Sunday, May 1, 2011

In the Hood of Confusion

This is my raincoat.


It is brand new and yellow. I like it. But unfortunately, like several inanimate objects in my life, it appears to be smarter than me.

You see I bought this raincoat for many reasons. Some of them include
-It is yellow
-It is waterproof
-It has a stowable hood

And you might think to yourself, oh a stowable hood, what a great convenient idea that shouldn’t be difficult.

Well you know what? You should try it first before you start saying things with such an accusatory tone!

I was in the store, and I had already spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how to fold up the hood before I realized this wasn’t going to prevent me from purchasing the jacket. So I went up to the register to purchase it and I asked the kindly young woman ringing me up if she happened to know how to fold it up.

She did not.

She called her colleague over and asked him if he knew. He walked over slowly sucking air through his clenched teeth and said in halted speech:

That... is the big question.

Really? How to roll up a hood is the big question? What kind of society are these two living in that matters over hood stowage trump all others?

The guy went on to say that there was apparently only one person in the tri-state area that knew how to roll up the hood and he worked at the store in Garden City.

I responded by saying ohhhhh.

But really what I was thinking was: Are you kidding me? We are talking about a hood. A HOOD! It is fabric and string and a piece of Velcro. Sure I can’t figure it out, but this is my first date with the jacket. You two have been seeing each other for weeks, maybe months! And there’s like 5 of you in this store!

You honestly can’t figure it out? What kind of jacket nincompoop are you?!

But seeing as I wasn’t able to figure it out right away, I can’t really be too upset. After all, I am regularly flummoxed by seemingly simple objects that do not work the way I would like them to.

Like the first time I tried to twist open a Corona bottle. It was until there was no flesh left in the palm of my right hand that I realized… Corona tops don’t twist off. What made this even worse was the fact that this was a Coronita - A baby corona.

It reminded me of something called the Math Olympiads we did as kids in elementary school. There were these math brainteasers. Five or six of them and you'd have an hour or two to work them out. And you'd work so hard to figure it out and end up realizing the answer was so much easier than you'd thought.

I don’t want to brag but when I graduated the sixth grade I had one of the highest scores for the Math Olympiads. Though I think it’s worth mentioning they never did ask us any questions about raincoats.

But my life is full of these little mini roadblocks. It’s kind like driving down an open road and then I see one tiny orange traffic cone in the middle. And I can for the life of me figure out what to do, so I make a u-turn and go back the way I came.

Or getting a piece of furniture you need to assemble by yourself. And so you open the whole package and all the tools and parts and after hours of effort it is done. But then realize you have like 4 random extra pieces left when you finish. What the hell am I missing here?!

The same thing applies to cooking. I think oh man 4 ingredients, 3 steps, how hard can this be? And it isn't until I am halfway into cutting into a carrot that I realize I don't have the capacity or the wherewithal to julienne a carrot. And it seems easy enough to try but 2 blisters and 9 carrots later all I have is a pile of non Julienned carrot parts and a feeling of self loathing brought on my skinny orange vegetable that I no longer even want.

But none of those others things bother me as much as this stupid hood. I start to question if it is even possible. Perhaps the idea was great but nobody tested the design. And it wasn’t until they had made the first 500 raincoats that they said....

Ohhh you know what? This doesn’t work.

Ahh screw it. Just put them on the rack and let the poor sons of bitches figure it out.

I can just see the designer now. Laughing himself into a tizzy at the great hilarious fraud he has pulled off or perpetrated at the expense of the non waterproofed populous.

But whether it is possible or not really doesn’t matter by the time I’ve asked for this explanation. Because now I have to watch this poor woman flop around in the same shallow poll of experimental stupidity that I just crawled out of while her coworker looks on knowing that he has nothing new to contribute.

I have exposed a weakness within this coat: it’s intelligence. A tragic flaw. These salespeople are incompetent. Much as I am. All I have learned is that I am now qualified to work at Eddie Bauer.

I get home and I try to Google the answer. Is this feat even possible.

No such luck. There are no answers to be found.

Alas it is weeks later now, and I remain a jacket nincompoop. But I still like it, ya know, because it’s yellow.

11 comments:

Old School/New School Mom said...

Oh man, inanimate objects outsmart me all the time! Especially items from IKEA. Despite the fact that your raincoat is a genius, I'm sure it loves you just as much as you love it.

DangGina said...

I like hoods anyway; I think a jacket with a hood beats a hoodless jacket any day of the week. So...you win. (How completely devastating that it can't be done, though!)

Jenny DB said...

My grandpa always said, "you just have to be smarter than the ____" raincoat, coronita bottle, etc.

Then again, he also said "Why don't you go play on the freeway" ...

Pat said...

It's like pulling the cord on a blow up raft. You'll never get it folded up. But what's a raincoat without a hood, anyway? I like the fact that you bought a YELLOW jacket! How cool is that?

Christopher said...

I've got a black one kind of like that. The hood just stays hanging out.

Caroline B said...

Inanimate objects conspire against me too..
Just think of it this way, it's a raincoat, which is worn in the rain, which means the hood needs to be out, so leave it and say you meant to have it like that.

Tara K. said...

I have a similar battle with fitted bed sheets. I can never fold them so they look anything more than a rolled up ball shoved in the closet. It's like a bad origami project. I hope I didn't give God an idea for my penance in purgatory....

Paul said...

Oh yes. This is up there with the
tent that the woman in the commercial assembles with one hand, while holding a baby, while a black bear charges her -- that I spend 4 hours on.Only to sleep in the car.

Ever Perceived said...

This made my night, Thank you! I can relate to the corona incident so well. I was at a party and I encountered my first pop cap! I thought they twisted off, everyone just watched as I struggled in vain to get this cap to twist off, silently mocking me. I had blood dripping off my hands by the end. Sad story, but something good did come of it, I learned how to pop the cap off with a lighter. Now I feel bad ass.

Katie Potter said...

lol I love it. I hope you figure out the hood though. :)
I'm your newest follower.
http://katiespotter.blogspot.com

Paolo said...

Hi Richard. Just wanted to leave some instructions here in addition to our Facebook page. We agree this hood storage system isn't intuitive, which is why we're redesigning for upcoming shell. Glad you like the jacket otherwise. It's a great piece, and yellow!

I assume that's a 365 jacket? If not, let me know. The way to roll up the hood to a) roll the hood inward (color out) and down to the neckline b) pull the Velcro strap through the inside loop and back over the top of the loop so that the Velcro sticks to itself. The hood should look rolled up like this: http://twitpic.com/4cw2l2.

Thanks! - Paolo, social media at Eddie Bauer