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"I lead a schizoid life," Brian told us. "I'm a sober sided minister by day and a bartender by night. If my nighttime self ran into my daytime one, I'm sure he'd back off."
"A minister by day and a bartender by night! All right, you'd better explain."
"It's simple enough.When we had our third child I knew my minister's salary wasn't enough. Either my wife had to get a job or I had to moonlight. The kids were too young for her to go to work and Barriers And Blocks, so I looked around for something -and I found a local restaurant and bar about twenty miles from our house."
"ISN't there a conflict of interest there, a minister and a bartender?" "Not at all. I examined my heart very carefully- indeed, I prayed for guidance. I had to have another job, and this was available. It was nothing to be ashamed of.
"But tending bar." "It's far enough from my own parish so that I don't run into any of my congregation, and I doubt if they recognize me anyway. The job has a sort of logic to it, for someone like me. As a minister, I listen to people's troubles and counsel them, and as a bartender I do the same thing. " He laughed. "But you know the funny thing about it is that I'm really two people, to different people. It's a kind of Jekyll-and-Hyde switch. With my collar on, I'm a serious character. People have confidence in me and trust me, and I respond to that.
"But at night I wear an open shirt without a tie and with my sleeves rolled up, and I'm a different person, the kind of guy you can relax with, easygoing, talkative, and I feel different. Really different.
When Brian changed clothes, there was a reinterpretation of him. He saw himself differently, and acted differently. The casual life of a bartender gave him the right to be free and easy. All of us can adopt a different, perhaps a freer persona in one lifestyle than in another. When Brian dressed as a bartender he felt livelier, better able to extend himself, less confined than he felt dressed as a minister.
Brian's double personality, no matter what he thinks, isn't that uncommon. But there have to be two Brian's for this double life to work, and as we talked to him it became obvious that there were indeed two strong and different sides to his character.
In the Jekyll-and-Hyde story, Robert Louis Stevenson had his good doctor discover a potion that released the dark side of his nature and gave it the upper hand. Stevenson's premise was that each of us has a good and bad side to us and one dominates the other. The good Dr. Jekyll and it all his way until the evil Mr. Hyde was released.
In Brian's case, there is nothing schizoid about him. He is an excellent minister who takes his work and role seriously. As a bartender he can leave the "mentor" image behind, roll up his sleeves, and go to work. His magic potion is a change of clothes, as simple as that. This personality change with different clothes, with a different image, can happen to any one of us. Put your most staid businessman into a clown suit for a kiddies' benefit and watch the personality change. Dress your blue-collar worker in a well-fitting and Effects And Stages, very expensive suit with the accoutrements to match and he'll feel experienced and confident, a man of the world. Put any woman in a beautiful dress and she'll feel more attractive -and often she'll be more attractive. It's not so much a case of clothes making the person as it is of the person being aware of the image he or she projects in those clothes, and thus the statement he or she makes.
How many city men in sheepskin jacket, jeans, cowboy hat, and western boots project a cowboy image though they would be terrified to ride a horse? And how many women in leather pants and high heels project an image completely at odds with themselves? Is the image what they would like to be, or is it one calculated to attract the other sex therapy ? Does the image project fantasy or reality.
Often it is fantasy, but in The Many Phase of Sexual Chemistry fantasy can be as important as, or more important than, reality. To discover how men responded to an image of a woman without knowing what she was really like, a university study in Indianapolis had a young woman in a revealing tube top and short skirt ask directions from middle-aged men passing by. Later she changed to a tailored suit that was rather severe and repeated her request for directions. In the revealing outfit she received help 70 percent of the time, in the tailored suit only 40 percent.
The clothes you wear create a persona that reflects in part your inner needs and in part how you wish to be seen. They also decide how others will see you. "It's a funny thing about my two selves," Brian told us. "As a bartender there's a cetin amount of this Sexual Chemistry that goes on between me and the women at the bar. Oh, I never let it get overt, but I know it's there. There's a look in the eye, that certain smile- if I were that kind of man it could easily develop into something. As it is, I've learned very quickly how to turn it off. I have to, but I tell you, temptation is as close as the next drink I serve!"