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Author Topic: The Yellow Shirt
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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The baggy yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in
black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from years of wear, but
still in decent shape. I found it in 1963 when I was home from college on
Christmas break, rummaging through bags of clothes Mom intended to give
away. "You're not taking that old thing, are you?" Mom said when she saw me
packing the yellow shirt. "I wore that when I was pregnant with your
brother in 1954!"

"It's just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom.
Thanks!" I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object. The yellow
shirt became a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it. After graduation,
I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment and on Saturday
mornings when I cleaned.

The next year, I married. When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt
during big-belly days. I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we
were in Colorado and they were in Illinois. But that shirt helped. I
smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was pregnant, 15 years
earlier. That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given
me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom.
When Mom wrote to thank me for her "real" gifts, she said the yellow shirt
was lovely. She never mentioned it again.

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad's to pick
up some furniture. Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen table, I
noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!

And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad's
mattress. I don't know how long it took for her to find it, but almost two
years passed before I discovered it unde r the base of our living-room floor
lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing
furniture. The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced. With my three children, prepared to move
back to Illinois. As I packed, a deep depression overtook me. I wondered
if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged
through the Bible, looking for comfort. In Ephesians, I read, "So use every
piece of God's armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is
all over, you will be standing up"

I tried to picture myself wearing God's armor, but all I saw was the stained
yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me. Wasn't my mother's love a piece of
God's armor? My courage was renewed.

Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to
Mothe r. The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her bottom dresser
drawer.

Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I discovered
the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet. Something new
had been added. Embroidered in bright green across the breast pocket were
the words "I BELONG TO PAT."

Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an
apostrophe and seven more letters. Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, "I
BELONG TO PAT'S MOTHER." But I didn't stop there. I zig-zagged all the
frayed seams, then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from
Arlington, VA. We enclosed an official looking letter from "The Institute
for the Destitute," announcing that she was the recipient of an award for
good deeds. I would have given anything to see Mom's face when she opened
the box. But, of course, she never mentioned it.

Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold and I
put our car in a friend's garage to avoid practical jokers. After the
wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached for a
pillow in the car to rest my head. It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and
found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a
note: "Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother."

That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses:
"I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I
give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or
afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to
you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I
can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these
things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me."

The shirt was Mother's final gift. She had known for three months that she
had terminal Lou Gehrig's disease. Mother died the following year at age
57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I'm glad
I didn't, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game she and I
played for 16 years. Besides, my older daughter is in college now, majoring
in art. And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets.

You have 6 minutes....
There's some mighty fine advice in these words, even if you're not
superstitious. This Lotus Totus has been sent To you for good luck from the
Anthony Robbins organization. It has been sent around the world ten times so
Far. You will receive good luck within four days of relaying this Lotus
Totus.

Do not keep this message. The Lotus Totus must leave your hands in 6
MINUTES.
Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise. This is true , even if
you
are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk t o. As you get older, their
conversational skills will be as Important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it.
FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you g et married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't
have much.
NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way
to live life completely.
TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile
and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great
risk.
FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and
Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to
correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your
voice.
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.


Now, here's the FUN part!
Send this to at least 5 people and your life will improve.
1-4 people: Your life will improve slightly.
5-9 people: Your life will improve to your liking.
9-14 people: You will have at least 5 surprises in the next 3 weeks
15 and above: Your life will improve drastically and everything you ever
dreamed of will begin to take shape.

A true f riend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart!

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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That was in a Reader's Digest magazine at least 10 years ago, maybe even 20.

--------------------
Did you see the Announcement?
There's a new snopes message board!

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Teodoro
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I like the way they include a divine pay scale.

--------------------
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.
- O. Nash

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Launce
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Although I have a feeling Reader's Digest didn't include the threat of a "very unpleasant surprise" if you don't forward it on within six minutes. Though maybe it's something their subscription department should look into...
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Launce
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
A true f riend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart!
Actually, that's just someone with poor depth perception.
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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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The author is Patricia Lorenz. She is described as
quote:
an internationally-known inspirational, art-of-living writer and speaker whose true stories are featured in twelve Chicken Soup for the Soul books: A 2nd Helping; A 3rd Serving; A 4th Course; A 6th Bowl; Woman's Soul; Single Soul; Unsinkable Soul; Christian Family Soul; Writer's Soul; Soul of America; Grandparents' Soul; and Christian Woman's Soul.
According to the sellers of a "Chicken Soup" tape
quote:
The Baggy Yellow Shirt [is] a wonderful story of sharing and growing, which began life in Wisconsin Woman, was picked up by all the foreign editions of The Reader’s Digest, became story of the year and a Christmas Card Story in 1993. It was read by more than 100,000,000 people around the world, and appeared in A 2nd Helping Of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Kathy "souped up" B.

