Rule #9

I’m really hoping not to invoke Rule #9. I’ve got a training ride with a friend next weekend and then a two-day ride on the weekend after that, and Nana tells me it’s forecast to rain from now through the start of November.

We had made plans to go shopping today for a light jacket for me to wear to the office. Nana wasn’t happy that I’ve been wearing my Nike windbreaker, which is not only neon yellow and reflective but is also mud-spattered from previous invocations of Rule #9 — notably on the second day of the ride around Lake Biwa.

(She’s been able to get the food stains out of it, and most of the mud stains, but there are still a few spots.)

So today rolls around and I look at Nana, and she looks up from the television program she’s watching and says, “Do we have to go today? It’s raining.”

I said, “Do you want me to go without you?”

“No.” Very quickly, very finally. She knows I’ll come home with something that she doesn’t like. She tried another tack. “We can go on Tuesday.”

“When I get home from work? It will still be raining.”

After some hesitation, she agreed to go. Sure enough, it was raining.

We tried a men’s fashion store that we both like. They had a couple of nice overcoats but they didn’t really fit me well enough. OK, on to the big and tall men’s store. (I’ll leave it to the reader to work out which of those adjectives applies to me.)

At the big and tall men’s shop, I was told to go to their floor for regular sizes. There I tried on a number of overcoats before Nana finally said, “You’re really looking for something more casual, right?”

She was right. I’d been feeling it all along, but I hadn’t thought about it clearly. I wasn’t looking for an overcoat. I was looking for a jacket that was just a bit heavier than a windbreaker, and a bit more professional.

Back to the big and tall floors, but this time to the casual wear. I quickly found some jackets I liked — basically, windbreakers. Things I would wear hiking. Not fluorescent yellow, at least. Meanwhile, Nana found something with a collar and in her preferred color: black. We spent some time looking at all the offerings and I tried on a number of jackets. We slowly narrowed it down to three: one that Nana said made me look like an oji-san (“uncle”; i.e., a middle-aged man), and I said it did remind me of a jacket my father used to wear (when he was younger than I am now); one in a nice shade of forest green that would be right at home hanging around the campfire with its hands in its pockets; and the black one she had found.

I looked at her. She looked at me. Here’s the result:

new jacket for the office
New jacket for the office

To be fair, it is much more professional than either of the other jackets I had picked out.

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