Good Women Are Like Old T-Shirts.

     She’s a lovely woman, whose beauty is still in full bloom. She wanted to talk to me, to ask for advice. She asked about things she thinks she’ll need to know “Later, when I want a husband, like you.” She and I don’t have any pretentiousness in our relationship. We have an easy freedom of conversation that’s more honest than what most men and women will ever have.

     I explained to her that most men view a good woman the same way he sees his favorite old t-shirt, and that’s a good thing. I spent quite a while unpacking my reasoning with her.

     I asked her about the man she’d just finished a long-term relationship with. I asked her if he had an old t-shirt, one with all the elastic in the neck stretched out, and smudges of muted color where words used to be. He did, and she complained that he always wanted to wear it. He’d wear it to the movies, to a party, around the house, anywhere. She even admitted to being caught trying to…dispose of it. Apparently, that was one of the few times he showed real anger.

     She didn’t see what that had to do with anything,  I told her that the way she saw the shirt he loved didn’t matter. To him, it fit perfectly, the words printed on the front were crystal clear, and the colors were just as vibrant as the day he first saw it. I told her that the shirt was most likely something he won, or was given as a reward. Perhaps from his first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament, winning a title in his baseball league, being inducted into a literary society, or as a way to say “thank you” from his students or co-workers.

     No matter where he got it, to him it represents his pride in achievement. Until the day that the final strand unravels and the shirt falls off him completely, his eyes will only see it as the crisp, new symbol of his hard work and ability it was on the first day he got it. No matter how many more expensive, shiny, more fashionable shirts he’ll buy or be given as a present, that shirt will always be his first choice to wear.

     Her eyes lit up, but her ego still clouded her ability to fully understand, so I went deeper as I explained that she was a crisp, new t-shirt.

     The flaw in her plan to ask me for advice was assuming that there was a way for her to still achieve in a few years; after her youth, beauty, and appeal had faded, the same relationship goals that she can have now. While her beauty gives her access to the higher quality, first choice men that won’t be there as she ages.

     I told her that one of the reasons some men choose to stay with a solid woman over the long haul, and consistently protect her as well as provide for her is that if she is what he wants, and makes him happy then she will be frozen in time for him.  He will never ever see the stretch marks from having his children, he won’t notice any of the wrinkles in her skin, he’ll never feel the weight she gains over the years, and he will sympathize with her as the pain of menopause sets in. 

Because he will only see her as the woman he saw the first day he fell in love with her.

     If a woman learns to leverage her beauty and win a good man early, she will have far more security in life. Not just physical security, emotionally as well. Remember, the men that women find attractive are largely found attractive by lots of women. There will be quite a few younger, more beautiful woman who try to steal men away from other women as those men age, mature, and find more financial and social success.

Good Women = Old Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu T-Shirt!

Good Women = Old Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu T-Shirt!

     I am not making a statement on any mans sexual fidelity as it relates to the beauty of the woman he commits to protect and provide for. I am, however drawing a clear line connecting the men who don’t abandon their family for the younger, prettier, less quarrelsome women that he has access to, with those men seeing the women they committed to as always beautiful. Because no matter how pretty the new shiny toy is, she will never be as beautiful as the woman who chose him to dedicate herself to early, while her beauty was still in full bloom.  

I hope my friend gets to be a T-Shirt,


YusefWateef (AT)


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  2. Jess

    I can see where this would rub some the wrong way. I can’t say I blame them, either. Parts of your analysis can be very unfair to women. But I keep my eye on the bigger picture. I don’t choose to get caught on “He’s saying no one will want me when I’m older.” I’m sure many women read that and threw the baby out with the bath water. I refuse to get caught up in the rat race of “find a husband now before it’s too late.” It’s a death trap and takes all of our focus off of being happy with who and where we are right now. You cannot live in the moment when you feed into that. And while I do believe parts of this analysis are unfair to women…those aren’t the parts I’m going to focus on simple because there is useful truth in here as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YusefWateef

      Well said, and I appreciate you not throwing the baby out wight the bathwater. My goal was not to say that women hit a point where its “too late”. For most women, it never is. It’s just that the game gets disproportionately harder to play, if winning means being able to secure a man with more choices/options than most. I agree that parts of what I write are unfair to women. Still, most of what I write is unfair to men. They fall under the category of “Ugly Truths”.


