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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

bless my fashionable heart

Apparently when it is cold, common sense says that one should dress appropriately. This helps fix the whole "I'm so cold" issue. I've been a bit slow to grasp this conventional wisdom, but in my defense I was not raised to bundle up. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm from the south. We don't do coats. We don't go outside when it's cold. And if we want to tell someone they're stupid we shake our head and say, "Bless your heart." That last one is just a freebie so you northerners know when a southerner is mocking you.

Anyway, I have to go outside in NYC even when it's cold because there is a law that says my kids have to go to school. And since we only live 2 blocks from there, I walk them. I quickly found out that my cute, short black wool coat was not going to keep me very warm in NY winters. Yes, it's gosh darn cute with those three-quarter sleeves and all, but fashion doesn't keep you warm. At least not the parts that matter.

So I broke down and bought this.

Bah-nanas, right? That's not me in the picture, in case you were wondering.

Love this coat.
Love to wear this coat.
I stay warm in this coat.
But there is one teenie, tiny problem.
The zipper often gets stuck, trapping me inside the coat.
This puts me in, shall we say... a O MY GOSH, I'M GOING TO DIE INSIDE THIS COAT TYPE OF PANIC.

The first time it happened, I broke out in a sweat and ran around in circles in the apartment. Screaming. There was also some hand waving involved. My poor husband stepped in to stop the madness help unzip the coat and the two of us wrestled the zipper a good 20 minutes until I was free. I continued to hyperventilate the entire time. Keep in mind my 14 year old was on the couch staring at me the whole time muttering, "you're so weird" over and over again. Then he continued watching TV, updated his facebook and sent about 739 texts. So it didn't faze him too much.

But I know if he had been raised in the south he would have added in a "Bless your heart" for dramatic effect.


Ashley Diane said...

Haha..I am from the Carolinas and I frequently use "Bless your heart". My husband is from South Dakota so I had to let him and his family in on that little secret also. :) When i first went to SD to visit, my (now) husband met me at the airport and when we were about to walk outside he asked, "Where is your coat?" To which i looked down at my light button down suede jacket and said, "I am wearing it." Yep. :)

Emily said...

Try rubbing an unscented, uncolored wax candle up and down the tines of the zipper. That should help.

kelly hasz said...

This may be one of my favorite posts yet...mainly because I can TOTALLY picture your panic! Kelly H

Lisa H said...

Ha! I love this for two reasons:

1) I can totally relate to the panic of being stuck in something silly like a jacket...I tend to get that claustrophobic panic too and my husband always makes fun of me for it

2) Not being from the South, I had to learn that little lesson about "bless your heart" and it is SO TRUE. Took me a while to realize that I was being mocked and not actually blessed. :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm from the south as well, living now on the west coast, and what I remember is the cutting remark about someone followed by, "bless her heart." For instance, "she is a homely girl, bless her heart."

Brenda said...

Now you all have me wondering - my grandma said "bless your heart" to all of us kids all the time. Only she was from the north! I wonder if she was in on it and was secretly mocking us or if she really meant it (as I can't imagine sweet grandma any other way). I guess I'll never know, as she's with Jesus now, looking down on all of us and probably shaking her head, saying, "bless her heart!"

Spsmiles said...

Ha ha, what a hilarious mental picture :)

And I agree...we southeners were not built for cold weather! We've had an unusual cold streak for the past two weeks in FL, 40's and below! Now, I know that is nothing like NYC but's too dang cold!

Anonymous said...

"That's nice" also has a different meaning but I'm too much of a lady to spell it out here.

Love your posts, Michelle! Crack me up and inspire me at the same time!

JJ from the Midwest

Heidi Jo said...

i'm beginning to see where lily might get her personality:0)

question? didn't you move to NYC from colorado? please tell me that you had winter wear for there? at least ski garb?

Michelle said...

Heidi Jo-
You would think I would have learned my leasson about winter wear in Colorado, but I didn't. I would wear just enough to make it from a warm car to indoors somewhere. I never walked around because it was just too darn cold!

Taylor said...

San Diego in Chicago! And I have been stuck in THE heavy coat too! (Sweaty palms and that dampness that gathers at the back of your upper thighs when you start to freak doesn't help!) But like your son, my pooch though'Why is Mama so crazy!?"

Enjoy your first winter! I am on number 3 and it gets fun, then bad, then summer and you forget!

Anonymous said...

Just a little hint from a Californian who lived in NY for a few years...although that coat is cute, it's not going to cut it! At some point (probably when the cold is slapping you in the face or you forgo blow drying your hair only to have your ponytail freeze, yes freeze!) you're going to break down and buy another coat that buries you from neck to knee or ankle- it's a necessity. And might I add, JCrew makes great coats!

Jaynie Grothe said...


You are hilarious. I loved reading this. :)


Lacy said...

My coat does the same thing! It's a white one similar to yours...where did you get yours? New York and Company by any chance? I hate it!

'Gold Coast Kate said...

Clear wax on the zipper - top it up a couple times during the season - and you will always be the boss of the coat. Not the other way around!

Gold Coast Kate

Sandy Klein said...

Michelle, I can totally relate, bless both our hearts. When I was pregnant with Bonnie and my hands were too swollen to wear my wedding rings, I went to Dillards to look at cheap fake diamond ring wedding sets. I tried one on and didn't like it. Went to take it off and you can wouldn't come off. Even when I slobbered on it. I immediately hit the panic button and started jumping up and down. I even started crying. It was Christmas time and the store was pretty crowded with shoppers but I had about four salespeople over there trying to help me get the ring off. One was fanning me with a brochure of some sort! Eventually it did come off and I settled down and realized how completely embarassed I was! It's so silly to do that over a ring or a coat but if you have that particular phobia (not sure what to call it) it can really send you over the edge!

Karenkool said...

I don't know Michelle... That coat still doesn't look warm enough for the weather we've had over the past month. Bless you heart ;-) At least it's a little warmer this week, so make sure you do that wax thing on the zipper that the other readers mentioned.

Did you son happen to video your panic session and send that out to all his friends? I need to get him my cell phone number.

turnitupmom said...

Love your last line. I'm cracking up! And thinking about my southern sister in law who doesn't say a sentence without "bless your heart"-- so true!

Jennifer said...

Great post! We moved from NYC to Maine a couple years ago. Even though Maine is cold, there is something about the way the wind whips around the buildings in NY that is just bone chilling. My husband's family is from the south, so I had to smile when I read the title to your post.

Kim & Dave said...

So funny! Couldn't you just pull it off over your head? That's what I do when this type of thing happens to me!

(& I hat coats, too-& rarely wear them-even though I live in CO!)

Gloria Trevino said...

You are so funny! Your exploits crack me up! I sometimes get sad looking at the news (Haitian orphans and whatnot) but then I remember that we have our own challenges here in the cold northeast. You are an inspiration to so many of us, and I wish you the best!

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