When Mary looked at me like I was a freak for sewing that shirt, it dawned on my how odd that must be for someone to have hand-sewn a fake polo shirt logo. One day while watching football, I decided to attempt to sew a color Polo logo on a plain non-pocketed t-shirt. The Polo t-shirts in the malls tend to have a single-color logo. But I wanted a t-shirt with a multi-color Polo logo. So I decided to hand embroider one myself. To me, that was an old t-shirt, but it looked real enough to have passed as an authentic Polo t-shirt; hence Mary’s concern.
real world sociology pete padilla