I bought a coat a couple years back from one of those snooty lady stores. It’s a long, black puffer coat; a classic. It was deeply discounted. I tried it on, zipped it up, tied the belt, and it was perfect. It wasn’t “The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells”, no, that was a whole different drama, but it was cozy, feminine and attractive, if you like that woman-dressed-as-a-stack-of-Michelin-tires look. In January, that is my preferred look. This coat and I are going to get along just great, I thought.
That was before I realized that my new coat has dementia. It must have been sitting in a back storeroom for a decade before I rescued it. I know that fashion, in general, is uncooperative and dedicated to killing any self-esteem your parents have managed to instill. Haven’t I been telling you that for years? But this coat is not like that. This coat is sweet like your grandma. Also, possibly like your grandma, it can’t remember what it came into the room for. Unlike your grandma, it doesn’t have the capacity to buy your love with home baked cookies, although you might find a stray but still edible Sour Patch Kid or two if you dig around in the pockets. My rule about Sour Patch Kids is that it doesn’t matter where you find them, they are edible because the sour stuff kills bacteria.
But I digress. Anyways..
This coat can’t remember how its own zipper works. It is maddening, I’m telling you. In the store that zipper worked like a charm. On the coldest night in February, during an ice storm when I was, for inexplicable reasons, walking around Boston with my family, I couldn’t coax the zipper to zip. You see, the zipper is the brain of a coat-it is the part of the coat that makes all the other parts work. Without a zipper your coat is just a blanket with arm holes. The next time I put it on, it zipped up easy peasy. And the next time it wouldn’t. And then it would. And so on, and so forth, to this day. It’s not really the coat’s fault anymore than it’s grandma’s fault that she doesn’t know who you are some days. But what to do? I don’t want to throw the coat out. It’s still a good coat and it still works half the time. We’ve had to compromise, the grandma coat and I. On days when it is feeling well and there’s no ice storm in the forecast, I take it out for lunch and if it suddenly forgets how to zip itself, I tie it at the waist and pretend it’s an eccentric fashion statement. I’m old enough to get away with that now. On days when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the grandma coat stays home, I don’t care if that zipper is flying up and down like Fred Astaire on steroids. When the weather is bad you need a bad ass coat, a reliable tool. When the weather is bad I turn to The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells, fashion be damned.
What tricks have your clothes been playing on you lately?