'Tis the season -- for layoffs, cash crunches, bank robberies and general popular grousing and malaise. Waiting rooms are looking noticeably less crowded these days as patients lose jobs and the income and/or insurance to pay for treatment. 

Finding myself with an extra hour one evening, I scuttled down Union Street, the trees ablaze in a cheery haze of white holiday lights. Ho Ho Ho. Hoo boy. Someone had been singing the praises of the designer Armani, and I scurried into the store, where I'd eyed an exquisite, faux-fur-trimmed, belted, black shearling coat. The price had been snipped by 33%, and I guiltily paid cash. A girl needs a proper winter coat, right? Even if the economy is crashing down all around.

In the store, the walls were emblazoned with Armani's flowing slogan: "You make me feel ... loved. You make me feel ... thrilled. You make me feel ... hot. You make me feel ... happy." Hey, no wonder people want to shop here. As he rung me up, I chatted with the clerk about the state of the Union Street and the dismal financial climate. He revealed that, for the last few months, he'd been sharing one bedroom with two other people. "No doors," he grimaced. He was friendly and gave me a gift. It was a T-shirt with the basic Armani slogan, "You make me feel". 

Walking back to my office, I looked up over the hill to Pacific Heights, where my analyst's office and the two psychoanalytic institutes reside. Many therapists' offices are located on Fillmore Street, and there's an inside joke that it's actually called "Feel More" Street. I decided to give the T-shirt to someone who makes me feel.

Cleopatra Victoria, MFT