During Welcome Week of my freshmen year of college, I was invited to a party by a girl I had a crush on that I met during summer orientation. She was a year older (she was paid to help with the orientation), so she and her roommates were having a party at their apartment. I didn’t party in high school so this was pretty much my first time drinking, and after numerous jello shots, mixed drinks, and beers, I made a pretty big fool of myself as expected. I didn’t do anything too inappropriate, I just gave her a hug, but that was enough for her to realize that I was pretty trashed. I’m still amazed that I didn’t throw up at any point of the night and that a hug (and it wasn’t the most affectionate hug), is the only stupid thing I did. I remember my typing skills were still pretty good (I got bored and jumped on a computer and chatted with people, yeah I’m a drunk nerd). I also remember wearing a sweater to the party and coincidentally, the next few times I had ingested a “few too many”, I was wearing that same sweater. My friend dubbed it my “drunk sweater” and I have since retired it. Well, I just don’t really wear it anymore, period.
After I got out of college, I went the starving artist route and tried to fundraise so I could make a feature film. After realizing that people didn’t want to give me hundreds of thousands of dollars, I tried to pitch a sitcom pilot. I was working with a couple of people on getting a pitch meeting with a network, and one day I received a call from my associates telling me we needed to huddle up and get ready for our meeting that they were scheduling with a certain network. So I drove up to Culver City on a weekday, and decided to hang out at a mall with a friend from college, while I waited for my sitcom business associates to get off work for our dinner meeting. While hanging out at the mall, one of my associates called me and told me we were going to get Korean BBQ for dinner. Since I knew I was going to have a meeting that night, I had come dressed in a nice buttoned down shirt (dressed for business). But because the grill is at your table, Korean BBQ can and will make your clothes smell. Upon hearing the dinner plans, I decided to buy a different shirt to wear since I was at the mall and I didn’t want to have to Febreze the heck out my nice dress shirt. I ended up buying a t-shirt (t-shirts = cheaper than dress shirts) at the Puma store and wore that to my meeting. Wearing this shirt didn’t cost me my sitcom or anything, things just fell through, which is typically the story when it comes to the entertainment industry.
When I bought the t-shirt, it was for the purpose of not stinking up my dress shirt, but it’s not a bad t-shirt, it’s pretty fashionable. I wear it as part of my regular wardrobe ensemble and because it gets washed, nobody realizes that I bought it for the sole purpose of being a Korean BBQ shirt. Of course whenever I do go to Korean BBQ or have a BBQ of any kind, I wear this shirt. I’m not sure if I wear it for sentimental reasons or because I “trust” that it won’t smell bad. I just know that I have a lot of love for my shirt. Obviously, it would have more value to me if I ended up being able to pitch my pilot and I ended up living happily ever after, but this shirt doesn’t remind me of bad times or failure. It reminds me of how I only stumbled upon it because of a change in the dinner plans and how I wouldn’t have found it on sale otherwise. It was a slight detour and a pleasant surprise. While my screenwriting days are definitely on some sort of definite hiatus right now, I don’t see myself as a failure. The plans have slightly changed and I can say that I haven’t been disappointed by the results though I’m not exactly sure what they are at the moment. The BBQ Shirt isn’t like the Drunk Sweater; it hasn’t brought me shame and embarrassment. I don’t expect it to bring me luck but I do expect it to continue to remind me that my journey will be full of detours and pleasant surprises.