Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Which K Discloses that She Can be a Total Bitch Sometimes

Believe it or not, I have not always been the magnanimous and delightful creature all of you in the 'sphere have come to know and love. I know that shocks you, so just play it cool.

Time was, I used to be rather snippy with people when they didn't meet my (entirely unknowable and/or unreasonable) expectations to a T. For example, if you said you'd, um, sweep the floor and then you did but you did a totally crappy (IMO) job, I'd complain that you had sucked out because you couldn't be bothered. And then you might retort with "But I did you a favour and, in my universe, this floor is clean." And I'd have come back with something like: A floor's not clean till you can eat off of it.

Occasionally, I was even extreme. You know when high expectation meets snitty entitlement? I kind of excelled at that...

So, just such an event occurred about 3 years ago when my husband (he of giftaphobia) decided to surprise me with this Canada Goose parka. Or one that looks more or less like it. In fact, the guy didn't just give me an $800.00 coat, he gave me 5 - one for each of my parents, one for himself and one for my daughter. We were all going to Quebec City (aka Santa's Village) for Xmas and he wanted to be sure we'd all be adequately warm to romp in the snow (between stops for booze and hot chocolate).

You'd think I would have swooned with love and gratitude at its receipt. Instead, the pre-Xmas handover went something like this:

Scott: I have a surprise for you. You're going to love it. One of my clients got me this excellent deal on these coats and were all going to be so toasty warm in QC. It's going to be fabulous.

Me: Are you talking about those insanely expensive puffy coats your client distributes?

Scott: Those are they.

Me: Um, ok. Let's see.

Scott: (With presentation fluorish) Voila!

Me: (Gasping) Um...

Scott: You like?

Me: (Blanching and sputtering) Do you honestly think I'm going to wear something that makes me look like a lifesized parcel? A fat parcel? Are you aware that this thing is actually fattening?? It makes me look, ah, fat. Take it back. I will never wear it. (Long pause, withering tone) Oh, but thanks. I appreciate the thought.

You should note, it was just at the advent of the puffer coat phenomenon we all take for granted now. So in fact, Scott was ahead of the style curve.

What happened after that is that he called me a total bitch - and some other words that aren't fit for a family blog - and threatened to pull out of the trip (albeit half-heartedly) and suggested divorce so that he could live a life with a woman who'd appreciate him (less half-heartedly) and - while I couldn't undo the past - I more believably apologized and actually brought the coat to QC. Like, to wear for the entire trip. 20 extra pounds be damned.

And, what I discovered on our magical, and miraculously non-conflict laden holiday, was that the coat was the warmest fucking thing on the entire fucking planet. Not that it should have surprised me, what with the brand's claim to fame being the production of parkas for all expeditions to the arctic. Next time you watch a documentary on seals, notice the parka that the scientist narrator is wearing...

I mean, I spent hours outside, loving the frigid cold air, taking in my surroundings with warm ears, oblivious to wind. And some cute French guys even checked me out.

Now we all wear puffers. You are looking as laden with faux 20 extra pounds in yours, as I am in mine. Of course, the skinny jean phenomenon has helped us all to retain some chic under the cirucmstances. And some chunky boots are practically de rigeur. But let's face it, the style is jolie-laide at best.

I haven't removed mine in approximately a month. It allows me to walk to work and back (2 hours a day) in whatever the weather (my La Canadienne's assist greatly). I am never chilled. I am not unduly laden by the weight of a full fur (heretofore my best alternative) or insanely bulky wool coat. I am truly grateful for the freedom it provides.

I owe my husband an eternal apology. I mean, even if the thing had sucked, my behaviour was hideous. So thank you Scottie for your foresight and generosity. I guess the coat has warmed my heart. Even as the wind kicks my ass.


  1. Hahahaha oh dear. Well, it all turned out right in the end. And I imagine he's forgiven you by now ...


    Tell me, does yours shed feathers all over your clothes? My down coat drives me batso by leaving tiny impossible-to-lintbrush feathers all over my duds.

