One man stood out in the gate area. In a sea of jeans and polos, his tailored black suit demanded a second glance. A large gold watch, light brown, two-buckle leather shoes, and coordinated pocket square completed his outfit.
Best of all, he was wearing sunglasses. He was wearing sunglasses at night waiting at the gate for a delayed flight departure.
I know there are good reasons to wear sunglasses indoors. Some eyes are very sensitive to any light. Celebrities don’t want recognition. When you wear sunglasses, people can’t tell if you are looking at them or not. Sunglasses can make you look cool.
So what’s this guy’s story? Was he accompanying another traveler, a bodyguard of some type? He could have been a preacher. Though I never dressed up to travel, some do. Was he on his way to or home from an upscale event? Did he work for the airline in an important role? Returning home from a funeral?
A well-dressed person flying early in the morning blends right in with lots of others on their way to meetings. Tonight, though, he’s one of those things that doesn’t belong. The guy next to me was wearing red and black checked pajama pants. Lots of women in yoga pants and crop tops. Plenty of people with sleeping doughnuts around their necks. Kids with backpacks almost as large as them. And this one gentleman in a black suit.
The detail that puzzles me is the backpack. I’ve got nothing against backpacks. I travel with one. But I would have expected him to be carrying some kind of leather briefcase.
When the flight finally boarded, I made my way down the aisle past his seat. He wasn’t flying first class or even in the larger seat section. Just a middle seat. I overheard him talking to the person next to him, and he mentioned real estate, residuals, and Melbourne, Florida. Just another person on their way to work.
Many people want to be noticed and remembered. A black suit is one way to make that happen.