Monday, December 31, 2007

A Stupid Story About A Coat

Last winter I retired my old full-length black wool coat. It was horribly out of style with it's bulky shoulder pads, and it was much too big for me in general since my mother used to be convinced I was a size 12 even though I'm not. And it was wool, which is not cat-hair friendly and highly impractical in South Texas winters where 28 degrees is considered a "hard freeze." (Note to locals -- It's going to be 27 tomorrow night. Better wrap those pipes!)

So this winter I went on a hunt for a cute, fashionable, well-fitted coat. I spent a depressing hour at Burlington Coat Factory trying on a b'jillion coats when -- ta da! -- I found it. The perfect coat. Black weatherproof material, knee-length, little silver closures instead of big buttons. I loved it.

It hung happily in our coat closet until I finally had a chance to wear it on our anniversary, when I treated my hubby to a dinner at Ruth's Chris. We feasted on high-falutin' food, saw Gregg Popovich, and enjoyed an evening of grown-up conversation.

When we left the restaurant, I realized that my coat did not have pockets. Why would a coat have no pockets? I was most bummed since I really loved this coat but, come on, pockets are kind of a necessity, aren't they?

The cynical side of me thought, "I bought this at a discount store. I bet this was a second-quality coat. I bet the seamstresses accidentally sewed the pockets shut and that's why it was so cheap." So I went online and found the exact same coat at Macy's, where the description clearly stated the coat should have on-seam pockets. Darn! So I ordered the more-expensive Macy's coat and planned on returning the Burlington coat.

The Macy's coat arrived. I opened the box, looked at the coat, and thought, "Where are the stinking pockets?" Seriously, it must be a conspiracy. I must have gotten two defective coats from two different stores. (Yes, I'm that paranoid.)

Upon careful inspection, I realized that the coat did have pockets; they were just partially sewn shut. I guess this is common practice in the fashion industry, but these pockets were not just basted shut, they were full-on sewn shut. So I got my Burlington coat, inspected it, and saw that yes, there were pockets after all. I just needed to get my handy seam-ripper and carefully opened the pockets. Voila, my perfect coat is now, indeed, perfect.

So here's the stupid part of the story. Because I didn't figure out the pocket problem on the original coat, I wasted $13.95 in shipping to get a replacement coat that I didn't need. Aargh! Fourteen bucks down the drain, and I have to fight the after-Christmas crowds at Macy's just to return the darn thing. Double aargh!

I wish there was a moral to this story other than my own stupidity. But there isn't. Like I said, it's just a stupid story about a coat, which I will happily wear for many years to come.

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