Finding My Precious [Parka]

Last night, I was visited by Gandalf in a dream, and invited to go on the quest to find my perfect parka for the winter. We were having none of those namby-pamby synthetic non-down high-tech light jackets. I would go out and find the most hardy coat I could with features I would never use, to overcompensate for the pointlessness of my existence in general. I was reluctant about spending 2 hours of my time — time that would be better spent trying and failing to do my homework — on such a frivolous task. I mean, it wasn’t as if I could die or something, not having the best winter coat ever. Oh, on second thought…

Well, anyway, I didn’t want to die, or worse, hand in incomplete homework. So I went. I was dragged out of my Donlon-hole and on threat of death, went to the famed thrift store in the commons. Nope, I can’t afford Canada Goose.  At least, not yet.

“‘The Old Goat’ Gear Exchange” sounds like a harbinger of doom, but that’s where I went. I don’t have the patience or the persistence (unlike my colleague, Bilbo Baggins) to write a novel — or five — about my adventures there. Suffice it to say, I found a men’s coat a size too big that I bought home. My roommate did not approve.

Even as I write this, I second-guess myself and wonder whether I made the right decision. I’m googling the meaning of fill power, the differences between duck and goose down, and good and bad air pockets right now. Are my coat specs enough to get me through Ithaca’s winter? Just in case any of you better-informed readers can make sense of this stuff: It’s…actually, I can’t even bring myself to list it.

So, post war-adventure, any suggestions and tips on choosing winter clothes would be welcome! So would company when I inevitably go and try to exchange my current coat for another.

Disclaimer: Online shopping is not my thing. Any suggestions suggesting that will go straight to Sauron.

Kshama Sridevi Malavalli ’21

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