Sometimes, the more inconspicuous you try to appear, the more attention you draw.
On numerous occasions in recent years I have traveled to events that have required somewhat formal attire. I am not a big suit and tie kind of guy, but I also dress for the occasion. That said, I often take a change of clothes along so I don’t have to travel in a suit and be uncomfortable.
You would think that after multiple attempts at switching into or out of a suit in public restrooms that the task would get a bit easier. I am here to inform you that is not necessarily the case.
On a recent trip to North Carolina, I wear a suit and tie at a public speaking event. No issue, except being a tad bit uncomfortable once I step outside the building into the summer heat. I plot my strategy of when and where to exchange my suit and tie for a relaxed look of shorts and a t-shirt.
The transformation would be much easier and convenient if it takes place in the hotel lobby. There is just one problem. My other clothes are already packed in a bag in the trunk of the person transporting us to the airport.
Still, the switch from suit to shorts, from tie to t-shirt should not be a big issue in a small airport in Greensboro, N.C. As we wait for the plane, my wife Lauretta encourages me to make my move. I decide to expedite the process by removing my socks and shoes in the lobby so it won’t take so long in the restroom (who wants to be barefoot in a public restroom?).
I slip into my stylish Air Jordan IIIs and quickly walk to the restroom only to discover that the restroom is closed for cleaning. This is not good. And it is about to get much worse as a plane disboards and soon the area of the airport where we are located is full of people.
As I walk back to Lauretta, dressed in a suit and Air Jordan tennis shoes, she tries hard not to choke on her snack as she is nearly doubled over in laughter at the look of my appearance. The only saving grace is that nobody here knows me and I guess Jordans do go with literally anything.
I have just enough time to change shoes (not socks) before we board the plane. Incredible. If magicians can get out of a straight jacket locked inside a bag below water how hard can it possibly be for a man to change clothes on dry land?
We fly into Charlotte where at 10 p.m. on a Sunday the airport looks like the Mall of America on Black Friday. Where in the world are all of these people heading?
Following a bite to eat, I spy an out of way restroom and decide to finish the job. Again, I change my shoes for the short walk ahead and although I look extremely conspicuous, to be honest with you there are so many people around I could have worn a Bozo the clown suit and fit right in.
We eventually board the plane for the long flight home, but at least I am comfortable and my attire finally matches from head to toe.