It wasn’t me who uttered the fateful phrase, but rather a sales associate at the Patagonia shop on the Upper West Side. I had been on the hunt for a new, knee-length down coat. My old one was both showing it’s use and its impracticality (particularly when associated with small children… Did I mention the old coat was white?)
One would think that the choice of coats meeting a few simple criteria — like knee length, down, waterproof, somewhat stylish and affordable — would be substantial. But that wasn’t the case. I walked the real and virtual aisles, and paged the insane number of catalogues that have been assaulting our mailbox hawking just such ‘wears.’ I was surprised that looking at completely-out-of-the-question priced coats didn’t improve the options.
The Land’s End coat was the only one that fited all the criteria, coming in ‘short’ on the style quotient (pictured above.) I was quite swayed by the more flattering quilting on the Patagonia coat and was about to take that action that gives marketers a thrill, i.e. “make a purchasing decision,” when the salesperson uttered that fateful n-word.
I asked, “Why is this coat only water repellent and not water resistant?” To which she replied, “No one needs a water resistant down coat… It’s never cold and raining hard at the same time. You know, it would be snowing, and snow doesn’t stick.”
I stuck with the Land’s End coat and, after having trudged a number of kilometres each day in the pouring rain in temperatures around the 40F mark over the recent three weeks, I am here to tell you that a water resistant down coat is a necessity! And sales staff should probably steer clear of using the word, “never.”