16 May 2005

I love my suit too much

The Michigan tourism bureau tries hard, they really do, even though being surrounded by natural beauty and tons of water doesn't require a lot of extra effort. I mean, they did come up with the unforgettable "Yes! Michigan! campaign--talk about a catchy slogan. And so wonderfully optimistic for the late '80s. After all, they could have gone with the simple "No! Wisconsin!" or "Maybe! But not so much! Ohio!"

But Michigan is missing out on a huge selling point: the reward of shopping in Canada (specifically Toronto). If you hit it at the right time of year, the exchange rates are favorable, the lines at the border are short or non-existent, and the lure of being able to trade in the GST rebate for hard liquor, cigars and stuffed animals at the duty free shop is inescapable. Okay, scratch that last one. I usually just get a souvenir shot glass or something.

What does this all have to do with my suit? You guessed it--I bought my beloved suit in Canada. It's a three-button, charcoal grayish Jones New York model (I can't really describe colors that well, but I know I like it). Fits like a glove, and it only needed to be hemmed. Just plain perfect in every way. And it only cost $350, which is a real steal. I know I'm gushing, but of the three suits I own, it's the only one that makes me feel confident when I wear it. Sad that clothes can buoy my self-esteem like that, but I don't think I'm unique in being that way. You can't exactly feel like a go-getter in jeans and a t-shirt. Unless you're a landscape architect perhaps. I probably sound unequivocally materialistic, too, but I really am not. I rarely go shopping, and I never go bargain hunting. I mean, who wants to take time for that. If I really like something, and I can afford it, and I think it's practical, I get it. Simple as that. (Canada was also where I found my favorite sandals, which have lasted six years.)

Before signing off on this post, I would like to point out that I've never actually been on a shopping trip to Canada. It just always seems to be a subsidiary thing. I'm not big into museums (I'm a guy who actually got bored at the Smithsonian--at least the Air and Space part--and the Field Museum in Chicago). And art galleries--well, they're just so hit and miss (I remember one painting of a grapefruit with an eye--I figure it was trying to say "Citrus. It's watching out for you...") But it's fun to just go to a department store, or even a grocery store. Not that things are all that different in Canada, but still....

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