It would be no exaggeration to say that I have spent no less than 20 hours searching online for travel jackets for both Tom and me. Our goals were simple: functional, all weather, comfortable, affordable and attractive.
After the first 10 hours, I threw “affordable” and possibly “attractive” out the window. When buying coats and jackets for us over the years, I’ve always relished in the search for the $500 jacket on sale for $195, throwing a 20% coupon in the mix for a great jacket purchased for a grand total of $156.
With no sales tax on clothing in Minnesota, we’d be thrilled with the total acquisition cost, wearing the jacket over several years. As a good “laundress” I’d be able to wash and dry them each year in order for them to look like new for the following year.
Tiring of our jacket years later, long before they’d wear out, we’d donate them pleased to know that the recipient could enjoy many more years of wear. On occasion, a treasured well-fitting, good looking jacket would remain in the closet for years to come. We struggled to let it go. Would we ever wear it again? Probably not. But the attachment remained.
In frigid Minnesota, one becomes particularly attracted to warm, comfortable, functional jackets that when donned, provide us with a feeling of who we really are, or in some cases, who we’d really like to be. Funny how an article of clothing, an inanimate object, can do that.
When the search for jackets began months ago, I took it quite seriously. Tom poo pooed jacket after jacket that I had sent to his inbox. At night after work, as he’d peruse upwards of 100 email jokes that had filtered in throughout the day, he’d see a subject line from me, reading, “Honey, I found your jacket! Look at this one!”
My heart sank each time he shook his head saying, “Naw, not this one.” After awhile, I gave up asking why he didn’t like my most recent find. His answer never brought me one step closer to finding what he would like.
I suppose it’s not unlike falling in love we just do. It’s the way that wispy chunk of silky hair falls over their right eye, the flash of white teeth in a winsome smile, or the laugh, so frequent, so sincere, that makes us fall in love. Over time, the wisp of hair becomes dull and gray, the teeth yellowed but that laugh endures, and we stay in love. I speak from experience.
Finding him a jacket he’d love “matters” to me, as he “matters” to me. Patiently the search continued. Somehow I felt that once I found a jacket for Tom, one for me would naturally follow.
Early on in the search, I discovered Scottevest, a travel wear company dedicated to quality and function, offering jackets with “zillions” of hidden pockets. This concept appealed to both of us, especially during the times we have no alternative but to fly.
With multiple pockets suited to technological gear, there are hidden plackets for headsets, chargers and devices. Very interesting!
Tom didn’t like the “look” of the available lightweight options for him, although I was drawn to The Molly in black. From time to time I’d send him information about the Standard Jacket to no response.
Signing up at the Scottevest website to receive daily email on discounted items, last month he reluctantly agreed to the Windbreaker. I purchased a size large for him in olive along with a size small for me in blue. With the then 20% off discount, these unisex 17 pocket jackets would serve us well most of the time, at only $60 each.
Folding inside themselves for easy packing was an appealing feature that unfortunately requires an engineering degree. At this point we haven’t taken the time to figure this out. Other fish to fry.
Thus remained the task of finding a slightly heavier jacket for those cool days at sea and chilly mornings in Africa on safari.
As the search continued off and on, often days in between, an email popped into my inbox last week, offering a number of jackets at 40% off. (If interested in this sale click this link which was extended until midnight tonight but doesn’t allow for returns. BTW, we have nothing to do with the promotion or marketing of this company or their products).
And wouldn’t you know, The Molly and the Standard Jacket were both included in the sale. At last, Tom relented, finally realizing that the look may not be perfect, but the function of this 20 pocket jacket would serve him well in many ways. I ordered black for both of us in each of our chosen styles.
Fearful they wouldn’t fit, resulting in having to resell them on eBay, I anxiously awaited their arrival. Two days later, the package arrived. Tom, exhausted from work and distracted, didn’t try his on until Friday night when I did the same. His recent weight loss made the size consideration tricky as this was a more fitted jacket than the Windbreaker that we had previously purchased.
Alas! We were both thrilled with the perfect fit in each of our jackets and at last, Tom seemed content with this decision, partially due to price, partly due to practicality, partly due to the 20 pockets and perhaps, a tiny piece, to end my relentless search freeing me to attend to other tasks, only one month and six days from departure.