I really needed a spring type jacket. The one I was wearing was an old grey fleece that was not only completely unflattering, but it also didn't do much to protect from wind or rain so I decided to go look around the mall.
When I walk into a store I am always hoping there are a lot of shoppers and few employees because I feel self-conscious very easily and it usually happens when the employees are overly attentive. (One thing I have noticed about shopping in women's stores is that the employees are so VERY damn attentive they even talk to you while you are in the change room half dressed!) When I walked into Sport Chek the ratio of staff to shoppers was about one-to-one so odds were that someone would come talk to me soon. Naturally, given that I didn't want to attract attention to myself, my wet boots reacted with the floor to make an impressive squawk with every step so within seconds I had someone ask if I was finding everything ok. I suppose it is good customer service to ask, but I had barely travelled more than 6 feet from the entrance of the store! One could have counted my boot squawks on one hand so I obviously didn't have much of a chance to look for anything yet. I replied that I was looking for a jacket and she directed me to the jacket section - which turned out to be only three boot squawks straight ahead.
Soon I was surrounded by a bunch of jackets that I really liked, and I readied myself for the eventuality that none of them would fit me. To my surprise the very first one I picked up was an XL and it fit me perfectly. I almost bought it right there in case some other woman swooped it up while I was looking around. Instead, I left it and found that it wasn't the one jacket that fit me, it was just one of many - so many in fact that I had no idea what one to get. I ended up getting a nice light purple coloured windbreaker style jacket by The North Face.
Even though I was there for a spring jacket, and even though I had already found a good one, I started browsing the winter coats on sale. A fancy white one that was $100 off caught my eye. Since my current winter coat is a size 18 parachute* I decided to get one that fits and looks a little better for next winter. Of course I liked the coat, but I had no idea it would appeal to me on many levels - including my irrational over-appreciation of gadgets! I got it home and pulled it from the bag and I saw all these little tags and stickers all over it to show off the special features. There were so many logos affixed to these various features that it looked like it should belong on a Nascar driver. After I removed the inner liner I found out that the inside was also filled with little tags and stickers. They advertised the various materials, pointed out the many pockets and vents and highlighted what parts were removable and resizeable. For some reason the coat has a place for credit cards, it has a sunglasses holder, a place to hold your mp3 player, and not only that, but it has a glove compartment almost as big as my car does! This coat can't even be called a coat. A coat is an everyday item, but this is a gleaming white high-tech garment that has more in common with a space shuttle than my old gray fleece. No, this is not just a coat, it is a Personal Weather Protection System.
* I bought the parachute at Sears where out of 200 winter coats I could only find about 10 that were big enough for me to wear, and only one of them that had arms long enough to avoid exposing my forearms when I make a turn when driving my car. I had assumed that they just don't make a lot of nice jackets for women my size, but after shopping in Sport Chek I am beginning to think that Sears just doesn't bother stocking larger coats - and I'm not even that large, I only need an XL!