Not just for Leaders of the Free World

I think that a number of political truths have emerged from this election.

The first is that getting a neck tattoo, or having a spouse with a neck tattoo, is probably a gambit for which there is no political recovery.  Yep, there is a mangroomer for back hair, but nothing can de done for that tat above your button-down collar.

Number two is that Barack Obama really knows how to dress well.

That inspired me this week.  You see, I bought a sport coat on ebay this week.

For years, I have been dubious about the sportcoat.  It has actually been a bit of a contentious point.

“I cannot believe that you do not own a sport coat,” said my mom, last winter, when she indicated that it would be the appropriate and absolutely required article of clothing for men at a family party.

“No, mom, I don’t,” I said.

At the time, I thought to myself, my mother doesn’t understand me.  My mother!  Doesn’t understand ME.  How could she lump me in with all of those smooth-talking venture capitalist types, hopping in and out of jets on their way to Indianapolis or Dayton, bearing powerpoints?

Lloyd Dobler said it best:

I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed , or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed , or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.

I can update that calling:  I do not want to spearhead the delivery of branded solutions across multiple platforms, in any user-centric web-based environments.  I do not want to consult with document editing specialists in any iterative throughput content channel.

Part of that, it has always seemed to me, was that I did not want to walk around in a sport coat, if only for the set of associations that I gave to this article of dress.  In my immediate vicinity, I have noticed that there are a lot of fast-talking business school guys wearing sport coats.  They seem insincere, motivated less by truth than by ROI.

Aside: Is that so bad, ROI?

Anyway, though, everybody’s favorite politician is also a strong advocate for sport coats.  This week I picked up a nice sport coat, made in Chicago, by Obama’s favorite designer.

My immediate reaction is that I have been completely wrong all these years.  Did I mention that my mother was right.

I wore my new sport coat on Friday.  I just threw it on.  It was Friday, I was tired, and I didn’t have much energy to dress up.  I didn’t even comb my hair or put on a belt!  I was wearing jeans and black shoes.

Never mind.  My boss sat down in my office to hash over some new grants.

“What’s going on?” he asked.  “You’re all dressed up today.”

Now I am sold. Maybe its the change I need.

– – –

At Watts Elementary, the local school one block from our home, the results of the election have already been posted.  Obama won, 24 votes to 0.


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