“Say Yes to Olives” t-shirt in the shop

My Say No to Olives t-shirt was a reflection of years of people who love olives telling me something was either wrong with me for disliking them, or that I’d eventually find the olive for me. It was meant an an over-the-top joke, and I loved the illustration. Many readers who like olives appreciated this, and said that they wanted to wear the opposite version, but thought it was cute. But! Some took offence that I would be so obstinate. I obviously miscalculated in terms of interpretation, as it did not cross my mind that a few would project the shirt onto an entire industry. However!  To be perfectly clear: I have nothing against olive trees, the olive industry, olive oil (which I use copiously both to wash my face and to cook with), or the leaves on the olive trees. And/or any other uses of the olive tree, such as beautiful hand-crafted olive wood items that I see here in Greece. I just happen to dislike cured olives. And after years and years of people saying “no, your tastebuds are incorrect” and meeting others who had heard the same, I made what I thought was a fun a t-shirt.

The plan was always to have both sides represented in The Great Olive Divide, with the talented Maggie Appleton drawing both the tees in the same style.  Given the reaction from some readers, I ought to have launched these at the same time to avoid misunderstanding. Instead, I opted to go with the one that jived with my taste buds first. But the “yes” shirt was already in the works. (My friend Mike Sowden — an olive-lover himself — can attest to this, as he threatened long ago to make his own so I reassured him I would be doing so already.)


Say Yes to Olives
PRESTO! Happy Olive Shirt.

Also, for those interested, there is a new book out about the history of the olive, which was and remains an important industry for many countries — including the one I’m visiting now, Greece. Kudos to the PR person in charge of publicity for this book, Shannon, who used the launch of the other shirt to write me and say “hey, here’s some background on olives!” — relevant pitch, secured.

As with the “no olives” post, some early sketches:

(c) Maggie Appleton 2014
Pro-olives shirt, first draft.

And the two t-shirts, side-by-side:

The Great Olive Divide
Both sides of the Great Olive Divide

Maggie’s been calling these “The Olive Wars”, I call it “The Great Olive Divide” — whichever title you choose, it’s rare for someone to have “meh” on-the-fence feelings about olives.

Unless you’re a reader named Ted. Ted, one day we can make a “Eh… Olives” shirt for you.

Next up, a long (seriously, we’re closing in on another 4000-5000 word post) about where to eat in Saigon.


20 thoughts on ““Say Yes to Olives” t-shirt in the shop”

  1. I can indeed attest that Jodi has been planning the Pro-Olive T-shirt since….what year is this? A lower number than that, anyway. Her even-handed yet Machiavellian mind has been on it for a long while.

    However, she’s missed the REAL question on everyone’s lips regarding olives, which is:

    “Green or black?” *


    * The answer, of course, is “both”.

  2. If you wanted to muddy the waters even further, you might consider a single t-shirt with “Yes” on the front and “No” on the back. (Or vice versa.)

  3. Were you joking or do you seriously wash your face with olive oil?!? I had no idea that was even something people do…I always assumed we wash our faces to make them less oily…

    On another note, I’m someone who DID come around. I used to hate olives when I was younger, but when I finally relented to the pressure from olive-lovers and gave them another try after years and years of avoiding them, I was shocked to find I suddenly loved the way they taste, too.

    1. No, not joking. While it sounds like it would result in breakouts, it’s actually helped regulate my skin and I don’t break out at all, even in places like Saigon. I’ll sometimes use sweet almond oil or coconut oil instead. Basically I just wash my face with warm water to take off any makeup or mascara, then dry my face and put a dime-sized amount of oil in my palms, put my palms together to get the oil on both hands, then massage it into my face for about 2 minutes. Then take a wash cloth with warm water and I steam the oil off my face that way. I don’t use night cream, etc either — just more coconut oil and some vitamin E. A lot cheaper than the face products for sale, and really feels lovely to steam your face in the evening too.

      I realize this was a lot more than you asked for. :)

      I’ve been trying them in Greece as well (see: http://instagram.com/p/pB2ZIGuIy-/ but alas, still no dice.

      1. Did you just give me beauty tips??? I guess that little photo next to the comments isn’t big enough to see that I have don’t need them. That said, your detailed explanation does help keep the words “really feels lovely to steam your face in the evening” from making you sound like a total psychopath.

        1. You mean because you’re a man? Several of my dude friends also wash their faces with oil, so I thought of it as gender neutral. Also, cheap! Either way, if ever your face feels particularly dirty, you know what to do. You’re welcome ;)

  4. Loved your design on the shirt! Is this for sale or something? Looking forward to your Saigon post.

  5. Hi Jodi,
    I just discover your amazing blog and I like his philosophy.
    I like traveling too, in fact I have to say that I’m fond of travels and food.
    I started my blog last February and my dream is to dedicate my life studying about food, traveling and cooking.
    You are so lucky!
    I will come back here to read your post about Saïgon.
    Have a great day

  6. Playing both sides of the conflict, eh? You opportunist you! :P

    For the record though, I’m firmly in the “no” camp regarding whole olives … belcchhh!

  7. But I like mine stuffed with anchovies, yum. Great t-shirts no matter which side of the divide you are on. I plan on wearing mine in Spain and Italy. Oliva!!

  8. Our household is divided right down the middle on olives, and I end up on your side of things more often than not. Even though I do tolerate a really good buttery olive if I am in Spain or Italy or in my bloody mary, I still would pick your shirt. Hilarious idea!

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