A long, long, long time ago, longer than I’d care to admit, my mother gave me a jacket.
We got it at Old Navy, which was somewhat less old back then, I suppose. At least, it was to me. I’d never heard of the place.
This was in the ancient times, when I was in middle school. Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I have a thing about weather and temperature. I loathe warm weather, and I love the cold. I was even worse about it as a child than I am now. Shorts and a t-shirt are my preferred mode of dress. And here I was, looking for a jacket.
I look for two things in jackets. The first is whether it’s waterproof, and the second is whether it is blue. The first is required, the second is just preferred. Very much preferred. If there was a third, it would probably be. “light enough to wear during a summer rain.” There is no other reason to wear a jacket when it’s warm out. I mean, sure, you could be trying to look nice, or to be classy or something, but, well, meh? It’s hot! WHO CARES.
And lo, at this Old Navy, did we find something that fit all these criteria, and MORE.
This jacket had pockets. Pockets everywhere. All the pockets. Pockets to the moon. It looked like a Rob Liefield wet dream. It was amazing. Two zippered pockets for the hands, two pockets inexplicably on the chest, and then the ultimate pocket: a large velcro pocket on the inside of the jacket, designed specifically for electronics. Oh, and the electronics that once lived there! It started with my Discman™, and then I moved on to a small mp3 player (256 whopping megabytes, folks), and then to a Game Boy Advance and eventually a DS, 3DS, and my phone. But the best part was that it was juuuuust large enough to fit my Kindle. This made it the perfect airport jacket. Time to hit security? Pockets empty, jackets off? Sure. I could load all my pants pockets into the side pockets on the jacket, breeze through security and then re-equip and reallocate once I’d made my trip through the cancerbox / got pat down.
So, I bring this up because middle school, well, middle school was almost (shudder) twenty years ago. Yes. Scary, I know. But I’ve been wearing this jacket all this time. The blue has faded to, err, brown? and the velcro has frayed. The elastics on the side have permanently stretched and catch on everything, while the hood never quite stays folded up. I could also describe what happens to an article of clothing after nearly twenty years of use, despite how often it has been washed, but I think I’ll spare you.
It was time for me to move on.
But that’s the thing! It was a gift! I am incredibly reluctant to get rid of any gift. It hurts a lil’ bit. Thankfully, however, my mother had no such compunctions about replacing what she gave me in the first place anyway. And lo, my mother did replace my jacket.
Yeah, yeah, I should have done it myself, blah blah blah. I get it. I get it. Gosh.
Well, effort, you know? And I loved that thing.
The new jacket is nice, but I was worried when I heard about it. It sounded like the worst thing a jacket can be (besides not waterproof, and nowhere near blue). It sounded like it was WARM. My mom was trying to sell me on its warmth! What had happened to the world? Who was I? Why was warmth being touted as a selling point?! I was confused.
Finally, the day came, and I met the jacket. It felt like meeting an arranged spouse-to-be for the first time. It was a foggy-grey-green-brown, blue-ish but definitely not blue. It fit, which was good, but oh, goodness was it warm. I was worried. What was I to do? My mom would be pretty heartbroken if I rejected her gift.
Aaand that’s when I noticed the secondary zipper. The dang jacket had an extra lining on the inside. Apparently they market to masochists who enjoy sweltering in the heat. Once that was removed, things became a-okay. Granted, I haven’t tried it in warm weather yet, but we’ll see, we’ll see….
As for pockets, it has the same layout as the prior one, but the inexplicable chest pockets are now inexplicably split into two, a horizontal buttoned pocket and a vertical zippered pocket. There’s also an arm pocket, which I’m guessing is for cigarettes? The side pockets don’t zip, but they’re not bad. The inner pocket zips but is just barely too small for a book or my Kindle. Rats. Oh well. All in all, a nice jacket.
Sigh. Now what to do with my old one. Definitely something to signify all the time we spent together, and the adventures we’ve shared. The dang thing has been to four continents. I shall miss it.
And what happened to the lining?……..