My “Boyfriend’s” Jacket

BEDA seems to be more managable when I stay up until the wee hours of the morning and post updates then. Good to know.

This could have been a Quotes post, or even Words of Wisdom, but I decided to just call it chit chat and tell a story.

A few years ago, perhaps in 2003, I received a jacket from one of my aunt’s. It is black and appears to be suede. It is, however, actually washable suede (read fake suede) which means it is waterproof and no cows had to die to make it which is kind of like a double bonus for me. Anyway, the jacket zips up and is almost square cut. There is a slight curve to the torso but it isn’t too obvious, especially since I lost weight in the interim years and the jacket now fits bigger than it used to. Fit aside, I like the jacket because it is comfy, versatile and waterproof.

Anyway, when I was still working in Chinatown (2007ish) I wore the jacket to work. I was getting it out of my locker at the end of the day and put it on. A librarian saw me and asked, I know now, if it was my boyfriend’s jacket. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t hear her right away so I just made a non-commital nod that is the emblem of answering-without-hearing. It was only later on the subway home that I internalized what had happened and how badly I had blown it.

By that point it was too late to backtrack (“Oh, that boyfriend whose jacket I have, he doesn’t actually exist. This is my jacket.”). I also now had doubts about my jacket. Was it no longer awesome since someone thought it BELONGED TO A MAN? Did this say something about my wardrobe? Did it say something about my life? So many questions.

The librarian never brought the subject up again so I never had to explain the misunderstanding and lack of boyfriend whose jacket I apparently had. I let it go and forgot about it. I have yet to find a comparable jacket so it remains a part of my coat rotation.

Last week I wore it to my current place of employ where another coworker, “Susan,” commented on it (maybe that’s the thing to remember–people notice this jacket). She liked it and admired it. I hadn’t given the boyfriend thing much thought, but felt compelled to share the story with Susan, “Lisa” and “The Bear.” So I thanked Susan for the comment and went on to say, “One time at work someone asked if this was my boyfriend’s jacket and I mistakenly said yes even though I don’t have a boyfriend” before relating the whole story.

Lisa and Susan were very amused, Bear played it close to the vest but I like to think he was amused too.

It also occurred to me that this could be a brilliant piece of advice for dating help books. Want to make sure a guy knows you’re available? Wear a (possibly) androgynous jacket and find a way to mention that it is not your boyfriend’s because you don’t have a boyfriend. Possibly awkward but also brilliant, right?

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