Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Had a Red Coat

A million years ago before the Internet, and when the Roman Aqueducts were still new-ish, I was eleven years old, and had a red coat. A red Hudson's Bay coat with the black trim. I hated that fucking coat. I didn't mind the red wool blanket that my dad bought in the late 40's on a trip to Canada...because I didn't need to wear it. I don't know which bastard brought that coat back across the border for me, but I hated them as well. Years later, I was looking through family photos and noticed my sister (ten years my senior) dressed in a similar 1950's version of the same bloody coat, though she was subjected to the further indignity of a matching red wool cap. On the one hand, it felt less like targeted abuse as the precedent had long ago been established (dressing your unsuspecting daughters in red wool coats) though I didn't find much comfort in the knowledge that the abuse was generational. Knowing that all manner of abuses run in families I figured the risk of me subjecting Danny to a Red Hudson's Bay coat was probably a real concern, so I quickly backed away from the display of them at a vintage fair last weekend...but not before catching a glimpse at the price-tag.

Holy hell, those coats are selling for a small fortune these days! I though the seller was clearly nuts, asking $150. for a striped multi colour version of the iconic coat. After a quick check of the Internet, that turned out to be a steal. I suddenly felt terribly nostalgic for that hated red wool coat. Forget all the teasing I had to endure each day on the bus from more fashionably outfitted classmates ("Orphan Annie! Look at Orphan Annie!"). Forget the lining that never quite fit as well as it should have. Forget that it was purchased large enough that I was still wearing it well into High School. Forget it all-that coat is selling for $400. My poor, poor beloved coat. How I miss the scratchy red wool coat of my youth. *sob* my beautiful, red wool coat. My $400. red wool coat.

Well, I guess that ends the cycle of Hudson's Bay coat abuse because there's no way I am shelling out that kind of cash for a kid's coat. I don't know about you, but in my world $400. is a used car that comes with a working heater to keep you warm.

Am I missing something? These were dead common, and durable so there must be millions of them still lurking it closets across North America. I assume at that price no one will be teased on the school bus for sporting one.

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