Phil said I had time!


Some things you learn the hard way.

And some you never learn at all.

Many years ago, I needed a bathing suit for a vacation in August. No problem.  The weather was sweltering, so I assumed I’d have my pick of suits.  It was nearing the end of the season, so I’d likely get a decent discount to boot.

But of course, I couldn’t find a bathing suit anywhere. I’d walked past racks and racks of them all summer, but when I went to Target what did I find in the bathing suit area?

Coats! Fall jackets, cable knit sweaters, and rain boots.

I scoured every department store in the tri-state area and came up empty.

At Dick’s, I was narrowly saved when I discovered a tiny selection of athletic one-piece suits designed for collegiate swimmers. I could only hope the lifeguards wouldn’t assume I knew what I was doing and accidentally let me drown.

Fast-forward to yesterday. I wanted a warmer coat this year, but the weather has been so mild that I hadn’t gotten around to it.  Remembering the bathing suit fiasco, I wondered if I’d again waited too long.

But when Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and foretold six more weeks of winter, I knew I had plenty of time. It was snowing and freezing and February, for goodness sakes!  There was enough winter left that I might not even get a good sale price.

I sprinted over to Dick’s and found nothing but coats that required a PhD to operate. They had removable inner linings, removable hoods, reversible insides, reversible outsides, and sixteen zippers.  I was almost relieved they only had size 3XL in stock.

I went next to JCPenney, confidently making my way to the seasonal section.

You know, wise reader, what I found there, don’t you?


Sometimes you can hear the universe laughing at you.

Fortunately, I found a few winter coats on a clearance rack. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but soon I found just what I was looking for in my size and sixty percent off.dscn0685

So what I’ve learned is this: when it’s snowing out, buy a bikini.  And when you’re sweating yourself into a puddle, buy a winter coat.

Or have I? After all, I left JCPenney yesterday with a winter coat and not a bathing suit.

If you see me next summer in a lifeguard’s suit, we’ll both know the answer.