| The Business Suit
The drive home from work in heavy traffic was so bad it was all he could do to keep from cursing. He had a bad day at the office and now he was late for dinner because people didn't know how to drive. Trying to suppress his anger he then remembered he had a suit to be picked up at the dry cleaners. The traffic was so bad he took the first off-ramp, down to a short cut that led him to the cleaners.
As to be expected, there was no parking available. Double-parking, he quickly ran into the cleaners saying,
"I'm Mr. Rogers. I have a suit to pick up, could you hurry please."
Bringing out the suit the man said,
"Here you are sir, it'll be twelve dollars please."
Realizing it was not his, he said,
"This isn't mine. Mine is light gray."
"But sir, your tag is here, isn't your name Mr. Rogers?"
"Of course, but this isn't mine I tell you. For one thing it looks very expensive."
Insistent, his voice rising, the man said,
"Look, here is your name in our book and the tag matches; it's yours."
Intimidated by his demeanor he said,
"Okay, okay, no problem, I just forgot."
Still baffled about the suit, he drove home worried that he may be losing his mind, or at least losing his memory. His job created much stress the past few weeks, making his life miserable, but the pay was good. Sometimes he wondered why everyone had to work so much, all to make money.
After dinner he soon forgot about the problem at the cleaners and he went to bed early, as he felt very tired after a busy day at work. His usual dreaming was very strange. He dreamed that he was shopping for some clothes and he was stark naked in a store, looking around for a suit. The sales clerk, a young woman, told him to try on one suit after another. It didn't seem to faze her that he was completely in the nude. Each suit he tried on didn't fit. Finally, he just bought the first one that did.. Then, he noticed everyone in the shop was staring at him. When he was naked, no one seemed to notice, but now wearing the suit, everyone in the room applauded. What a strange dream, he thought.
The next morning, getting dressed after a shower, he then remembered the suit. He could tell it was expensive with fine tailoring and he noticed the label that read, 'Amour'. He hadn't seen that brand before. The material was of the highest quality with a beautiful shade of charcoal and the lining was a fine silk. He was surprised how well it fit. Every seam fit perfectly, even the pant legs were exactly the right length. Though he felt somewhat guilty, he figured he might as well enjoy it. The cleaners insisted it was his. The only thing that puzzled him was the complete lack of any pockets. Where could he put his wallet and keys? Maybe it was a special tailored suit. With no pockets, there would be no unsightly bulge to be seen. While buttoning up, he looked in the mirror. He was amazed how good he looked.
In the drive to work, the traffic seemed to be lighter than normal and he felt perfectly good. With his off-ramp coming up soon, he began to change lanes, but swerving, he almost hit a car. Embarrassed, he gave the other driver a big smile, making an apology as best he could. To his astonishment, the driver just smiled back with a wave of a hand. Maybe he was too cynical. It was the first time he'd seen a driver be so polite.
His day began with the usual problems, but during his coffee break, he looked up his stocks. To his surprise, they were all going up. He thought, how unusual. All the other market shares were dropping. One stock he held split, giving him twice as many shares. Feeling smug, it occurred to him he should ask his boss for a raise. Sometimes these things do happen so he never gave it much thought.
At lunchtime, he went to his usual haunt and the young woman, a waitress he sometimes ran into, gave him a nice smile. Usually she wouldn't even notice him but she actually smiled at him. Could it be his new suit?
That afternoon, during his coffee break, viewing his stock on his laptop, he realized all his stocks were going up. Usually he felt lucky if 60% of his holdings went up, but 100%? It was unbelievable. Busy making out his schedule, the waitress with the nice smile came over. About to order from her, she said she was off duty. Taking his cue, he asked her if she would like to go out sometime and she replied, "I would love to."
It seemed unlikely that everything could be going so well, but, why complain?
On the freeway that evening he didn't seem to be irritated even though the traffic was heavy and the drivers terrible as usual. Could it be possible the new suit had something to do with it? He once heard that a suit makes a man, but that was not always true. Some of the CEO's had very expensive suits, tailor-made, but a few he knew, were willing to sell their mothers to make a buck. Money is important to be sure, however, many aspects of life have little to do with wealth.
For the rest of the week, he noticed everything was going well for him. His stocks were still going up and the girl at the restaurant was smiling at him every day and the coming weekend they were going out on a date. Even his boss told him he was up for a raise. Though he was not superstitious in any way, he decided to wear his old suit to see what would happen. Besides, the new suit needed pressing.
At the cleaners, he said,
"Is it possible to have this back tomorrow?"
Taking it, the man said,
"That's quite a suit, does it fit well?"
Wondering why he would care, he said,
"Yeah, it's great. It fits like a glove."
The next day, wearing his usual old suit, he drove to work and the same old feeling of frustration nagged him again. Traffic was worse than ever and he began to lose his temper. At work, things weren't much different but his stocks were now dropping but he knew it was par for the course, but why was it on the day he wore his old suit? Nothing seemed to be going right. Even the girl at the restaurant told him she was busy this weekend. This was nonsense. How could a suit have this effect on his life?
For two days his luck had changed for the worse and he had to calm down and think about what was happening. Maybe it was just his imagination. A suit couldn't possibly have this effect.
Going to the cleaners again, to pick up the business suit, anxious to wear it again, he said,
"I've come for my suit."
The clerk said,
"We know. Can you come back to our office."
Sighing loudly, he said,
"My God, you didn't lose it, did you?"
Leading him into the office he said,
"Sit down, we have something to talk about."
The room was completely white, even the furniture was stark white. The lighting seemed to come from everywhere with no signs of a light fixture. Strange. The clerk even wore a white suit and white shoes. He finally asked,
"What is this about?"
"First" he said, "did you enjoy your suit?"
"Of course I did, why are you asking?"
"This suit was on loan and we wanted to know how it affected you."
"On loan! You've got to be joking."
"Sir, we don't joke about these things. Did you enjoy it?"
"Well, it seemed to improve my life if that's what you mean."
"Yes but how has it improved your life?"
"Well, my stocks went up and I met a new girl and come to think of it, I just felt better."
"Yes, but what happened when you wore your old suit?"
"At first I noticed that I felt the same old frustrations, things like that. Maybe I'm too moody. I didn't feel right in my old suit."
"This is what's troubling us. Your suit shouldn't affect your life so much. You have to change your attitude about life and even forget about your clothes."
"So what should I do?"
"We want you to go back to wearing your old suit and think differently about life. Next time you go to work, imagine you are wearing the suit we gave you and maybe things can change for the better."
"By the way, just who are you?"
Taking him out the door, the clerk said,
"It's not important who we are, just take our suggestions. And one more thing.
You owe us twelve dollars."