I thought I had changed. I thought I had grown. I thought I was no longer the person who would impulse-buy a $200 trench coat to emulate the aesthetic of a deeply troubled, yet very sexy male lead in a K-drama only to realize that it will never be cold enough in San Diego to wear it. But I relapsed.
On July 20, 2023, I was struck with an overwhelming urge to buy a compression shirt. That day, the third episode of Jujutsu Kaisen’s new season aired, and my dream to be a deadbeat dad with a gambling addiction and the most seductive waist known to mankind was fully realized. Although my humble wardrobe consisted of two baggy sweatpants, three oversized hoodies, and absolutely nothing else, I lusted for a tight, form-fitting shirt that would embrace me like the giant, fugly, magenta worm that I never had but always wanted.
Two days later, the shirts arrived. My muscular fingers ripped through the package as if it were a 16-year-old nepo baby who had never known defeat. My hands trembled in awe while holding the shirts. I tried one on. Whoops, it didn’t fit over my fleece “Kenergy” hoodie. I was forced to take off my second skin, baring my flesh to the elements for the first time in two years. After wrangling myself into the shirt, I looked at myself in the mirror. My heart dropped. Yuck! I looked like a gym bro, like someone who was too lazy to change after working out and decided it was acceptable to prance around in the same sweaty clothes all day. I would gladly embrace the just-got-out-of-bed aesthetic with my oversized hoodies, but this was too far. Even worse than how it looked, the shirt made me feel like a sausage — my torso was trapped in an unbreathable casing, being slowly cooked until well done.
My immense disappointment could be likened to the time I woke up with pink, crunchy hair the morning after I showed Jimin’s “Boy With Luv” haircut to my barber. Faint whispers of my 2019 K-pop phase sent a shiver down my spine. I tore off the compression shirt, realizing I’d never wear one again.
Three months after that shirt debacle, I’m ready to tell my story and share my wisdom with you all. So please, don’t let some attractive, delicious, fictional man deceive you into buying glorified gym clothes or dyeing your hair cotton candy pink. Be proud of your comfy, oversized, soup-stained hoodies, my fellow readers. Stay strong! Save to spend another day.