Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The Coat + 20
At this time 20 years ago, I was "between jobs." If you've ever been there, and I hope you never are, it's not fun. You worry about everything-- especially money. Even though I've always been a saver, I had no major expenses, and the government provides a safety net, I was still frightened.
You do have to live, and I allowed myself one minor extravagance a week. Most of the time, it was an afternoon movie and a big soda. Some weeks, I'd go for a long drive. There were times I'd walk around the mall. I'd confine my purchases to a soft pretzel and a soda. I just liked looking at stuff and people watching. Plus, I had to get out for a while.
I don't remember how I wound up at Burlington Coat in Eynon one day in January of 1997, but I did and I saw a winter coat I liked. It wasn't expensive, and I didn't buy it. Several days had passed, and I started thinking about the coat. I went back to see if it was still there. It was, and I bought it.
Part of me felt guilty for buying something I really didn't need, but after getting beat up for a while at the old job, and then the early days of unemployment, I felt a small need to be nice to myself.
I still wear the coat many times every winter, and I'm wearing it in the photo above, taken Thursday morning. The coat and I went back to Burlington for a visit. No, I didn't buy anything else last week. Burlington used to have a kick butt tie selection. It looked like the store needs to replenish stock after Christmas, in many departments. There were vast spaces of emptiness.
The moral of the story: no matter how miserable things might be at the moment, there are times you have to stop and be kind to yourself. Don't do anything silly. Don't do anything stupid. A winter coat was a decent investment, and I still have it.
If you know someone who is unemployed, be kind, be patient, be understanding and be supportive.
I eventually found a new job, and then a better job when that one ended.
I was lucky. I found a good coat and a great way to make a living.
AT 12:00 AM