--------------------
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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kmcm
We Three Blings


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Did anyone else get the impression that maybe her mother kept giving the yellow shirt back because she didn't want it? She even put 'I belong to Pat' on it, think that might have been a not so subtle hint?

--------------------
Of course this land is dangerous! All of the animals are capably murderous. Especially the penguins.

i'm a figment of my own imagination, sometimes i don't exist

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Franken-gluged with the Lotus Totus huh?

Has the mighty Lotus Totus fallen so that it's nothing more than an after thought, slapped onto the ends of more newly recycled glurge?

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Arts Myth
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
You have 6 minutes....
There's some mighty fine advice in these words, even if you're not superstitious.

I like the fact that they use "not superstitious" instead of something like "agnostic" or "an atheist." Hmm. Freudian slip, perhaps?

quote:
This Lotus Totus has been sent To you for good luck from the Anthony Robbins organization.
Ack! The return of the "Lotus Totus!" And I'm sure the "Anthony Robbins organization" really appreciates people sending chain mail in their name. Does that mean, if I forwarded it on, I become part of the organization? I can hardly contain my joy.

quote:
It has been sent around the world ten times so Far.
I know it's been said before, but I just gotta ask it again. Just how can anybody keep track of how many times a chain letter has been "around the world"? Maybe it's just been rattling around North America for a very long time...

quote:
Do not keep this message. The Lotus Totus must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES.
Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise.

This Lotus Totus will self-destruct in 6 MINUTES. It must leave your hands, or you will receive very bad second-degree burns to your fingers, and some minor throat irritation from the smoke.

quote:
This is true , even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.
Oooo! "Faith impaired." Personally, I prefer to consider myself to be gifted in critical thought. I'm wondering, though, just how they figure that this caveat is going to impress those who "are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired." I mean, if the reader isn't buying the rest of it, why should this warning suddenly change their mind? It's like a Jack Chick conversion tactic.

(Also, wouldn't "unsuperstitious" or "non-superstitious" work better, since the "not" tends to read as negating all three terms, not just the first. Otherwise, the last two - "not agnostic" or "not otherwise faith impaired" - wind up sounding like they're preaching to the choir.)

quote:
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
The opposite of that "not" above... Okay, I won't listen believe all I hear. I guess that means that I can either spend all I have, or sleep all I want. Cool. I choose sleeping!

quote:
FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
Obviously, apologizing for having just poked out the other one.

quote:
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
Not even their funny ones?

quote:
FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
I do, but people give me funny looks when I bless someone on the radio or TV...

Arts "deja glurge" Myth

--------------------
Stupid, stupid rat creatures! - Bone
"The missionaries told us not to cut ourselves. It displeases Jesus." - Elsie Clews Parsons, Kiowa Tales, quoted in The Mourner's Dance, Katherine Ashenburg

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Giselle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Believe in true love but wait six months to get married?

--------------------
Ralphie, get off the stage sweetheart.

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Roll Eyes] Since we all know that those narrow minded liberals are working double time to make saying "Bless You" in schools and public buildings illegal! They've already secularized it by taking the "God" out of "God Bless You!"

Where on earth is national "God Bless You" day when we need it?

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I confess: I like the story, but the attached Lotus Totus cheapens it. It turns God into some sort of magical vending machine.

--------------------
"You see? The mysteries of the Universe are revealed when you break stuff." Coop from MegasXLR

"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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Teodoro
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Apparently, whoever started this chain-letter didn't get the whole "God isn't your personal concierge" talk as a kid.

I know I got it at least three times: conversations with Dad, my kiddie bible, and The Simpsons, IIRC

--------------------
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.
- O. Nash

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OTL
The First USA Noel


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Is it just me, or did the whole "giving the yellow shirt" thing remind anyone else of these guys?

--------------------
"I've allowed my love of gravy to distract from my prescriptivist linguistic crusade!"
-T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics

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Teodoro
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I definitely thought of that.

--------------------
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.
- O. Nash

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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by OTL:
Is it just me, or did the whole "giving the yellow shirt" thing remind anyone else of these guys?

Oh yes! count me in on that one! (knew the story but forgot that snopes had a page on it!)

Good call OTL! [Big Grin]

--------------------
"British English speakers point to Americans adding more syllables so that they can make even more noise without actually saying anything." Llewtrah


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Morrison's Lamentable Fowl
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Wow, that pants thing is hillarious [Big Grin]

--- G.

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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The best true-urban legend of all time! It is a shame there are no photo's available of the unwrappings!

--------------------
"British English speakers point to Americans adding more syllables so that they can make even more noise without actually saying anything." Llewtrah


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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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I thought this was a thread about the Tour de France.

