Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Prep for Travel

I was excited to get out of the city for a little bit and spend this past weekend on the coast of Connecticut. I'm usually really great at packing for trips, but when the temperature dropped all over New England, I found myself woefully unprepared.

Once the rain stopped, it looked like a beautiful day... But it was really quite chilly.

I looked forward to walking on the beach and wandering around the coastal town, with a tiny thought in the back of my mind that it may still be too cold for sitting by the water. I had remembered an umbrella, but was already on my way when I realized how cold it had become. Sitting on the beach was clearly not going to happen in the spotty rain showers, but it was the sudden drop of 20 degrees that caught me off-guard. I had a sweater, but that wouldn't be enough with the skirts I had packed. I was very upset with myself for not double-checking the weather or just throwing a jacket in my bag as security. The only way to enjoy the weekend would be to purchase something to keep me warm, but I'm very picky about cuts, quality, and price tags when I shop, and knew I would be forced to purchase something that would compromise at least one of these requirements. I have no problem buying expensive clothing when I feel it's warranted, but I don't make rash decisions when it comes to purchases over $25. All the careful thought that goes into so many of my purchases would have to be tossed to the wind, but I had given myself no choice.

I hoped for a boutique which included Patagonia in its inventory, but after stopping in nearly every store in town, cold and a little wet, I found only one sweatshirt for under $60. As I already have one sweatshirt at home -- which I find to be more than adequate for myself -- I was hesitant to purchase something that not only wasn't cheap, but also would be unlikely to get much use after the weekend.

Seeing a sign in the window of a shop for Vineyard Vines, I was left with a dilemma -- buy something cheaper that would be unlikely to be worn again, or buy something I would happily wear again, but most likely would be expensive. After checking out the men's fleeces and women's jackets, I opted for the longer-term plan, and bought the jacket I liked. I tried to convince myself that it was a good purchase because I'll get lots of use out of it, but I know I would not have spent that money if I had just been better prepared.

The new jacket I might have avoided purchasing with a little more forethought.

Considering the circumstance I had put myself in, it was the best of bad choices. And it did allow me to enjoy the weekend. I certainly would have made for miserable company if I had tried to tough it out, and it was nice that being warm allowed me to have fun. I learned my lesson about packing, and I even did get that walk on the beach...... And someone else who was very cold got to enjoy my new jacket too.

Vineyard Vines Jacket

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-Kurt Vonnegut