  3. shanita

    I understand your point. However, do you understand how it can be offensive to be compared to an old beat up t-shirt? An old beat up t-shirt is just that. When anyone other than the owner looks at it they see something that should be tossed out an upgraded. This was the analogy that you used to describe an aging woman. Oh but wait. I forgot. She actually can have value, but only the man she has been with for a long time will not see she actually looks worthless. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and state that you were trying to make another point. Perhaps it is cliché, but a comparison to wine would have worked. Maybe stating that women should probably be with a man that understands that as women grow older they grow wiser and increase in value.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YusefWateef

      I understand your points. Let me address them differently.

      I used the T-Shirt analogy specifically because it’s an easy to find and understand example. Not as a pejorative indictment against women.

      You said, “but only the man she has been with for a long time will not see she actually looks worthless.” I disagree. I don’t think men see older or less attractive women as worthless. Men do however treat women we find attractive better, and with more preference. Men who love a woman will treat her with preference forever. Regardless of age and beauty.

      I didn’t use a wine reference, because I have never tried alcohol. It wouldn’t twig in my mind to write it that way. If I had, I would most likely have gone with a “men age like wine and woman age like milk” comparison. While its arguable that there is any correlation between age and wisdom for anyone, man or woman; we can’t ever lose sight of the incontrovertible fact that a woman’s value is and always will be attached to her beauty.

      Men age like wine in that when we are young and inexperienced we are usually harsh, bitter, and hard to swallow. As we age we become stronger, more potent, but smoother. Women hit an early peak. A pretty (not even beautiful, just pretty) woman will have a line of men waiting on her hand and foot if she makes herself approachable. She has no obligation to oblige any of her suitors, but the choices are still there. Women chose, men put themselves in a position to be chosen.

      I’m fond of saying that woman are born with all the gold in the world, but lose a few coins every day exponentially. Men are born penniless but have the potential to have all the gold in the world if they can successfully blend hard work and opportunity.


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  5. Brian

    I can agree with some of your points on this. The thing about the shirt, is also that he or she has had hundreds. The one that connects with them is a rare one. I would like to see people take more time find that person. In my lifetime I can only remember maybe two or three truly happy couples. They were friends and they worked at the relationship constantly.


  6. Lotus Brainchild

    I enjoyed this! I think we are just being mom’s and don’t realize it. For those with or without children. Look at all the roles we have on tv. Bold. Take charge women in wonderful or not so wonderful relationships. We mimic what we see.

    I appreciate this one.


  7. Paige

    I think it may be time to admit that I had my own expectations for this article. While I know that everyone writes from their own perspective and can do no more or no less, I expected a different type of article with a different opinion. On more than one occasion, I have felt some of your blog posts to be a bit jaded; these other conversations will come later. This specific space will focus on the article that cleverly, yet narrowly, compares a relationship between a good woman and a man to an old t-shirt.

    Let me start off the discussion by showing my understanding that I am in no way, nor have I ever been or ever will be, a man or have a man’s mindset. So as the first part of the particle begins and explains how a man may think of a good woman, I remember that I am in no position to contrast a man’s logic.

    However, I soon got to a very troublesome area: ‘’If a woman learns to leverage her beauty and win a good man early, she will have far more security in life. Not just physical security, emotionally as well. Remember, the men that women find attractive are largely found attractive by lots of women. There will be quite a few younger, more beautiful women who try to steal men away from other women as those men age, mature, and find more financial and social success.’’

