Thursday, February 25, 2010


Where have all the Armanis gone? I used to be a decent dresser. Some people even said I had style. Women friends begged me to go shopping with them.

Now I fear I’m dangerously close to being one of those older men who walks around in knee-high brown socks, a pair of Dockers shorts and a factory outlet Hilfiger knockoff shirt with seven colors too many in the pattern. Okay, that image frightened me so much I’m destined to lie awake all night. I dream in color and I have a habit of thoughts during the day creeping into my dreams.

Yes, I’m a nightmare waiting to happen. This morning I headed to my appointment at the salon in a wrinkled pullover that has an inexplicable stain resembling the ring caused from the bottom of a poorly poured cup of coffee. (Yes, the shirt was clean. Seems the stain is here to stay. It’s the second shirt to bear such a mark. What is going on? Is someone using my shirts as coasters? Are the crop circle aliens shacking up in my closet?)

I used to iron my shorts before going to the gym. I never folded up my ironing board because I used it three or four times a day. (I rivaled Lady Gaga for costume changes although there is no way I could have ever carried off anything remotely close to her headgear!) Now the board is starved for attention, dust flying off it when I wrestle it out from behind the recyclables once every six weeks.

As I’m halfway through a year’s leave of absence so I can pursue my writing dream, there is no cash flow. I have not purchased any new clothing. My clothes are wearing down faster than ever. Armani, Michael Kors, Joseph Abboud, I do miss you! I fear we may never meet again.

Initially there was something freeing about becoming less image conscious. I didn’t have to keep a mental note of when I last wore each item of clothing and in whose presence. What I wore last week I will likely wear again this week. (My fingers got a little shaky as I typed that last sentence.) Deep down, I know I have a problem.

When I lived in Vancouver’s West End, I used to curse the fact that I could not simply dash out to buy a carton of milk. Inevitably, I would run into someone I knew. One wrong move and years of building an image would be shattered.

More often than not, I can now be seen in public in wrinkled, tattered clothing, my frizzy, straw-like, chlorine-absorbent hair lacking any trace of product. What was once freeing is now frightening. I fear I’ve reached rock bottom. Worse, I wonder if I haven’t!

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