Stack of books and magazines.

As we move into the coldest part of the western Pennsylvania year, it’s time to buy a new coat.  My current winter coat has two flaws:  the inner linings of both pockets are ripped, so that when I slip gloves or car keys in, they fall deep into the lining.

And fatally, the zipper doesn’t work. 

I’d decided in the fall to splurge this year and buy a hooded puffer jacket.  They’ve achieved the magical feat of making you toasty warm without the bulk.  Slim and sleek and beautiful.  One made by Columbia, The North Face, or Patagonia.

I had my heart set on it.

I’d started setting a bit of money aside since the fall, and yesterday I drove forty minutes to the Public Lands store in Cranberry, knowing they’d have the best selection.

I was going to try on coats all day if necessary until I found the perfect one.  When I did, I was going to buy it no matter the cost.

There’s a Barnes and Noble bookstore next to Public Lands, a nice big one that I hadn’t visited for a while, so I decided to stop in and have a coffee and a look around before I started my coat shopping in earnest.

I wasn’t going to buy anything.

Then I saw the special edition Outlander magazine, celebrating the first five seasons and hyping the audience for the upcoming season six.

I had to have it.

Had to.

The moment I had that magazine in my hands, my restraint crumbled. 

Magazine featuring actors from Outlander on the cover.
Personal Kryptonite

Normally a visit to the bookstore is a complicated mental calculus—which books should I buy, which new hardbacks should I bypass and wait for the paperback edition, which should I get from the library instead?

Not today.

Instead I channeled all my “buy whatever coat you want” energy right into that Barnes and Noble.  For the next two hours, I combed every shelf and stacked up the books with abandon.

I bought exactly what I wanted.

I haven’t lost control like since I did the Whole 30 diet for two days, blacked out, and woke up covered in carbs.

Really, even though my winter coat’s zipper doesn’t work, it still has the snaps to keep it mostly closed.  And I can always just wear a sweater.  A sweatshirt over a sweater.

That’ll work fine.

And with all these books and magazines to entertain me, why do I even need to leave the house?

A winter coat at this point is totally unnecessary.

I spent every last dime of my coat money on books and magazines.

Today I woke up to the coldest day of the year with nothing but sub-zero temperatures on the horizon with a stack of reading material and no working winter coat.

If I had regrets, I’d blame them on Outlander.

But truthfully?  I have none.

Stack of books