Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Coats and Jackets: Scary or just uncool?

What is it with teenagers and jackets? It's not like we live in a temperate climate and jackets are optional. We live in the cold northeast, there is snow on the ground, nobody should be outside without a hat and gloves, never mind a jacket, and yet where are my kid's winter coats right now? Why, they're hanging on the hooks in the front hall closet, right where the should be. Unfortunately, my children are at school, which means that they went off to school without their jackets. Perhaps it's familial mental illness at bay, but I think not. My son's best friend, who is from Uganda, doesn't believe in wearing anything warmer than a T-shirt in winter. Not even a hoodie. The kid is outside in subfreezing weather in a T-shirt because he says he wants to acclimate his body to the cold. Huh?

I thought perhaps it was because they didn't like their winter coats, but that couldn't be it because both kids bought their coats on their own, with me not even in attendance at the store. They picked them out, they must like them, huh? So why don't they wear them?

The Girl bought herself a fancy schmancy DKNY bomber jacket with a fake fur trimmed hood. You know I didn't have a thing to do with this purchase because it's white. WHITE! But she loved it, down to the bejeweled DKNY logo on the sleeves. And it is warm because it's down-filled. But it still resides on the closet hook right now. Fortunately, she will wear her North Face Denali fleece jacket, which is quite warm, over a hoodie. So I know she's at least partially appropriately attired on her 1.3 mile walk to and from school. Oh, and she always wears long underwear. That she'll wear, but a jacket? Not so much.

The boy, also a stylish kind of monkey, bought himself a nice big Polo jacket in a lovely blue color. It is down-filled, has a nice big hood, and looks great on him. How would I know? Because he wore it about 3 times when I absolutely insisted he put it on. Otherwise, it's closet bound. He tends to only wear pullover hoodies with thermal shirts underneath. I guess it's maybe sorta warm. But he doesn't spend much time outside, as he has door to door transportation to and from school.

Both kids wear hoodies all the time. At first I thought it was just my kids who were doing this, but any drive around town will show hundreds of wandering waifs in their hoodies. Coats and jackets are so out, evidentally. Never mind hats, scarves, and gloves. Now those are things only a granny or a baby would wear. I guess I'm in the granny category because I don't go outside without my shearling, double-lined polarfleece mittens, and my crazy loopy wool hat made from the coolest yarn ever manufactured. Got it in Florence at a yarn shop and my heart lept when I saw how cool it is crocheted into a funny hat.

I was just talking to Mary, my home health aide, and she has 5 teenagers (poor woman) and she reports that her kids do the same thing. Hoodies are the new coats, I guess. What about your teens. Do they wear jackets in the cold?
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Blogger capello said...

Aha! I can totally relate... to your kids. I'm 28 and don't wear coats. Maybe a jacket if its super cold, but no coats. I dress my 3 and 1-year olds appropriately, but not myself.

I know for me, wearing a coat to school was a major pain in the ass. It didn't fit in the locker, and if you hung it over your chair someone would kick it and make it dirty. Backbacks and sachels don't fit over them, and if you have to walk a lot outside you actually get too hot.

But I always wear gloves. And if its really cold, I'll wear a hat too.

They aren't purposely trying to drive you crazy (okay, they are; but not with this).

4/1/06 11:07 AM  
Anonymous cahwyguy said...

Well, NSS&F (Not So Small and Feisty) is not a teen yet, but I see similar behaviour regarding rain gear. She'd rather get wet than wear something she considers unstylish. In fact, clothing in general has a short life. Once she decides she doesn't like it, it "is too small" and must be replaced. (In reality, if it is not to small, we just hide it for a month or so, and then bring it back out).

I think this is just another reflection of the sentiment best captured in the Loving Spoonful song, "Younger Generation":

And still I´ll try to tell him all the things I´ve done
Relating to what he can do when he becomes a man
And still he´ll stick his fingers in the fan

4/1/06 11:15 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Ha! Teenagers? Try having a 7 year old that refuses to wear a jacket... Argh. That child comes off of the bus with his jacket half hanging off..no gloves or hat (which of course I made him wear that morning)in 28 degree weather. I feel your pain.. really I do..

4/1/06 3:43 PM  
Blogger neener said...

Today in Atlanta it started out at 34 degrees in the AM and was a ridiculous 65 by 2:00 pm. There were boys wearing shorts to school! My kid wore a short sleeved t-shirt and cranked up the heat in the car as we drove to school, but had the windows down on the ride home. God help him if he wore something as dorky as a jacket.

4/1/06 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two weeks ago when it was in the low teens outside, I saw some kids walking to school in shorts! It's a national epidemic of insanity...

Eliyahu in Walla Walla

6/1/06 1:36 AM  

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