Four Five Kitties

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Channel 5 Eggs in One Basket
The Red and the Green Stamps


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All I can say is that's one durable shirt.
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festus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Four Kitties, your post cracked me up!!
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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Am I the only one that thinks its weird to wear dead grandma's shirt to art class. I would think there would be questions about why it reads "I belong to Pat's mom". Please understand I don't have any problems remembering or honouring the dead but that might lead to some odd "casual" conversation. I guess anyone who ask about it will get the glurge story for explaination.

Chim "don't ask questions" era

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Pseudo_Croat
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties Fricassee:
I thought this was a thread about the Tour de France.

Four Five Kitties

You and me both, Four Kitties. Maybe something about Lance Armstrong and his battle with cancer?

[Roll Eyes]

I'd better shut my mouth before I give the glurgemeisters any ideas...

- Pseudo "Tour de Crap" Croat

--------------------
"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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NansJns
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by kmcm worships the almighty chicken:
Did anyone else get the impression that maybe her mother kept giving the yellow shirt back because she didn't want it? She even put 'I belong to Pat' on it, think that might have been a not so subtle hint?

I did. I mean, it's not like she ever spoke to her mother about it, is it? She just assumed her mother was playing a game. But I had the same thought about sewing "I belong to Pat" on the shirt; seems like a not-so-subtle way of saying "keep this hideous thing!" [dunce] Oh, well.

*~*NansJns*~*

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VersesBatman
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I did too. [lol]

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It's like they took a bunch of movies, put them in a blender and turned it on really fast!-Mystery Science Theater 3000

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ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Actually, I didn't mind the 30 'suggestions', I just never understand why such things must be attached to every glurgy thing possible. It's totally unrelated to the story (which did remind me of the Christmas pants one) and makes an otherwise sweet story and changes it into a lesson forced down your throat.

"This must leave your hands in 6 minutes": I always took that as "send and delete" (some I have recieved have even said to delete it, especially ones attributed to the Dali Lama) and I could never figure out how I was supposed to "learn" these "valuable lessons" and keep them memorized in 6 minutes or less.

quote:
Originally posted by Giselle stalking Colonel Sanders:
Believe in true love but wait six months to get married?

I knew someone would question this one. [Big Grin]

actually it was:
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.


They sound opposing, don't they?

My husband and I have a "Love at first sight" story, plus we were engaged over a year (planned on two year engagement actually).

Nothing wrong with getting your ducks in a row before taking the plunge. Or in our case, trying to get your ducks in a row. [Wink]


ranran "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" yousei

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I'm 20th Century Fox
Happy Holly Days


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I just received "The Yellow Shirt" in my inbox today, minus the "You have 6 minutes" part.

However, the sender added the following line to the beginning: "Should everyone be so lucky to have a mom like this".

Whatever.

--------------------
When my chin is on the ground I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

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GranolaSuicideSpawn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Channel 5 Eggs in One Basket:
All I can say is that's one durable shirt.

That was my first thought!

quote:
Originally posted by Chimera:[QB]Am I the only one that thinks its weird to wear dead grandma's shirt to art class. I would think there would be questions about why it reads "I belong to Pat's mom".
I don't see what's odd about it. I'd just say, "Hand-me-down." Isn't that what you wear as a smock usually in art class?

Count me as one who wondered why the woman didn't get it after "I belong to Pat." That was a hint and a half for your ass. No wonder she's a professional glurger.

Also count me as rather liking the story itself, only to be disgusted by the turn it took after the story. What the hell was all that, it was like some weird mutation, some thing where you chop one head off and ten others sprout! KILL IT! [flame]

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dam9191
Deck the Malls


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I've found this story tiring as well, since it seems like someone need to forward it to you at least one a year.

But I need to add that when I was a senior in high school I wore 2 of my Grandpa's flannel shirts. He had died that year and my Mom said they were in good shape & it would be a waste if someone didn't wear them.

I also still have his straw hat & some of his
Army hats.

I'm a mom who is also saving some of the slippers that my Grandma knitted for my daughters when they are older.

I like the idea of a connection with the past through items and photos.

--------------------
"There is no Heaven
So I can't believe in Room 19."
-Bob Geldof

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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
Happy Holly Days


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That story is a little bit too long....I confess I didn't even read the list at the bottom!

I still wear a nightgown that was my grandmother's. It's a really thin, sleeveless thing that I just can't bear to give up. Plus, it's perfect for summer sleeping [Wink]

-t-

--------------------
This song has no title...just words and a tune.

Instant Hi-C--Just add water...

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by mrs.hi-c:
That story is a little bit too long.

This is one of my major complaints about glurge, It is so often poorly written, overwritten and repetitive. Why do people who write these things think they must go on and on and on and on and on

and on and on and on and on and on ...

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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