  2. K-Line. I have had a few... bitch fests of my own and snips at "oh my gosh can you just pick up after yourself"... screams and later I realized .. gosh I was such a bitch, and this all comes in full swing when I think "the grass is greener" somewhere else, I later then realize.. mine is pretty damn green.. and well yours is.. bright green.

  3. Ohthehumanity! I always knew you were a bitch underneath that cute face and I'm so glad to have you confirm it. This is why I love you. I am you. You are me. Well,I wish I was MORE like you, with the style and great taste!


    Cannot wait to see you on Saturday!

    I remain your faithful servant, T.

  4. I strive to always accept hideous gifts with grace ;-)

    Though once, before my jewelry designing days, I did return some emerald daisy-shaped earrings MrB got me. I still don't like emeralds much.

  5. All is ok when ends ok...

    And you can always say you're with PMS ;)


  6. I wanted a Canada Goose parka, but they were fair too expensive for me so I had to settle for another brand!

  7. It is not easy to be chic in the cold. But truly, warm *is* better, if really think about it . . .

  8. Did you thank him in person!? ;)

    I wore puffers all the way back in the '60s. I didn't stop wearing 'em every winter until I moved to California, where I didn't need one. I found good-looking ones so I'd feel as stylish as possible, but warmth was always my main concern.

    If I lived in a cold climate, I'd find a silver one.

  9. Oh K! congratualtions on the confession. I suffer from congenital honesty too - my aspie tendencies have trouble with pretending to like something.

    My story? Mr H went and got me the Agent P set you suggested. The bra is perfect but the pants at least 2 sizes too small! I couldnt exchange them (hadnt touched them as I just knew - I have a size 12-14 bum) so he went into the store after me and demanded they switch them for a size up (STILL TOO SMALL!!)
    I love him for trying but they were €100 euro!!! Thats a lot of money for something to sit in the drawer.

  10. My mother was the queen of painfully practical Christmas gifts, so she would often receive a considerably chilly reception upon opening of said practical gifts. Mr. Unreliable has been told many of these stories, yet he still persists in continuing the tradition, buying me sensible shoes year after year. Let's see what he comes up with on our trip to the snow later this year :D

  11. I think for next year, I'm finally going to get one. My current down coat from Soia & Kyo gets the job done, but it's poop brown. I have such an aversion to black coats and I don't like white ones, so the brown had to do. Biggest mistake ever. So I have a love/hate feeling for the coat. It keeps me warm but it depresses me to wear this colour everyday.

  12. Sal: You know, I don't think he has! And mine does not shed feathers. I mean, there is the occasional one (only just recently actually) but it's pretty good that way.

    GJ: Thank you for that generous perspective. It makes me feel a bit better about my bad behaviour :-)

    T: I can tell I will enjoy your company tremendously!

    WendyB: You are more virtuous than me. But I'd have kept those emeralds!

    Seeker: Trust me, I pull that one out on a regular basis. And it's true!

    Y: Eeek. You're making me feel even more horrible about being horrible :-) One day, a Canada Goose will be yours!

    Miss C: The 38 year old in me agrees with you.

    E: First, I can totally imagine that you ROCKED the parka. Tall, slim girls do! And you in a silver parka would be fantastic. Come here and buy one!

    ~h: Hilarious tale. Why are mothers so freakish about the cold??

    Hammie: From now on, I'll just call it my aspie truthfulness :-) And, further to my email, I think your husband is FANTASTIC. So much good karma has come of that purchase. And next time he'll get the size right exactly. I love that the bra is working for you!

    Miss U: Maybe it'll be a puffer this year :-)

    Raven: For you of all people, I think the coat makes perfect sense. You will never regret it. Just get it in red!

  13. I am still too vain (or, really, afraid of the faux 20 lbs) to wear a puffer, despite it being 10 degrees F here right now. I do have a lovely full-length shearling I got years ago in Ireland that's reasonably warm.
    On the subject of gifts, I will lavish praise on even the most awful and inappropriate gifts. I was forced to as a child, and I've never gotten over it.

  14. Oh, shearling is almost as warm and 8000X more gorgeous. And 10 degrees isn't so insane. If you stay inside. :-)