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The Extra-Large Jacket That Wasn’t

posted at 1:49 am
on Sep. 28, 2007

Comments: 4 so far



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I was in Calgary at a friend’s wedding (Hi Cody!) and took some time to do a quick shopping trip with my sister, Virginia.  We went to Staples (I’ve gone there the past five times I’ve been to Calgary, my mom always needs something stationariesque), and while we were at the West Hills Mall, we also stopped by Winners.

Winners is an inappropriately named store that sells the castoffs and stock surpluses of other stores.  You can get a small selection of household goods there, but mostly, you can get brand name, high- and low-end clothing at great discounts.

You never know what’s going to be in stock, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, because they don’t manufacture anything themselves.

Well, we wandered to the coat section, and what caught my eye was a very stylish rain jacket by Calvin Klein.  I currently have a Gortex grey rain jacket, suitable for camping and biking, but not for business meetings or fancy nights out.

This jacket was a brown-ish green, which a high collar and “invisible” zippers on the front and pockets.  It was lined and quite warm, and came down to mid thigh.  It was a great jacket, and I tried it on and Virginia and I hemmed and hawed about it.  But, since it was only $99 (regular $180, the tag promised!) I couldn’t pass it up, and I took it home with me while Virginia sped off to her job at Ikea (she was late for work, but that’s not relevant to this anecdote).

That night, I was trying the jacket on and showing it to Susie, and I mentioned that maybe the reason it was such a good deal is that the jacket said it was an extra-large, when it clearly wasn’t.

Susie had me zip it all the way up, and I noticed the collar was pretty loose and flappy, as though it was made not to brush against my face.  And I also noticed that there were two small buttons and flaps, one on each side of the waist, that could be used to slightly cinch in the waist without needing a belt.

Susie asked me, “Why do you think it’s an extra large?” and then kind of paused expectantly, and I opened my eyes and saw the truth and realized in a bolt of embarrassment that, yes, it was a women’s coat.

My mom arrived home shortly afterwards, and I tried the jacket on for her.  She said it was quite nice, and asked me to turn around.  Then she said, and I love this, she said:

“Well, that’s a very Vancouver coat, don’t you think?”

and then added,

“What is it you like most about it, Travis?”

And I admitted that I knew it was a women’s coat, and then she and Susie both admitted that they could tell it was a women’s coat, though my mom tried to bluster and say that she just thought it was stylish and unisex, you know, like Vancouver.

Both of them said they didn’t want me not to wear it just because it was a women’s coat, and that’s why they didn’t say anything at first—to which I say ... uh, yeah, actually, not wearing women’s clothing just because it’s women’s clothing is TOTALLY fine by me, especially if it’s noticeably so!

So, the next day, I took it back to Winners, got my money back and said goodbye to the wonderful deal and wonderful coat that it was.  Le sigh.



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Do You Feel Safer?

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So, I’m 35 Today.


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