The coat I’ll always remember
March 28, 2011
I hardly ever give my warm winter coat a second thought. It’s simply a necessity for living in this part of the country. When it wears out, I’ll replace it without hesitation and probably forget I ever had it.
But I still remember the winter coat I had when I was a senior in high school, over 50 years ago. That’s because of one memorable evening when I wore it.
The coat itself wasn’t anything special. It was most likely ordered from a catalog at a bargain price. I’m sure I wore it several years because my parents couldn’t afford to get me a new one each winter.
The coat was soft pink, a popular color in the ’50s. The outer fabric had long fibers which, unfortunately, matted easily. That made the coat look scruffy to me so I usually brushed it each time I wore it.
On the evening I mentioned earlier, I brushed my coat more thoroughly than ever. It was Christmas Eve and, after attending the children’s program at my boyfriend’s church with him, he would be taking me to his home to meet his parents for the first time. I wanted to make a good impression.
My old pink coat was soft and smooth when I climbed into my boyfriend’s car that evening, but my nerves were frazzled as I worried about meeting his parents.
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I didn’t fidget in the car or during the church program so my coat wouldn’t get matted and look bad.
At last, the dreaded moment arrived. My boyfriend parked his car outside his parents’ house. I took a deep breath and followed him inside. What would he say? What should I say?
Without taking off our coats, we walked into the living room. His parents sat in their chairs, looking as though they’d been waiting for us.
“Well,” my boyfriend said. “Here she is!”
We all relaxed after his silly and straightforward “introduction.”
A few years later, his parents became my in-laws.
Did my pink coat make a difference that evening? I doubt my in-laws even noticed it. But I still feel good about knowing I did everything I could to make a good impression on two people whom I came to love dearly.