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Inhabiting the Suit

Lord knows why I thought I needed a suit. Two suits, actually, both from Ann Taylor. I have no clear recollection of wearing them, but I totally remember buying them — the very foreign experience of having the salesperson pick out a crimson sweater for me to try and having it look much better under the brown-black jacket than whatever I had picked out, probably something black.

Why did I think I needed to go to Ann Taylor and buy a suit? I was so young, I must have thought the suit would make people take me more seriously, although looking back I can only think how insufferable I must have been. Maybe I asked myself the Wizard of Oz question, “What have they got that I ain’t got?” and somehow what I came up with was: a suit.

Today, I can’t imagine suiting up like that. There’s nothing about me that’s suit-ish. But I do remember the flush of power it gave me, the capacity to be someone who speaks up, who has a pitch, who should be listened to. I have a suit! I’m a Professional! Maybe I learned to speak as I tried to inhabit the suit, tried to be the person I imagined the suit signaled I was.

Pretending?

Broken Travels with Tales