On my first day living in Chicago - it hailed. Pearl-sized snow bombs fell from the sky and I wondered if perhaps this was some sort of epic sign of what was to come. Naturally, I ignored it - but what I did not ignore was the fact that I was in the midst of a fashion crisis.
After spending all of my years on the East Coast - I was completely unprepared for how to dress in a midwestern Winter. Scarves as a necessary rather than trendy fashion accessory? Uggs are not snow boots? (No, they are not). And mostly - a real winter coat?
I've always despised coats because they're bulky and I have to not lose them and in general they indicate cold weather and miserableness. If I have to put on a coat to go outside, I'd much rather just stay inside if its all the same to you.
When I was a kid my mom bought be a beautiful cranberry-colored full length coat from LL Bean. And, because I was a moron, I hated it. Because it wasn't an Adidas coat. And you went Adidas or you were shunned by the girls in my home town. So I avoided wearing it - prefering to be cold and miserable rather than unfashionable. How I wish that coat still existed because I would wear it every single day. Sorry, Mom.
And so I've had these crappy coats that did the job in New York winters (including, finally, an Adidas coat did not bring me the riches, popularity and attention from boys that I had stupidly anticipated). But when I moved to Chicago - I knew something was going to have to change.
At first I really wanted a North Face, because all the girls had them. But my Mom (who was there with me on that first day) convinced me that the red-headed stepchild Michael Kors coat was equally as cute and about $300 less expensive. So I listened to her (finally) and got the Michael Kors coat - and it has been with me every terrible winter day since then.
So now, in the February of my fifth Chicago Winter - my beautiful coat has a malfunctioning zipper. Its doing that super annoying thing where sometimes it works totally fine, and sometimes it starts to zip but then gives up like four inches later, and sometimes it doesn't even put on its cleats.
This is not a real crisis in that I have a variety of totally rational options available to me - but I am sad to know that the coat that got me through my absolute worst days might not be around much longer. Its a reminder that this is my home now. Crappy winters and all.