What are all those initials of other people doing all over my clothes, I began to wonder a few days after Christmas.
Long an opponent of manufacturers names on the appliances in my house, on products that I have bought and paid for, I realized there aren't 10 seconds that pass by in my day when I am not confronted with a commercial of some kind.
For years my shopping took place at no-label places like the "Clothing Garage" where you could buy the clothes from Broadway shows that had folded.
You walked in, chose something that wasn't a period costume, laid the money down and took your chance.
A recurring nightmare during a period when I should be free of commercials (while sleeping) comes back to haunt me:
I am wearing a designer sport jacket with "Pierre Cardin" scrawled on the inside pocket.
Undershorts with some other designer's initials.
My shirt pocket has "PC" where Cardin has again invaded my privacy.
The tie I am wearing is a Countess Mara with her initials near the bottom.
The belt buckle holding up my "Bill Blass" slacks has the initials "YSL" for Yves Saint Laurant.
My socks have "Dior" for you-know-who and my loafers are initialed "GG" for Gucci.
Along the side of one eyeglass stem it says "Polo," a Ralph Lauren product.
It is a day in my nightmare when I am carrying a leather attache case with designer initials "LV," for Louis Vuitton, right next to the handle. There is nothing in the case but a sandwich.
Having left in a hurry in the morning I discover my wallet and checkbook missing.
While crossing the street on the way to the office I get knocked unconscious by a car, and taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
"Who is he?" I hear from a voice that seems to be coming from miles away. "Does he have identification?"
"No," another voice says, "but he has seven or eight different sets of initials and names on his clothes."
"Do you suppose he's schizoid?" another voice asks.
Then the voices go away as I try to remember my initials and name.
The quiet part of the dream sets in as I remember days when I could wear a suit and clothes with names that people knew.
If I got hit by a truck in those days no one would think I was Hart Shaffner & Marx, Lord & Taylor, Woodward & Lothrup or the Brooks Brothers. CAPTION: Illustration, "If my mother and father had wanted to see Yves Saint Laurent's initials on my possessions, one supposes they would have named me Yves Saint Laurent." Drawing by Weber; Copyright (c) , 1979, The New Yorker Magazine Inc.