For the past 13 years, my closet at home was 12 feet wide and 20 inches deep, accessed only by a regular-sized door in the middle. I could see from one end of the closet to the other, but I could only reach about half of the contents without removing everything else in the closet. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Ever.
Whatever I put in the “lost” end of the closet stayed “lost,” sealed in a personal time capsule for 13 years.
Sealed, that is, until recently, when a remodeling project created a new closet, and the time came to clear out the old one.
And there, on one time-capsule end, amid the dust and fallen hangers, was my once-prized possession: The one and only real Giorgio Armani sport coat I’ve ever owned, the most expensive sport coat I’ve ever owned, bought 20 years ago as part of an effort to upgrade my image from style-less slouch to savvy stud.
When I found it, the sport coat was still in its original bag, price tag hanging from a sleeve.
For years, I dreamed of owning a sport coat like this, convinced that wearing it would literally change my life. For years, I kept telling myself I would wear the coat only when the right occasions came along, that I wouldn’t waste it on lesser evenings.
So countless parties and weddings and business get-togethers came and went, and still I saved my Giorgio, until that day I found it again in my dusty closet.
As I slipped it on for the first time since I bought it, it looked good, I thought, felt good, too; until I tried to move my arms in synchronized fashion to work the custom Italian leather button. That’s when I discovered that the now tourniquet-like sleeves prevented me from getting the lid back on the ice cream container, if you know what I mean.
It was, I thought, a sad commentary: Something I loved so dearly and had such high hopes for never even made it out of the bag.
Luckily for me, it was just a forgotten piece of clothing that, for all I know, is proudly strutting down the line at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter right now, hopefully generating some mojo for its new owner.
How much more of a bummer would it be if that sport coat was an important decision I didn’t have the courage to make or a path I had been afraid to take or something meaningful I hadn’t said to someone important to me; something I was saving for just the right moment and just the right time, neither of which ever came.
Until the other day, when the coat didn’t fit, and there was no way to turn back the clock.