As an adult, usually the first thing that pops in your mind when you hear “Oscar” is an Academy Award. And I’m sure had my “Oscar” have been that kind of an Oscar, than I’d be getting lots of compliments on that too, however the Oscar I mean is the usually the first kind of Oscar that pops into mind for the pre-school set. That being Oscar The Grouch from Sesame Street.
As a child of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I like many other children, grew up watching Sesame Street. According to my mother, my very first favorite Muppet from the show was Oscar the Grouch. I certainly don’t remember this being the case, I would have figured it was more Grover, or Ernie, or even Kermit because he was on both Sesame Street and the Muppet Show and I can certainly relate to Kermit’s experience doing double duty and in the Muppet Show trying to be the sole figure of calm in the realm of chaos that surrounds him. (And no kids, it wouldn’t have been Elmo, as Elmo didn’t exist as he does now in the Sesame Street I watched as a kid.) But since my mother says Oscar was my first favorite, we’ll just accept that as fact.
In any case, last year when I ordered a few new fun t-shirts from a website, I ended up getting an Oscar The Grouch t-shirt in addition to a couple of other ordered shirts. I just happened to like the fact the shirt was designed to look like the whole shirt was part of Oscar’s face as the only printing on the shirt are the distinguishing facial features of his eyes, eyebrows and his mouth. When the order came I didn’t quite like how the shirt fit when I first got it, so it sat in the closet. And then when I started losing weight the shirt did fit more comfortably, but anytime I thought about putting it on and wearing it, I would get a little too self conscious about it and then pick something else instead. I guess you could say I was just afraid of feeling like a 30 year old dork wearing a t-shirt for a character designed to appeal to children under the age of 10 despite the fact the shirt is in adult sizes.
So today, I decided to ignore those whispers which had previously had me put the shirt back in the closet, and wore it anyway. And the funny thing was every single place I went to today, I got a compliment from someone about the t-shirt. I attended a picnic and was told by a friend that they loved the shirt. I visited a Costco warehouse and was told by one of the vendors giving away samples that they thought my shirt was really cool. And when I ended up at one of the local bars for a beer, I got several compliments from several friends, some people I didn’t know, and some of the staff of the bar.
I was really quite surprised by how much of a positive response I got from the shirt. It definitely made it more fun to wear, and I definitely won’t hesitate to put that one on again. And since I also bought at the same time a similar t-shirt except in bright yellow and featuring an enlarged face of Pac-Man, it’ll probably be fun to wear that as well. If it gets even a fraction of the fun attention the Oscar The Grouch, I’ll be a fun to wear shirt as well. Although, that one may be a bit more touchy for people as it’ll call them out as a child of the 1980’s as they’d be the only ones to get the reference to the days when Pac-Man was part of the popular culture. And it is an obnoxiously bright yellow t-shirt on top of it. I’ll have to let you all know how that goes when I wear that one for the first time.