Tag Archives: parents give away adult child's stuff

My Personal Coat of Many Colors

29 Mar

A recent on-line post from a friend reminded me of my favorite coat!  I had a coat when I was a freshman in high school that I just loved.  It was a long, mid-calf, tapestry coat in beige, cream, red and green, with a red satin lining. It was my personal coat of many colors.

My wonderful tapestry, multi-colored coat.

I wore it every day in the late fall till the early spring.  It was warm; it was comfortable; and I loved the feel of it.  I crocheted a green scarf to wear with it.  Over time the scarf got longer and longer.  I could wrap it around my neck, head, and face about three or four times, which kept me so warm.  When I wore that coat, I felt stunning.   I do not know why, I just did.

I have one photo of me wearing that coat.  I remember the moment it was taken.  I was on a high school trip to Washington, DC.   I have tried to remember why I went.  It was not the entire sophomore or junior class, just one teacher’s students.  Was it American history?  I sort of remembering that it was a specialty class.  North Bergen High School for a while offered one semester classes on all sorts of topics.  I took several of those.  My favorite was about Canada.  So perhaps it was one of these classes that sponsored the trip.

What I do remember is that my Dad drove me to the high school so early in the morning, the sun was not yet out.  Then we all got on to the bus for the drive from North Bergen to Washington.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  One I have always remembered.

We toured to the White House; we toured the FBI building; we toured the Capitol; we went to the Supreme Court; we went to the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, I did not climb up.  We also had a short visit to the Smithsonian, original building.  How we did all of that in one day, I do not know.  But we hustled and we walked fast.

We were allowed to walk around in small groups in some of the sites. I took lots of photos.  I don’t know where most of them are now.  But there is one I have: a photo of me in my lovely tapestry coat standing in front of a black marble monolith.  I do not know where it was taken, except it was on this DC trip.

I tried asking my North Bergen friends about when and why we went.  Only one other friend even remembers going.  No one else does.  I do not know who took this photo.  I wish I did because I would thank her.  My coat is long gone, but this photo gives me joy.

I wore that coat as much as I could for five years. The lining was frayed. The pockets had holes in them.  I kept sewing them back together.  But eventually the fabric was so thin, it could not even be sewn.  I thought about replacing the lining.  I never got the chance to do that. This coat drove my mother crazy.  She was constantly asking me to buy a new coat as the tapestry coat was falling apart.  But I would not.

In the end my mother won this argument.  It was not a fair fight, and I was really annoyed!

My sophomore year of college I spent overseas in Israel.  I did not take the coat with me.  Honestly, I could have used it.  Winters in Jerusalem can be cold, and a bit of snow did fall.  I was gone for 12 months.   When I got home in July, I did not look for my coat.  I had a lot to do.  In this time before social media, I lost a year of local, national and friend news.  I had to reconnect.  It wasn’t until I was getting ready to go to college in late August, that I discovered my coat was missing.

I asked my sister, “Where is my coat?”  She looked at me with a deer in the headlights stare and said something like.  “You better ask Mom about that.” I did. 

That did not end well because while I was in Israel, my Mom got rid of my coat! I will say that my Mom and I had one of our worst fights ever.  The following reconstructed conversation is to my best memory.  I will say the tone of the conversation was loud and screaming on my part.  My Mom was almost laughing the entire time.  She really did hate that coat!!!

“You did not wear it for a year so I thought you did not need it. It was just taking up room.” Her words.

 “I did not wear it because I was in Israel, it would have been difficult to get.” My words.

 “It was falling apart, the lining was shot.” Her words.

“I was going to replace the lining when I got home.” My words.

“You only asked about it now, you did not even notice it was gone.” Her words.

 “It was 80 to 90 degrees, and we were in the Catskills, who thinks of a winter coat then.” My words.

“You always hated my coat,” I finally yelled in frustration.

“It was in horrible shape and you could not wear it another year. There is nothing I can do now.  I will get you a new coat,” my Mom responded.

It was long gone and there was nothing I could do about it. Mom was right.  I went shopping with my Mom to get a new winter coat.  It was an okay coat.  A typical college coat.  Nothing special.  Solid colored with a hood.  I also got new gloves and a new scarf (Yes she got rid of the scarf as well). I was warm for the winter; however, without the sparkle or style I had with my tapestry coat!

I have never found another coat I loved wearing as much as I loved wearing that coat.  I can remember the feel of the coat.  It was not a printed-on tapestry look. It was an actual woven tapestry.  Although many, many years have passed, I have never forgotten my multi-colored, wonderful tapestry coat.  But at least I have this one photo to keep its memory alive.