Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

My husband has had the same brown Carhartt chore coat for the last 16 years.

He's not one to throw comfortable clothing away just because it has a few holes in it, and he's definitely not one to give up on something just because it's showing a little age. Believe me, this is one characteristic that is comforting for a wife to know about... especially when said wife has discovered a few gray hairs sprouting forth from her head. But I digress...

Recently, I've noticed that my husband's jacket has deteriorated significantly. With tattered sleeves, welding burns, and grease stains, it is no longer "presentable" for anyone other than the cows.  I can live with the "worn in" look, but the smell is much worse. A mixture of grease, dirt, and hay permeate the nose when I reach over to give him a hug. It's a smell only a wife can love, and an odor that Tide can't remove. We have snow for half of the year, and subsequently, heavy jacket usage during these months. In the "off" season, his jacket lives in the toolbox in the back of the truck for our unpredictable mountain weather.  

This winter, my husband gave his nice coat to a homeless man in need, and all he had left was his chore jacket. 

I had a brilliant idea! For Valentine's Day I decided to buy him a brand new coat... just like the old, ratty favorite. I went directly to the western store and made the big purchase. It was the last one in his size.  I couldn't wait for him to open his gift on the morning of Valentine's day.

He opened the box, and tried on the jacket. Imagine my surprise and horror upon realizing that the jacket didn't fit. Not even a little! I bought the exact same size as his old one. It barely zipped, was tight in the shoulders, and exposed his wrists.

I spent the next 5 minutes calming down my husband who thought that he must have gotten fat over the years, despite my insistence that he looked exactly the same as the day I married him. He talked about dieting, and I told him that he just had bigger muscles now. 

 This Valentine's Day was spiraling down in a hurry and there was nothing I could do to make him feel better.

Finally, I told him to please take the jacket off, and assured him that I could exchange it for a bigger size.  After struggling to get the sleeves off, he set the jacket on the table. Perplexed, I gave the jacket one last look, and it was then that I saw one tiny little word that changed everything....

The tag read, "Carhartt for Women".

It was a woman's jacket that was mistakenly hung in the men's section of the store. 

I felt like such a dork.

My husband had a renewed outlook on life, and left for work. I drove back to the western store, and told the cashier what happened. After a good chuckle, we made a special order for a new jacket in his size.

Today, nearly a month later, the coat finally arrived! Better late than never, I suppose. It fit my husband perfectly, and despite the fact that it is unmarred by 16 years of hard work, I think he'll grow to like it. It just needs a little "seasoning".

Now if only I could get him to throw the old coat away. He says it still has a lot of life in it.

I guess breaking up is hard to do,



  1. I know how he feels, I had a pair of sandals that I kept patching back together until my ex husband decided he'd had enough and threw them out one night after I went to bed. I had new ones in the closet, but they just didn't fit the same....

  2. He sounds EXACTLY like my husband!!

  3. Hilarious, lady! What a grand story!

    You need to send this to Carhartt's website, or their FB page or something...

    too dang funny. :)

  4. My husband does the same thing! He has a chore coat that is fit only for the cattle, fixing fence, or other various chores you find on a farm. I have no idea how long he's had it. We've been married for 15 years, together for 16 1/2 and he's had it since I've known him!! And he won't get rid of his either...it also has life left :P

  5. So Cute! It is a very nice coat indeed -- the new one and the one with 16 years of memories to tell. ;)

  6. I had to toss a 'nice' denim jacket a couple of years ago. I almost cried as I threw it into the burning barrel. I still haven't found one just like it.

    That's funny about it being a lady's coat though!

  7. Familiar sounding story...
    You have a great talent of story-telling. I just love it!

  8. Loved this!!!! My husband never throws away anything, either! Those Cargarts, they are sure good qaulity! My little boy is wearing one passed down from my brother!