Coats

What we talk about when we talk about coats.

There are plenty of stories that we have where we’re thinking, how was I that unprepared? Am I a space cadet? Sometimes you get caught in the middle of a storm. My umbrellas always seem to flip inside out, so what was it that got me through? My coats. Always thank your coat. Leave a peppermint candy in the pocket. Really, the right coat can do amazing things for you.

The jog around the lake.

I felt optimistic about the weather when I went for an April run around the lake near my house, thinking, at worst, I’d get a sunburn. The dark clouds in the distance didn’t seem like they’d get much closer and my weather app said, “You’re good, don’t worry about it.” Lo and behold the first booming thunder stopped me in my tracks and I immediately turned around. A few minutes later it was pouring buckets. Luckily, I was wearing my fleece jacket, which kept me warm on the jog (sprint) back to the car. When I got home I tossed it in the dryer for a bit, no harm done.

The broken heater.

It was day two of a blizzard and the repairman left a voicemail saying that he wouldn’t be able to make it till the next day to fix the heater. Without much else to do in the January freeze I stuck around the fireplace, wrapped up in a blanket. When the fire died down I went to bed with all the layers I could find. I looked like a swollen sweatshirt, and took all that off, save for my long underwear, and put on the down coat I’d gotten a few weeks prior. It was comfortable enough to sleep in, which isn’t something you generally think about when you’re buying a coat, but this was an added feature. As a camper this was the kind of cold that I thought would only apply when I was out in the woods. The next time this happens (fingers crossed) I’ll pitch a tent in my living room right next to the fireplace.

Through that windy city.

On a visit to see an old college friend, I found myself trapped in a rainy Chicago wind tunnel. I zipped up my rain coat, threw the hood on and barreled down the street toward a café. I barely even noticed that there was a newspaper wrapped around my leg. I would’ve kept it if there was a crossword on it, but alas, there was not.

The better safe than sorry coat.

I’ve forgotten coats at friends’ houses in the past but it always takes strategic planning to get the thing back. This one time I left my favorite wool peacoat behind and knew it would be weeks before I’d see it again. My friend was heading out on a business trip to South America and was already on his way to the airport when I let him know that I left it there. “The upstairs window is unlocked, otherwise you’ll have to wait till I’m back.” I’ve never said I’d do anything to get a coat back but yes, I did climb onto the roof, slowly, and made it through the window. I was worried the neighbors would think I was breaking in but nothing came of it. I got my wool coat back and I was glad I did.

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