    My first reaction to this was one of surprise. Then disbelief. Later, light annoyance. And currently, an extremely mild anger.

    So, let’s explore this phrase by simple-minded phrase:

    ‘’leverage her beauty’’: this supports the notion that men and women are not on even playing grounds and that the way she can get ahead is with her beauty, with her wiles. As terrible as it may seem though, it is one of the truest statements in the world right now – 90% of the time, women are only successful because of their beauty/sexuality. A big question arises from this realization. What circumstances have created this type of mentality? Clearly, circumstances laced with a bit (or maybe even a lot) of misogyny.

    A woman is so much more than her beauty and she should not have to resort to leveraging that, or anything else.

    It can even be argued that she is everything BUT her beauty.

    ‘’Win a good man early’’: Win, like a prize? Like a gift? Like something worked for? Surely that’s just a reader’s interpretation mistake because how can anyone win anyone else? This phrase also implies that the way to be with a good man is to ‘’win’’ him. Gonna be honest, not sure that I would like a man that can be won – how good can he really be? And how much would he be worth? I, like most other sane and emotionally stable women, despite our mistakes, deserve someone decent and good and true. She should not have to work into a courting or initial phase with him. To be a bit more nuanced, what if that doesn’t happen early? Is she less than desirable because she has done something else in her life other than ‘’win a good man early’’? A crazy question to ponder: What if she, a heterosexual woman, with a desire for children, just doesn’t want a man?

    ‘’Far more security in life’’: One thing. What kind of security will she gain more of?? Financial security? Because if taught well – either by parents or life – a woman can be secure all her on her own, for the duration of her life. Emotional security? Again, if taught correctly, emotional security isn’t even a ‘’thing.’’ One does not need the relationship love of the opposite sex to be secure. That is also assuming that she would receive that from her male partner anyway. The notion that women can not be secure- in any type of way- without a man is a bit disturbing.

    To be completely fair, I don’t blame all men for these lines of thinking. Everyone was taught to think what they think. Either by loved ones, experience, or this extremely patriarchal society. Mainly society. Mostly society. Basically, all society. And that is a discussion for another day.


    • YusefWateef

      You read and interpreted what I wrote with pinpoint accuracy when you said “this supports the notion that men and women are not on even playing grounds and that the way she can get ahead is with her beauty, with her wiles.” However, only under a very limited set of circumstances, while she is under 30 years old. That’s a general rule, there will always be outliers. Men with choices do not choose to begin any sort of relationship with women over thirty years old in any society I know of or have lived in throughout my jaunts around the continents. There are always men with very limited choices who must. If this truth is misogynistic, then the definition of one or the other must change.


I agree that women should not, and do not have to resort to their beauty as a method for finding the best possible Man to be with, in any context, but they do because it is! To pretend that a woman’s beauty is not one of the single most identifiable predictors of her success in social circles with suitors and contemporaries and in her career with coworkers and superiors is naive. Every credible study written on human behavior points out that Men of accomplishment and Woman of beauty are rewarded with prizes in life that below average looking woman have to work for. 

      “Winning” a man with choices is the correct term because a woman’s beauty is largely a genetic roll of the dice. Anyone anywhere can arguably make Himself or Herself more attractive it is a lot harder for women because age is immutable.

      You are correct, there is an ever-growing movement of heterosexual women who want children with no fathers. I pity the children and have a genuine disdain for the mothers. Single-parenthood is never something that should be sought-after.

      You struck gold by pointing out that women do not need men for physical or financial security. That’s why the best among men bring emotional stability and steadfastness to the relationships we have with women. This is not true of all relationships, just the majority of successful ones. Emotional security is real. It is a coin with two sides.

      To call what I wrote “simple-minded” is an Ad Hominem attack that is beneath a woman of your talent with a pen Paige!

      Still, thank you for taking time to map out how you feel.


I’ve enjoyed our literary logomachize!



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