Today, The Morning News published part four (four!) of my series on video games, “Consoles I Have Known.” The latest essay is about my start as a freelance writer, and my involvement in a dubious video game club. It’s called “Praystation.”

Lisa has already started poking around for a wedding dress, with varying degrees of success, so yesterday I decided to make my first real effort to find a wedding suit, by visiting the Paul Smith store. Now before you leap backwards in disbelief, like Bazooka Joe reacting to Mort’s confounding stupidity, let’s get something straight: Yes, I’m wealthy enough to walk right in the door of Paul Smith, no questions asked, and then walk out again after gently touching several jacket sleeves and purchasing nothing. I’m sure I’ll gradually make my way down the line of men’s formal fashions, from Jill Sander and John Varvatos, to A.P.C., Club Monaco, Men’s Wearhouse, eBay and that store where Steve Harvey buys his suits, eventually settling on a lovely performance fleece “cargo suit” at Old Navy. However, right now I am perfectly content to indulge in the fantasy of purchasing a $3,000 suit. Gawd! Let a girl dream, y’all!

I haven’t shopped for suits in a while and, honestly, don’t have a solid idea of what I want. Three-button suits are nice, but lately I’ve fancied a fitted two-button, three-piece suit. Something that says, “Let’s talk about junk bonds over a plate of Bolivian cocaine.” I realize that’s hard to explain to the average salesperson, though, so when someone approached me at Paul Smith and asked what I was interested in, I just said, “me want suit. Handsome day!”

I often get intimidated at stores like this because I feel like the salespeople get one look at my ripped leather jacket, battered Pro-Ked hi-tops and children’s backpack and instantly make the same kind of assessment about me that a salesperson at the Gagosian Gallery might make i.e. “This guy ain’t gonna buy anything.” I usually walk in there under some imaginary belief, often reinforced by the employees’ own attitudes, that everyone who works there is far wealthier and more knowledgeable than me.

That’s why it really surprised me when the Paul Smith salesperson turned out to be a complete dummy. As he was showing me suits, barely bothering to walk more than a couple of inches from where he was standing, he explained why customers love certain items by basically pointing to the most obvious attributes of those items. For instance, here was his pitch on a suit jacket that had interesting stitching around the lapels: “Yeah, people love this ’cause like it’s got really interesting stitching around the lapels.” Then he would open the jacket to reveal its colorful lining–all Paul Smith jackets excel in their lining–and say something like, “and it’s got this, which is real good. People love the arm holes, especially because there’s two of them. This suit has that feature, which is, you know…(trails off).”

I still don’t know what I want exactly, but I know it has to have dual armholes or I AM WALKING. Thanks, Paul Smith, for making me a more educated consumer.

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